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African American museums to visit and see artifacts, hear civil rights stories and more!


African American Museums can open your eyes to the actions and sacrifices of Black men and Black women from the Middle Passage through the slave trade and slavery, emancipation and citizenship, reconstruction and racism, the segregated South and the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights Eras, and efforts toward equality.

These museums document the African American experience in the United States and around the world. Persons of African descent and Whites heroically worked as abolitionists, activists and historians for the advancement of African American women, men and children.

The history of African Americans and Black Americans is often misrepresented or goes unknown by many. Visit an African American museum and learn about the richness and diversity of Black power and the American experience typically only highlighted during Black History Month.

The information in this article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information prior to acting.


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Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding of the significance of the Civil Rights Act and 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.


National Memorial for Peace & Justice
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
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
The cornerstone of the contemporary struggle for voting rights and human dignity located in the Historic District of Selma, Alabama at the foot of the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, the scene of Bloody Sunday.




California African American Museum
Los Angeles, California 90037
A sustained, multi-year campaign of activism undertaken by visionary founders and community members.


Museum of the African Diaspora
San Francisco, California 94105
Featuring African Diaspora culture and presenting the rich cultural heritage of the people of Africa and African descendant cultures across the globe.




Black American West Museum
Denver, Colorado 80205
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, homesteaders, ranchers, blacksmiths, schoolteachers and lawmen.



District of Columbia

National Museum of African American History and Culture
NW Washington, DC 20560
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
Highlights the accomplishments of Historically Black Colleges & Universities and some of their most accomplished graduates.




John G. Riley House & Museum
Tallahassee, FL 32301
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
Tells the rich and often untold story of people of the African Diaspora thus provides visitors with a complete view of African and African American history and culture.


Center for Civil & Human Rights
Atlanta, Georgia 30313
Educates 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
Promotes understanding and inspires 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
Promotes, honors and celebrates 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
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
Empowers, educates, entertains 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
A statewide museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and teaching Iowa’s African American history.




Muhammad Ali Center
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
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
A comprehensive collection of African American murals, artifacts, photographs and artwork that tell our story.


New Orleans African American Museum
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Once home to the nation’s largest, most prosperous and politically progressive community of blacks by the mid-1850s.


Whitney Plantation
Wallace, Louisiana 70049
The only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery with exhibits, memorial artwork and restored buildings and hundreds of first-person slave narratives. Visitors will gain a unique perspective on the lives of Louisiana’s enslaved people.




Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Museum
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
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
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
The first wax museum of African American history in the nation that stimulates an interest in African American history by revealing the little-known, often-neglected facts.


Museum of African American History
Nantucket and Boston, Maryland 02114
Nationally and internationally known for its collection of historic sites in Boston and Nantucket.



Related to African American Museums to Visit: OTR Cincinnati and the recurring history of racial tensions and economic divide.




Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Detroit, Michigan 48201
More than 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
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 and where all 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
A certified retirement community and main street community known for historic preservation


American Jazz Museum
Kansas City, Missouri
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 to1960s. It was the hub of activity for homeowners, businesses, 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
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.



North Carolina

Harvey Gantt Center for African American Arts & Culture
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
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
An archival center, collecting museum and teaching facility devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights that 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
Dedicated to publicizing and preserving the achievements of the region’s vibrant African American heritage.



New York

African Burial Ground Museum
New York, New York 10573
The oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans honoring 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
Rooted in the stories of the Underground Railroad – Illuminates 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 artists and memorabilia to educate the public.


National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center
Wilberforce, OH 45384
The permanent home of one of the nation’s largest collections of Afro-American materials with more than 9,000 artifacts and artwork, 350 manuscript collections, and thousands of photographs.




African American Museum of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Objectively interpreted and presented the achievements and aspirations of African Americans from pre-colonial times to the current day and committed to telling the story 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
A memoir museum, which honors the stories, experiences, and history of Colored Girls.


August Wilson Center for African American Culture
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
A multi-purpose venue featuring three art galleries, live performance spaces, meeting areas, and unique educational classrooms for the young and old alike.



South Carolina

Old Slave Mart
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
The building is believed to be the last extant slave auction facility in South Carolina that once housed an antebellum slave auction gallery.




Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
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
The site of Martin Luther King’s assassination at the Lorraine Hotel on April 4, 1968, with an exhibit that 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
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.




African American Museum, Dallas
Dallas, Texas 75210
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
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
Documents the local and national history, culture and contributions of Black America at 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
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.



Related to African American Museums to Visit: Public Art and History Tours for African Americans in Cincinnati



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.


African American Museums to Visit photo provided by © [rocketclips] /Adobe Stock

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Crystal Kendrick

Written by Crystal Kendrick

Publisher, The Voice of Black Cincinnati