The recent events of civil unrest and public outcry against police brutality and racism against the African American community have made me reflect. The response to amplify melanated voices made me realize that there are so many people that don’t know much about Black culture. So I pulled together this list of Black culture attractions from across the United States with the hopes that the more we learn about one another, the less we’ll have to fear.
As a current Louisvillian, I often take for granted that The Ali Center sits right here in my backyard. The Center's museum captures the inspiration derived from the story of Muhammad Ali’s incredible life and the six core principles that have fueled his journey.
Indianapolis, IN - No matter what you may have thought about the Netflix documentary Self-Made, Madam C.J. Walker was a trailblazer in entrepreneurship within the Black community. The Madam Walker Legacy Center resides in the original building where her beauty product line was manufactured and features the historic Walker Theatre.
Kansas City, MO - The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America. The museum is located in the historic 18th and Vine District just a few blocks from the Paseo YMCA where Andrew "Rube" Foster created the Negro Leagues.
Kansas City, MO - The American Jazz Museum celebrates the experience of jazz as an original American art form through performance, exhibition, education, and research at one of the country's jazz crossroads in the historic 18th and Vine District. The museum shares physical space with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Your favorite artists' favorite artist was more than likely influenced by the music that was created at Hitsville USA under the leadership of Berry Gordy. Visitors come to the Motown Museum from all over the world to stand in Studio A, where their favorite artists developed the "Motown Sound" and to view the restored upper flat where Berry Gordy, Jr. lived during the company’s earliest days.
St. Louis, MO - While I've tried to stay away from slavery in this post, I've included The Old Courthouse Museum for a few reasons. It houses the courtrooms where the Dred Scott case - an enslaved man who was freed but forced to fight his case in court to maintain his freedom - was tried in the 1800s. It is listed in the National Park Service's National Underground Railroad Network To Freedom and shares the history of slavery in American cities and non-rural areas.
Atlanta, GA - The King Center for Non-Violent Social Change is the official institution dedicated to preserving the memory and promoting the teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Located near the boyhood home of Dr. King and encompassing the Ebenezer Baptist Church the center is a true living legacy to his mission and life's work.
Memphis, TN - The National Civil Rights Museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Through interactive exhibits and historic collections, the museum offers visitors a chance to walk through history and learn more about a tumultuous and inspiring period of change.
Birmingham AL - Located across from the 16th Street Baptist Church the Birmingham Civil rights Institute is dedicated to enlightening each generation about civil and human rights by exploring our common past and working together in the present to build a better future.
Birmingham, AL - The 1963 Birmingham church bombing that infamously killed 4 little girls - Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carol Denise McNair, and Carole Robertson - occurred at the 16th Street Baptist Church. Although the church still functions as a worship center, tours are available for those wishing to visit.
Greensboro, NC - In February 1960 four North Carolina A&T students sat down at a "whites only" lunch counter in Woolworth's and ignited the National Sit-Ins Movement. the International Civil Rights Center & Museum was built around the original Woolworth's Lunch Counter where those sit-ins began.
Washington D.C. - In the heart of the National Mall, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest museum of the Smithsonian Institute. Give yourself several hours to visit, or choose specifically which parts of the seven floors in the museum you will visit.
Newtonville, NJ - My friend Jennifer over at Jersey Family Fun shares her experience visiting the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey with her family. Started from one man's personal collection of historical items, the museum has become the go-to source for African-American history in the area.
Baltimore, MD - Located in the heart of Downtown Baltimore, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture is the premier experience and best resource for information and inspiration about the lives of African American Marylanders. Our Exhibits explore local African-American heritage through themes of family, community, slavery & art.
What Black culture attractions have you visited with your family? Which ones have I missed?