Kevin Young Named as New Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Kevin Young, who is currently the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, has been named the new director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He will begin his new role in January.

Kevin YoungKevin Young

Young is a poet, author, essayist, and editor at The New Yorker magazine. This fall, he will publish African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song.

During his time at the Schomburg, Young secured several high-profile acquisitions, including the archives of Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin, among many others, and the manuscript of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, including a once-lost chapter. He also raised $10 million in grants and donations, and continued the popular Black Comic Book Festival.

“I look forward to directing the National Museum of African American History and Culture in this next phase of leadership, after its founding, opening and dynamic exhibitions and events,” said Young. “Having visited the museum myself with my family, I know what a powerful place it is, transforming visitors both in-person and online, and revealing the centrality of African American culture to the American experience. I am eager to engage further directions in the museum’s mission, embracing our digital present and future while furthering conversations around Black history, art, liberation and joy.”