I wrote about 10 Museums in the U.S. Focused on African American History back in February and didn’t know how much great feedback I would get. In celebration of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opening this weekend, here’s a list of 10 more museums within the U.S. focused on African American History.
DuSable Museum of African American History – Chicago, IL
Founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs and other leaders in Chicago, the DuSable Museum of African American History was created to preserve and interpret experiences and achievements of people of African descent. The DuSable Museum contains more than 15,000 pieces that include paintings, sculpture, print works and historical memorabilia. The name originates from Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a Haitian of African and French descent, who in 1779 established the trading post and permanent settlement which would become known as Chicago. Learn more at DuSableMuseum.org.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – Birmingham, Alabama
Opened in 1992, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a museum and research center that showcases the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. It is located in the Civil Rights District, which includes the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, Fourth Avenue Business District, and Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. BCRI’s mission is to enlighten each generation about civil and human rights by exploring our common past and working together in the present to build a better future. Learn more at BCRI.org.
California African American Museum – Los Angeles, California
The California African American Museum opened to the public during the 1984 Olympic Games. CAAM’s mission is to research, collect, preserve, and interpret for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans with an emphasis on California and the western United States. Upcoming exhibits for this fall include:
- Politics, Race, and Propaganda: The Nazi Olympics, Berlin 1936 October 19, 2016–February 26, 2017
- Taking Place: Selections from the Permanent Collection October 19, 2016–February 26, 2017
- Hank Willis Thomas: Black Righteous Space July 7, 2016–February 19, 2017
- The Ease of Fiction October 19, 2016–February 26, 2017
- Genevieve Gaignard: Smell the Roses October 19, 2016–February 12, 2017
Learn more at CAAMuseum.org.
The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum – Washington, D.C.
I visited the The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum on my trip to DC back in 2015. Their mission is to tell the stories of the United States Colored Troops and African American involvement in the American Civil War. It is located directly across the street from the African American Civil War Memorial and admission is free for individuals and groups. Learn more at afroamcivilwar.org.
National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame – Fort Worth, TX
Originally named the National Cowboys of Color Museum, the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum was founded February 1, 2001 by Fort Worth, Texas, husband and wife team Jim and Gloria Austin. It acknowledges contributions of individuals of Hispanic, Native, European, Asian and African decent to the settlement in Western America. There is a Hall of Fame and permanent exhibits highlighting the Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen and more. Learn more at CowboysofColor.org.
George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center – Austin, TX
The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center offers gallery exhibits, programs, classes dedicated to collecting, preserving, and researching African-American historical and cultural material. The museum is owned and operated by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, History Arts Nature Division. Learn more about current exhibits at Carvermuseum.org.
African American Diversity Cultural Center Hawaii – Honolulu, HI
Until 1997, no institution had included the history about people of the African diaspora’s population in Hawaii. The African American Diversity Cultural Center Hawaii was created preserve the history of Hawaiian African early settlers and their descendants. Learn more at aadcch.org.
Old Slave Mart Museum – Charleston, SC
Built in 1859 and considered the last surviving slave auction gallery in South Carolina, The Old Slave Mart Museum is the first African-American Museum in the United States. It contains artifacts posters and items from the slave trade and many staff members often trace their history to be that of former slaves sold in this area. Learn more at OldSlaveMartMuseum.org.
Whitney Plantation – Wallace, LA
In 2014, the Whitney Plantation opened for the first time in its 262 year history. It is the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery and meant to pay homage to all slaves on the plantation. Learn more on WhitneyPlantation.com.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture – New York, NY
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a research library that consists of three connected buildings: The Schomburg Building, the Langston Hughes Building, and the Landmark Building. It also sponsors programs and events that promote and educate visitors on black history and culture. Visit their official site for more information.
If you know of any other historical sites or museums promoting African American history, please share them below.