Museum visitors begin their NMAAM journey in the Roots Theater with an introductory film presentation that gives an overview of west and central African cultures and the institution of slavery. The presentation focuses on the evolution of becoming African American, 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 presentation will also emphasize historical periods, such as Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, World Wars I and II, and the Harlem Renaissance, etc., and the impact they had on the development of these musical styles. The theater can also be used for film screenings, lectures, music performances and concerts.