Roots Theater


Immersive Film Experiences

Museum visitors begin their NMAAM journey in the Roots Theater with an introductory film that gives an overview of west and central African cultures and the institution of slavery. The presentation focuses on the evolution of African American culture, with specific emphasis on the creation of new music traditions – spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, R&B, and hip hop – that are distinctly African American in nature. The film also emphasizes historical periods, such as Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, World Wars I and II, and the Harlem Renaissance, and the impact they had on the development of these musical styles.

The Roots Theater hosts film screenings, lectures, music performances, and concerts.