Tsione Wolde-Michael is a Curator of African American Social Justice History at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Her work focuses on creating innovative approaches to community engagement, collections management, heritage preservation, and exhibitions including the landmark Slavery and Freedom show at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Her international work through the Slave Wreck’s Project has included assignments in South Africa and Mozambique to recover first-known objects from underwater slave ship wrecks and work with local public history institutions to reinterpret colonial collections. Tsione’s decade-long experience in the field of public history also extends to digital media and online exhibitions, curating visual art, writing for academic publications, teaching, and lecturing around the country. Her current projects include a special joint Smithsonian-wide initiative to document the history of the Black Lives Matter movement. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Women and Gender Studies from Macalester College and a master’s degree in History from Harvard University, where she is a Ph.D. Candidate in the same field.
“In order to create transformative change we must reckon with our collective past. How we choose to remember that history, reproduce it, and/or contest it in public space matters.”
Learn more about Tsione’s Landecker Democracy Fellowship project here.
Updated June 2021
More from Tsione Wolde-Michael
Monumental Histories Workshop Boasts Success and Inspiration
2020 Landecker Democracy Fellow, Tsione Wolde-Michael, hosted a workshop called Monumental Histories: Black Archival Practice and the Interpretation of Racist Visual Culture.
Tsione Wolde-Michael: Reckoning with Remembrance
Landecker Fellow Tsione Wolde-Michael co-wrote an article entitled “Excluding Black Americans from our history has proved deadly” on The Washington Post.
When Black History Is Unearthed, Who Speaks for the Dead?
Landecker Democracy Fellow Tsione Wolde-Michael works to build restorative justice-based structures in history through her work. She was recently quoted in the New Yorker.
Landecker Fellow Tsione Wolde-Michael brings Emmett Till marker to the Smithsonian
Landecker Fellow Tsione Wolde-Michael helps to steward the bullet-ridden commemorative marker of Emmett Till to the Smithsonian to tell the story of both.
Op-Ed: We Should Think Differently About the Preservation of Racist Monuments
Landecker Fellow Tsione Wolde-Michael wrote an Op-Ed about the preservation of racist monuments in the United States.Tsione describes the different considerations that curators need to think about when deciding which pieces to not only acquire but conserve.
Monumental Histories: Black Archival Practice and the Interpretation of Racist Visual Culture
Landecker Democracy Fellow Tsione Wolde-Michael is a Curator of African American Social Justice History at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. This project will engage young archaeologists, community members, and local activists to creatively address the current challenges and strategically diversify the field of heritage work.
How D.C.’s Museums Plan to Preserve the New Era of Protest
In this interview with Atlas Obscura, Senior Fellow Tsione Wolde-Michael discusses how museums in Washington D.C. are documenting protests in the wake of George Floyd's murder, as they happen.
Shaping Preferential Treatment Policies without Race: The Case of Admission to Elite Institutions of Higher Education In France
Tsione Wolde-Michael wrote Shaping Preferencial Treatment Policies without Race: The Case of Admission to Elite Institutions of Higher Education In France as part of the 2014 Humanity in Action Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship.
Announcing the 2014 Diplomacy and Diversity Fellows
Behind the Scenes at the NMAAHC
Senior Fellow Tsione Wolde-Michael co-curates an exhibit at the newly opened National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C.