The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Don’t miss these four elements at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened right in the midst of an impassioned nationwide conversation about race. Deepen your understanding of the issues as you wander the museum’s 10 floors, checking off these four must-sees.

1. History in a Day

Selma director Ava DuVernay’s short film August 28: A Day in the Life of a People, was made for the museum and focuses on six key events in black history that occurred on that date, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

2. Pop Icons We Miss

Commemorating black musicians the country has lost, one exhibit displays Whitney Houston’s American Music Award, Prince’s tambourine, and Parliament Funkadelic’s 1,500-pound Mothership prop from their P. Funk Earth Tour.

3. Go for the Gold

The sports exhibit is, in part, an archive of star-spangled Olympic moments. Track and field legend Carl Lewis donated his eight gold medals, and gymnast Gabby Douglas donated the grips she used on her uneven bar routine at the 2012 games.

4. What's Now

Even before it opened, the museum held a symposium on the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, there’s a gallery dedicated to it, as well as spaces throughout the museum that will change frequently in reaction to current events.

>>Next: Design-Minded Hotels