-Martin Luther King, Jr. from the speech, I've Been to the Mountaintop, delivered on April 3, 1968 at Mason Temple, Memphis, Tennessee
In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in British North America, Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality will examine the long history of black Americans as they have fought for freedom, equal justice, and access to opportunities. Their actions have pushed our nation ever closer to its ideal of universal equality.
Through profiles of 30 individuals, more than 100 evocative objects, and multimedia interpretive content, Determined will explore:
the black experience in Virginia from 1619 to the present day;
the pivotal role black Americans have played in shaping America’s national identity and culture; and
the key Virginians and Virginia events that have defined the meaning of American democracy, equality, and justice.
Determined examines the ways in which the arrival of enslaved Africans in 1619 shaped the United States that we know today. The exhibition is arranged in chronological sections: The Colonial Period; American Revolution through the Civil War; Reconstruction through World War II; and the Civil Rights Movement through today.
Explore the online exhibition by taking a 360-degree virtual tour.
View examples to responses on the exhibition's interactive Inspiration Wall.
Member Exhibition Preview & Reception of Determined – Thursday, June 20, 2019, at 2:00 or 5:00 pm.
Ashe '68 Photo Exhibit – Saturday, June 15 through Sunday, July 7, 2019.
Ashe '68 Virtual Reality Experience – Saturday, June 22 through Monday, September 2, 2019.
Arthur Ashe Boulevard Dedication and Grand Opening of Groundbreaking Exhibition, Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality – Saturday, June 22, 2019, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. Please note: Admission to the museum is complimentary on this day for the exhibition opening day of Determined on June 22, 2019. Watch the highlights video.
Virginia Journeys member trip: Lynchburg: Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum and Lynchburg Museum at the Old Court House – Wednesday, June 26, 2019, from 7:30 am to 5:45 pm.
Banner Lecture: "Virginia Waterways and the Underground Railroad" by Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander – Thursday, July 25, 2019, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Watch the video.
50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing: An Evening with Margot Lee Shetterly and Gladys West – Thursday, August 8, 2019, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
Virginia Journeys member trip: National Museum of African American History & Culture – Wednesday, August 21, 2019, from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Banner Lecture: "Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American History" by Spencer R. Crew – Thursday, August 22, 2019, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Watch the video.
Banner Lecture: "Keep On Keeping On: The NAACP and the Implementation of Brown v. Board of Education in Virginia" by Brian J. Daugherity – Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Learn more.
Banner Lecture: "Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth" by Kevin M. Levin – Tuesday, October 1, 2019 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Learn more.
Legacies of Emancipation with author Ta-Nehisi Coates – Friday, October 25, 2019 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Learn more.
Banner Lecture: "The Notorious History of the Virginia State Penitentiary" by Dale M. Brumfield – Wednesday, November 6, 2019 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Learn more.
Banner Lecture: "Gerrymanders: How Redistricting Has Protected Slavery, White Supremacy, and Partisan Minorities in Virginia" by Brent Tarter – Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Learn more.
Banner Lecture: "Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine" by Kelley Fanto Deetz – Thursday, February 27, 2020 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Learn more.
Determined will be highlighted in a special family gallery guide, school tours, teacher resource packets, onsite and online teachers institutes, and other programming suitable for young people. There will also be a designated area for contemplation, study, and conversation.
The committee consists of 12 scholars, museum professionals, and civic leaders who bring a diverse range of expertise on black American and Virginia history to the project. Learn more about the committee.
Conrad and Peggy Hall
Mr. and Mrs. G. Gilmer Minor III
University of Richmond
University of Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia State University
Virginia Union University
The museum entrance may be impacted by construction. Click here for up-to-date information about where to enter the building.