See artifacts, hear civil rights stories and listen to music through the lens of these African American Museums.
African American history is often misrepresented or goes unknown by many. Now, that the National Museum of African American History and Culture is on everyone’s bucket list to visit, what about the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati? Or other African American museums around the United States? Here are African American Museums to visit and learn about the richness and diversity of our culture. The information in this article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information prior to acting.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding for the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham.
George W. Carver Interpretive Museum
Dothan, Alabama 36303
Since 2000, when Visionary and Founder: Dr. Francina Williams turned what used to be Dothan’s bus station into a thriving Museum, The Carver has served as a rich source of African-American History. In honor of Dr. Carver’s achievements, The Carver Museum not only provides Tours to the public, but we encourage science exploration in our Discovery Zone; a place of excitement and hands-on learning for students’ Pre-K to 12th Grade.
National Memorial for Peace & Justice
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened to the public on April 26, 2018, is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.
National Voting Rights Museum and Institute
Selma, Alabama 36701
Located in the Historic District of Selma, Alabama at the foot of the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, the scene of “Bloody Sunday,” the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute is the cornerstone of the contemporary struggle for voting rights and human dignity.
California African American Museum
Los Angeles, California 90037
Founded in 1977, this is the first African American museum of art, history, and culture fully supported by a state, CAAM was the direct result of a sustained, multiyear campaign of activism undertaken by visionary founders and community members.
Museum of the African Diaspora
San Francisco, California 94105
The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is based in San Francisco Bay Area, featuring African Diaspora culture and on presenting the rich cultural heritage of the people of Africa and African descendant cultures across the globe.
Black American West Museum
Denver, Colorado 80205
The Black American West Museum & Cultural Center (BAWM) was originally founded to tell the story of “Black Cowboys.” The museum has widened its scope and tells the “stories” of those early Blacks who came west and performed as miners, soldiers, homesteader, ranchers, blacksmiths, schoolteachers and lawmen.
District of Columbia
National Museum of African American History and Culture
NW Washington, DC 20560
Evansville African American Museum continues to develop a resource and cultural center to collect, preserve, and educate the public on the history and traditions of African American families, organizations, and communities.
The HBCU Museum
NW Washington, DC 20012
This museum not only highlights the accomplishments of Historically Black Colleges & Universities, but some of their most accomplished graduates.
John G. Riley House & Museum
Tallahassee, FL 32301
The John Gilmore Riley Center/Museum for African American History & Culture, Inc. is a historical and cultural gem that sits at the bottom of a hill in downtown Tallahassee, at the corner of Meridian and Jefferson Streets.
African-American Panoramic Experience Museum
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
The APEX Museum is the only museum in Metropolitan Atlanta solely dedicated to telling the rich and often untold story of people of the African Diaspora. The name APEX is an acronym for African American Panoramic Experience, and thus provides visitors with a complete view of African and African American history and culture.
Center for Civil & Human Rights
Atlanta, Georgia 30313
The Center was first imagined by civil rights legends Evelyn Lowery and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and was launched by former Mayor Shirley Franklin. The effort gained broad-based corporate and community support to become one of the few places in the world educating visitors on the bridge between the American Civil Rights Movement and the contemporary struggle for Human Rights around the world.
DuSable Museum of African American History
Chicago, Illinois 60637
DuSable Museum of African American History promotes understanding and inspire an appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs, and activities that illustrate African and African American history, culture and art.
Pullman Porter Museum
Chicago, Illinois 60628
The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is a 501(c) 3 cultural institution. The Museum’s purpose is to promote, honor and celebrate the legacy of A. Philip Randolph, Pullman Porters the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and contributions made by African-Americans to America’s labor movement; with a significant focus on the African American Railroad, Employee.
Evansville African American Museum
Evansville, Indiana 47713
The mission of the Evansville African American Museum is to continually develop a resource and cultural center to collect, preserve, and educate the public on the history and traditions of African American families, organizations, and communities.
Madam Walker Legacy Center
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
The MWLC seeks to empower, educate and entertain and uses its historic building as a venue for celebrating cultural diversity, rich heritage and cultural traditions, primarily through art from the African-American perspective.
African American Museum of Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The African American Museum of Iowa is a statewide museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and teaching Iowa’s African American history.
Muhammad Ali Center
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
The Center’s three levels of award-winning exhibits and galleries invite visitors to explore Muhammad Ali’s legendary life, as well as to reflect upon one’s own individual values, inner strength, character, and what makes you the greatest person you can be.
Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum
Hammond, Louisiana 70403
Welcome to the Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum. Since we opened our doors in February of 2007, thousands of people have visited our museum to learn more about our African American Heritage. We have a comprehensive collection of African-American murals, artifacts, photographs and artwork that tell our story.
New Orleans African American Museum
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, History and Culture (NOAAM) was founded in 1996 under the guidance and extensive support of the City of New Orleans Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development. NOAAM is located in the Tremé section of New Orleans, a neighborhood that was once home to the nation’s largest, most prosperous and politically progressive community of blacks by the mid-1850s.
Wallace, Louisiana 70049
In 2014, the Whitney Plantation opened its doors to the public for the first time in its 262-year history as the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery. Through museum exhibits, memorial artwork and restored buildings and hundreds of first-person slave narratives, visitors to Whitney will gain a unique perspective on the lives of Louisiana’s enslaved people.
Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Museum
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
The campus’s Frederick Douglass- Isaac Myers Maritime Museum is open to the public and chronicles the saga of Frederick Douglass’ life in Baltimore as an enslaved child and young man.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture Baltimore
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
The museum seeks to realize its mission by collecting, preserving, interpreting, documenting and exhibiting the rich contributions of African American Marylanders from the state’s earliest history to the present and the future.
The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
Baltimore, Maryland 21213
This unique museum, the first one of wax in Baltimore, Maryland and the first wax museum of African American history in the nation, is the brainchild of Drs. Elmer and Joanne Martin. They established the museum in 1983 with several objectives in mind: To stimulate an interest in African American history by revealing the little-known, often-neglected facts.
Museum of African American History
Nantucket and Boston, Maryland 02114
The Museum of African American History is a not-for-profit history institution that began its first exhibitions and public gatherings in 1963. It is nationally and internationally known for its collection of historic sites in Boston and Nantucket.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Detroit, Michigan 48201
The Wright Museum houses over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials and is home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, Coleman A. Young Collection and the Sheffield Collection, a repository of documents of the labor movement in Detroit.
Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum
Detroit, Michigan 48209
The National Museum of the Tuskegee Airmen represents the culmination of the efforts of many individuals. It provides a place not only to record the contributions of Americans to the defense of our Nation during a period in our history when they were not thought of as the equal of other citizens, but a place where all of the youth of America may come to acquire inspiration, counseling and assistance in achieving excellence in their own educational and career pursuits.
Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture
Natchez, Missouri 39120
Founded in 1716, Natchez offers a quality of life unlike any other in the Deep South. We are a certified retirement community and a certified main street community. Nationally known for our historic preservation, we are a premier cultural tourism destination, hosting some 700,000 visitors a year. Natchez is the oldest city on the Mississippi River and recipient of the prestigious federal designation as a Preserve America Community.
American Jazz Museum
Kansas City, Missouri
Located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films, the Changing Gallery exhibit space, Horace M. Peterson III Visitors Center, Blue Room jazz club and Gem Theater.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
The 18th & Vine historic district was the center for black culture and life in Kansas City from the late 1800s-1960s. It was the hub of activity for homeowners, business, jazz music, and baseball enthusiast. Just outside of the district stands the Paseo YMCA building, which was built like a black YMCA in 1914.
The Griot Museum of Black History
St. Louis, Missouri 63106
Only the second of its kind in the country, The Griot Museum of Black History opened as The Black World History Wax Museum in February 1997. The Griot uses life-size wax figures, other art, artifacts, and memorabilia to interpret the stories of African Americans with a regional connection who have contributed to our country’s development.
Harvey Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro-American Cultural Center) celebrates the contributions of Africans and African Americans to American culture and serves as a community epicenter for music, dance, theater, visual art, film, arts education programs, literature and community outreach.
International Civil Rights Center & Museum
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
The International Civil Rights Center & Museum is an archival center, collecting museum and teaching facility devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights. The Museum celebrates the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement.
Great Plains Black History Museum
Omaha, Nebraska, 68110
For the past 40 years, The Great Plains Black History Museum has been a striving institution dedicated to publicizing and preserving the achievements of the region’s vibrant African American heritage. The target audiences will include the general African-American community, regional residents, schoolchildren and tourists.
African Burial Ground Museum
New York, New York 10573
African Burial Ground is the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans. It protects the historical role slavery played in building New York City. The site honors both the spirit of those buried here and those who fought for the respectful protection of this site for this and future generations.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Since opening in 2004, it fills a substantial void in our nation’s cultural heritage. Rooted in the stories of the Underground Railroad, we illuminate the true meaning of inclusive freedom by presenting permanent and special exhibits that inspire, public programming that provokes dialogue and action, and educational resources that equip modern abolitionists.
The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center
Dayton, Ohio 45402
This home was established for the legacy of Funk music artist. It maintains Funk music memorabilia to educate the public.
National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center
Wilberforce, OH 45384
The museum is the permanent home of one of the nation’s largest collections of Afro-American materials, with over 9,000 artifacts and artwork, 350 manuscript collections, and thousands of photographs.
African American Museum of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Founded in 1976, the museum has objectively interpreted and presented the achievements and aspirations of African Americans from pre-colonial times to the current day. It is committed to telling the story of African Americans in all its permutations: family life, the Civil Rights movement, arts and entertainment, sports, medicine, architecture, politics, religion, law and technology.
The Colored Girls Museum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144
The Colored Girls Museum is a memoir museum, which honors the stories, experiences, and history of Colored Girls. The Colored Girls Museum is headquartered in the historic neighborhood of Germantown in Philadelphia, an area renowned for its compliment of historic buildings and homes.
August Wilson Center for African American Culture
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15222
Named for the Pulitzer-prize winning playwright August Wilson, the African American Cultural Center is a multi-purpose venue featuring three art galleries, live performance spaces, meeting areas, and unique educational classrooms for the young and old alike.
Old Slave Mart
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
The Old Slave Mart is a building located at 6 Chalmers Street in Charleston, South Carolina that once housed an antebellum slave auction gallery. Constructed in 1859, the building is believed to be the last extant slave auction facility in South Carolina.
Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum’s exhibition about the birth of rock and soul music, created by the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world.
National Civil Rights Museum
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Located in the historic art district of downtown Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum is the site of Martin Luther King’s assassination at the Lorraine Hotel on April 4, 1968. The exhibit follows the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000 and exists to show the impact of human rights movements.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Memphis, Tennessee 38126
Located on the original site of the Stax Records studio in Memphis, Tenn., the Stax Museum pays special tribute to the artists who recorded there, as well as other American soul legends, with a rare and amazing collection of more than 2,000 artifacts, interactive exhibits, films and galleries.
National Museum of African American Music
Nashville, Tennessee 37219
From classical to country to jazz and hip hop, this museum will integrate history and interactive technology to share the untold story of more than 50 music genres and subgenres. It is scheduled to open the summer of 2020.
African American Museum, Dallas
Dallas, Texas 75210
The African American Museum is an institution dedicated to the research, identification, selection, acquisition, presentation and preservation of visual art forms and historical documents that relate to the African American community.
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
Houston, Texas 77004
Buffalo Soldiers, comprised of former slaves, freedmen and Black Civil War soldiers, were the first to serve during peacetime. BSNM is the only museum in the country dedicated solely to preserve, promote and perpetuate the legacy of the brave men and women who fought, bled and died in defense of America.
Alexandria Black History Museum
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Alexandria Black History Museum documents the local and national history, culture and contributions of Black America. Inspire your group with an educational and immersive event focused on black history in Alexandria, the site of America’s first sin-in-strike and home to leaders of the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and more.
Northwest African American Museum
Seattle Washington, 98144
Cognizant of the black community’s continuous evolution, NAAM focuses on African Americans whose route to the new world was through slavery as well as recent immigrants arriving from places such as Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia.
No matter how young or old, everyone will walk away with a refreshed outlook and respect for the history of our culture. If there are any African American Museums to visit that we have missed, let us know at The Voice of Black Cincinnati.
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