For over 400 years, descendants of African slaves have helped build the history of the United States of America alongside immigrants from other lands. For many reasons those accomplishments are only highlighted to the general public during Black History Month, which is in February. However there are many monuments, museums and locations that highlight African-American accomplishments on a daily basis. And it’s my goal to help introduce my readers to some of the best Black history museums around the US.
Over the next few years as I’m traveling I’ll be looking for museums that are specifically geared towards celebrating African-American life past and present. Here are some of the ones that I’m planning on visiting:
National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN
Located at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museum traces the civil rights movement in the United States. The museum also includes motor vehicles that are significant to the Black civil rights movement including a replica of a Greyhound bus ridden by Freedom Riders and a garbage truck that represents the sanitation strike that brought Dr. King to Memphis.
Hurston Museum, Eatonville, FL
An art museum named after author Zora Neale Hurston and located in the one of the first all-Black incorporated towns in the US. Containing information about the history of Eatonville, the Hurston also hosts quarterly exhibits dedicated to up and coming artists.
African Burial Ground National Monument, New York City, NY
Located in the heart of New York City, the African Burial Ground is the largest known burial ground of Africans, both free and enslaved. Found during construction work on a building in 1991, the national monument offers an indoor exhibit and an outdoor memorial to those souls who were buried there.
Laura Plantation, Vacherie, LA
A part of Louisiana’s Creole Heritage tour, Laura Plantation follows the life of a Creole family and includes authentic plantation tours and an authentic slave cabin.
John G. Riley House & Museum, Tallahassee, FL
Born a slave and by the time he died was a millionaire – the life of John G. Riley represents the Black middle class that was in Tallahassee, the capitol of Florida, in the early 1900’s. The Riley House also offers a tour of Tallahassee’s Landmarks and Legacies.
You might be thinking “well she didn’t list the most famous Black history museum in the us; the African-American Smithsonian that opened recently in Washington, DC’. You’re correct – I didn’t list it because I’ve already had the pleasure of visiting it! While I’d love to go back one day, it’s not currently on my list. If you want to hear how my trip was, you can read about it here.
Do you know of or have you visited any Black history museums in the United States that you think I should visit? Share them in the comments below. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to follow our adventures.