Friday, February 24, 2023; 1pm

President Lincoln’s Cottage is proud to partner with the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) for our annual Black History Month Program. This year’s program will feature Christopher W. Wilson, Director of Experience Design at the National Museum of American History.

The Black History Month Theme for 2023 speaks to the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected. African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression since arrival upon these shores. These efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond the United States political jurisdiction. Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. They have sought ways to nurture and protect Black lives, and for autonomy of their physical and intellectual bodies through armed resistance, voluntary emigration, nonviolence, education, literature, sports, media, and legislation/politics. Black led institutions and affiliations have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success.

Join us at the Armed Forces Retirement Home for a commemoration of this important history, where Christopher Wilson will speak to his team’s work preserving and sharing with the public icons of Black resistance like the Greensboro Lunch Counter.


Please check-in and gather in the atrium of the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage at 12:30 pm. The program will be held in the Scott Building of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, and members of the public will walk over together. The program will begin promptly at 1:00 pm. Masks are required for visitors 3 years of age and older.


Christopher W. Wilson is Director of Experience Design at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where his team oversees the Museum’s daily program and visitor experience. Chris joined the Smithsonian Institution in 2004 to direct the Program in African American Culture History and Culture. In 2008, Chris began overseeing general interpretive programs and founded several major program series including the Museum’s award-winning interactive theater programs, the National Youth Summit, and the History Film Forum. As a scholar, Chris studies the Civil Rights Movement and has worked on several exhibitions including Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life, American Democracy, and The Greensboro Lunch Counter. His articles have appeared in publications such as Smithsonian Magazine, The American Historian, Time, and Zocalo Public Square. Chris worked on programs and exhibitions for eighteen years at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, before coming to the Smithsonian. He holds a B. A. in history and English from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in history from Wayne State University. He completed the Smithsonian’s Palmer Leadership Development Program and has taught in the Museum Studies Program at the Harvard University Extension School. Chris was honored in 2021 with Wayne State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award.