Here are 25 Black History Museums and Educational Centers in America and Six in Canada


February is Black History Month, whose origins date back to the creation of Black History Week in 1926.

Harvard University-educated African-American historian Carter G. Woodson can be credited with initiating this event when he proposed setting aside time to honor the achievements of African Americans and raise awareness about black history in the United States.

Black history celebrations began in Canada shortly thereafter and the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in the country in December 1995 following a motion by the first black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, Jean Augustine.

A number of black history museums and educational centers have been established over the years, and they can also be visited the other 11 months of the year.

Here are 25 in the United States:

Alexandria Black History Museum, Alexandria, Virginia.

Alexandria Black History Museumis to foster tolerance and understanding among all cultures and to foster appreciation for the diversity of the African-American experience. It includes a museum, a reading room and a heritage park.

APEX Museum, Atlanta, Ga.

APEX Museum was founded in 1978 with a mission to interpret and present history from an African American perspective in order to help people better understand and appreciate the contributions of African Americans to their country and the world.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a cultural and educational research center which opened in 1992. It provides programs and services while promoting understanding of the significance of the evolution of civil rights in Birmingham.

Virginia Black History Museum and Cultural Center, Richmond, Virginia.

Virginia Black History Museum and Cultural Center was founded in 1981 and celebrates the culture, stories and contributions of African Americans in Virginia.

National Buffalo Soldiers Museum, Houston, Texas

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum is dedicated to exploring and displaying the stories and contributions of African Americans in the military through performing and visual arts, educational programs, and exhibits.

African American Museum of California, Los Angeles, CA.

California African American Museum was founded in 1977 as the first fully state-supported African-American museum of art, history, and culture. Its 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.

Great Plains Black History Museum, Omaha, Neb.

Great Plains Black History Museum has a mission to preserve, educate, and exhibit the contributions and achievements of African Americans, with an emphasis on the Great Plains region, providing a space to learn, explore, and reflect.

The Griot Museum of Black History, St. Louis, Mo.

The Griot Museum of Black History collects, preserves, interprets, and shares Black stories, culture, and history, with particular emphasis on their regional connection to American history. It includes main exhibitions, traveling shows and public programs.

International Civil Rights Center and Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina

International Civil Rights Center and Museum opened in 2010 as a museum of the civil rights movement in the United States and an educational organization dedicated to understanding and promoting civil and human rights in the United States and around the world.

Jack Hadley Black History Museum, Thomasville, Ga.

Jack Hadley Black History Museum opened in 2006 and features nearly 5,000 Black History artifacts dating from pre-slavery to the present day.

The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration and National Peace and Justice Memorial, Montgomery, Ala.

The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration provides a history of the United States with a focus on the legacy of slavery through interactive content, films, images, and first-person narratives. Nearby is The National Memorial for Peace and Justicewhich opened in 2018 as the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of black people enslaved and terrorized by lynching, humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow laws, and burdened by contemporary presumptions of guilt and police brutality.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Little Rock, Ark.

Templar Mosaic Cultural Center was established in 2001 as the Arkansas Heritage Museum to honor the history of America’s Mosaic Knights Templar and all of the state’s African American history. The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the African American experience in Arkansas.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Ga.

the National Center for Civil and Human Rightswhich opened in 2014, is a museum and human rights organization offering immersive exhibitions, events, conversations, engagement and education/training programs.

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tenn.

the National Civil Rights Museum was established in 1991 in the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Through interactive exhibits, historical collections, speakers and events specials, the museum shares the culture and lessons of the American Civil Rights Movement and explores how it continues to shape equality and freedom on a global scale.

The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore, Maryland.

The National Museum of Great Wax Blacks was established in 1983 and is dedicated to the study and preservation of African American history through the presentation of life-size, realistic wax figures highlighting historical and contemporary figures of African descent.

National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC

National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in 2003 and is dedicated exclusively to documenting African American life, history, and culture. It has over 36,000 artifacts.

National Museum of African American Music, Nashville, Tenn.

National Museum of African American Music opened in 2020 and is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the many musical genres created, influenced and inspired by African Americans by integrating history and interactive technology.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in 2004 to pursue inclusive freedom by promoting social justice for all, building on the principles of the Underground Railroad network of secret routes and safe havens used by enslaved African Americans primarily for escape to free states and Canada. It offers permanent and changing exhibitions and public programs.

National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, Selma, Ala.

National Voting Rights Museum and Institute exhibits materials and artifacts from the struggle for the right to vote in the United States. It provides research forums, participates in community action, and makes presentations that impact or support voting rights issues.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Missouri.

Black League Baseball Museum opened in 1990 and is the only museum in the world dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of the United States

African American Museum of New Orleans, New Orleans, La.

African American Museum of New Orleans was founded in 1996 with a mission to preserve the history and elevate the art, culture, and contributions of African Americans in New Orleans and the African Diaspora.

African American Museum of the Northwest, Seattle, Wash.

Northwest African American Museum opened in 2008 with a mission to spread knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the stories, arts and cultures of people of African descent. It studies and celebrates the experiences of black people in the United States through exhibitions, programs and events.

The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NY

The Studio Museum in Harlem is a connection between artists of African descent and work inspired and influenced by black culture. It is a place to exchange ideas about art and society.

Weeksville Heritage Center, New York, NY

Weeksville Heritage Center is a historic site and cultural center in Brooklyn that uses education, the arts, and a social justice lens to preserve, document, and inspire engagement with the history of Weeksville, one of the largest free black communities in America before the Civil War.

Whitney Plantation, Wallace, Louisiana.

Whitney Plantation opened to the public as a museum in 2014 to educate the public about the history of slavery and its legacies. The former sugar cane plantation is the only museum in Louisiana to focus exclusively on the history and life of slaves.

Here are six Canadian Black History museums and educational centers:

Amherstburg Liberty Museum, Amherstburg, Ont.

Amherstburg Liberty Museumfounded in 1975, is a non-profit community museum that tells the story and contributions of African Canadians.

Nova Scotia Black Cultural Centre, Cherry Brook, NS

Nova Scotia Black Cultural Center was established in 1983 to protect, preserve and promote the history and culture of African Nova Scotians. The center is a museum and cultural gathering place where the history of Canada’s oldest black communities can be discovered and explored.

Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum, Chatham, Ont.

Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum recognizes the excellence achieved by members of the black community in various disciplines such as the arts, medicine, sports and music. It also highlights the struggles and successes of the civil rights struggle.

John Freeman Walls Historic Site and Underground Railroad Museum, Lakeshore, ON.

John Freeman Walls Historic Site and Underground Railroad Museum features artifacts that recall the cruelty of slavery and the creative measures taken to secretly transport and hide people from hunters. The eight-hectare property also has a cemetery and a walkway that recreates the conditions freedom seekers experienced while fleeing tracker dogs and hunters.

Sheffield Park Black History Museum, Clarksburg, Ont.

Sheffield Park Black History Museum includes artifacts that reflect the life and times of pioneers, the social networking of a community, and the preservation of past generations.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site, Dresden, ON.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site recognizes the achievements of slavery abolitionist Josiah Henson through interpretive videos, interactive exhibits, artifacts and tours that reflect the Black experience in Canada. The two-hectare site includes the Josiah Henson Interpretive Center, with its Underground Railroad Freedom Gallery and North Star Theater, as well as three historic buildings, two cemeteries and a sawmill that have been preserved as heirlooms.


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