Learn more about your heritage with these Cincinnati Black historic sites.
Cincinnati played a considerable part in abolitionism. In the 1800s, African Americans came to the area. The Black community was attracted to jobs considered unfavorable to most other groups.
A significant influx of free African Americans, newly freed slaves, and escaped slaves found Cincinnati appealing. This means there are Cincinnati Black historic sites everyone living in or visiting the city should see.
Everyone can delve into rich African American history. Visitors do not have to wait for Black history month. Check out these historic sites today!
Cincinnati Black Historic Sites
7080 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45237 (Bond Hill)
Allen Temple AME Church is the oldest operating African American church since 1984. The mission was to provide more freedom and autonomy for worship for Blacks. Done so while influencing positive change toward racial equality and community empowerment.
8 W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (The Banks)
The Black Brigade was formed in 1862 to construct barricades to defend Cincinnati from Confederate attacks. Initially, members of the Black Brigade were forced into service. Then, after a public outcry, 718 African-American men volunteered for the service and formed The Black Brigade. This was the first piece of public art commissioned in Smale Riverfront Park.
Riverfront Transit Center, underneath 2nd Street (The Banks)
The Walnut Hills High School graduate grew up in Avondale. William DeHart Hubbard was the first Black athlete to win an individual Olympic gold medal. In the 1924 games, Hubbard won gold in the long jump, and then the following year, set the world record. Hubbard also founded the Cincinnati Tigers, a Negro League baseball team, in 1934.
500 Ezzard Charles Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45214 (The West End)
Ezzard Charles is a Cincinnati legend. More than a Heavyweight Champion of the World, Ezzard Charles was a West End resident, entrepreneur, and Renaissance man. He was permanently recognized with a bronze statue and plaza commemorating his life and legacy.
2950 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45206 (Walnut Hills)
Harriet Beecher Stowe and her husband were involved in anti-slavery movements and occasionally assisted fugitive slaves along the Underground Railroad.
Related Article: Public Art and History Tours for African Americans in Cincinnati
Riverside Drive, Covington, KY 41011 (Covington)
A bronze statue of James Bradley sitting on a park bench, reading a book, overlooks the Ohio River in Covington. It’s a contemplative piece by sculptor George Danhires as part of Cincinnati’s bicentennial in 1988.
300 N Front Street, Ripley, OH (Ripley)
John P. Parker was among the first African Americans to receive patents for his inventions at the foundry. Parker became an active member of the Underground Railroad in Ripley from his house on the Ohio River.
6152 Rankin Hill Road, Ripley, OH (Ripley)
Learn how the Rankin family and nearby communities helped the enslaved find freedom. Step inside one of Ohio’s best-documented and most active Underground Railroad “stations.”
1540 Brewster Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45207 (Evanston)
King Records recorded in hillbilly/Appalachian folk, bluegrass, country, jazz, doo-wop, R&B, funk, and soul. Some of King Records’ most notable recording artists and associated acts include James Brown, Lula Reed, Hank Ballard, Vicki Anderson, Bootsy Collins, Phillip Paul, and the Delmore Brothers. King Records was one of the first racially integrated businesses in Cincinnati.
8 W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (The Banks)
Marian Spencer was the first African American woman elected to the Cincinnati City Council. She worked with the Board of Education to desegregate schools. She led the boycott and demonstrations that resulted in Cincinnati’s Coney Island’s desegregation in 1955. Mrs. Spencer was the first female president of the Cincinnati NAACP chapter.
50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (The Banks)
Rooted in the stories of the Underground Railroad, the Freedom Center illuminates the true meaning of inclusive freedom. It presents exhibits that inspire, programming that provokes dialogue and action, and educational resources that equip.
Related Article: Explore Black History in Kentucky.
316 Pike Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (Downtown)
The Taft Museum has the most impressive murals painted in 1843 by Robert Scott Duncanson. He is the first internationally recognized African American painter. The still-running Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Program was established in 1986. The program honors the achievements of contemporary African American artists working in various disciplines.
2920 Monfort Street, Cincinnati, OH 45206 (Walnut Hills)
The Manse Hotel accommodated African American people and events when African Americans were not allowed to stay in other Downtown hotels because of racial segregation. The Manse Hotel was listed in The Negro Motorist Green Book from the 1940s through the 1960s. It has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since August 8, 2019. It had a $13.2 million refurbishment before becoming the Manse Apartments in 2021.
Duck Creek Road and Strathmore Drive, Cincinnati, OH (Madisonville)
This cemetery is said to be the oldest African American cemetery. It was founded in 1844 by the United Colored American Association. The United Colored Association’s early officers included Robert Gordon. He was a former slave who came to Cincinnati in 1847 and became a wealthy coal dealer.
4933 Cleves Warsaw Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45238 (Price Hill)
The cemetery is the oldest Baptist African-American cemetery in Cincinnati, founded in 1864 by members of the Union Baptist Church.
80 W State Street, Springboro, OH 45066 (Springboro)
Jonathan Wright founded the Jonathan Wright Home in 1815. It was built as an Underground Rail Road site and now is a Bed and Breakfast.
Related Article: African American museums to visit across the country.
Black Cincinnatians can bring more attention to these sites by visiting. Also, talk to senior relatives and see what they know. Please let us know if we have missed any standing sites at The Voice of Black Cincinnati.
Need more historical sites? Check out these Ohio Historical Attractions that pay homage to the state’s rich heritage. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources also offers a collection of historic locations.
Black History Resources
Interested in learning more about Cincinnati’s Black History? Check out the following Black History resources:
Written by: Crystal Kendrick
The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.
Cincinnati Black Historic Sites Images provided by © [MCStock] /Adobe Stock.