Spencer Crew has worked at museums as well as universities over the past twenty-five years. The Clarence J. Robinson Professor of American, African American, and Public History at George Mason University, he is the former director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the former president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. His primary area of research interest is African American history, and he has created exhibitions and written on both the Underground Railroad and the migration of African Americans to the North during and after World War I. Crew served as interim director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2019 and 2020.
The effort to create NMAAHC has a long history which culminated in its opening in September of 2016. That story and the content of the new museum are the focus of this presentation.