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6 Must-Visit Museums For Black History

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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From New Orleans to Cincinnati, here are some of the best museums in the country to experience the rich and essential history of African-Americans through the decades.

African American Museum in Philadelphia

​The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) is the first institution built by a major United States city to house and interpret the life and work of African-Americans. The museum tells the story of African-Americans in all permutations: family life, the Civil Rights Movement, arts and entertainment, sports, medicine, architecture, politics, religion, law and technology. 

National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum at The Lorraine Motel in Memphis offers 260 artifacts, more than 40 new films, oral histories, interactive media and external listening posts that guide visitors through five centuries of American civil rights history. Being the location of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, a visit to this museum is as emotional as it is informative.

RELATED: How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned Baltimore, Maryland

The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute

According to their website, The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute is located in the Historic District of Selma, Alabama and is the cornerstone of the contemporary struggle for voting rights and human dignity. Their mission is to be a Museum and Institute that chronicles and preserves the historic journey for the right to vote that began when the “Founding Fathers” first planted the seeds of democracy in 1776.

New Orleans African American Museum

Providing visitors with “our history through the African American lens,” the New Orleans African American Museum is home to exquisite African beadwork, costumes, masks, textiles, musical instruments and divination objects as a major part of the museum’s permanent collection.


National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Located in downtown Cincinnati, the museum’s mission is to reveal stories of freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring everyone to take courageous steps of freedom today. Visitors join the celebration of the heroes who created the Underground Railroad, through exhibits, programs, group tours, and private events.

RELATED: How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned Cleveland, Ohio

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Washington D.C. is home to some of the best museums in the world, but a trip to The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a chance to discover rich and essential African American history. Covering the arts, slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, athletics, and much more, it’s a good thing that admission is free since multiple trips are necessary to experience it all. 

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