The 5 Black History Museums Across the U.S You Should Visit

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Black Americans have endured racial violence over the years, a brutal history of slavery, and the pervasive Jim Crow anti-black system in the Southern States of the United States. 

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Many Black history museums provide the most compelling and inventive accounts of African American history and experiences. And most of these museums exalt the literary contributions, research, achievements, and traditions of African American individuals and communities. They prove that African Americans have come a long way in the United States. 

As such, this article enumerates some of the most impressive Black history museums you should visit soon for better enlightenment on Black history.

5 Best Black History Museums to Visit in the US

  1. Whitney Plantation, Wallace, Louisiana
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Source: “Whitney Plantation-9445” by MSMcCarthy Photography is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Louisiana is one of many Southern states smeared with a dominant slave history because of its involvement in the demand for enslaved people in 1793. The Whitney Plantation is located in Wallace, Louisiana, and became a public museum in December 2014.

John Cummings (a New Orleans trial attorney) purchased the plantation for real estate exploits, but the dilapidated site became a rare Black History museum focused on slavery.

The plantation lays bare the servitude history in Louisiana and covers many grounds where enslaved people cultivated sugar and rice in the 18th and 19th centuries for their slave masters. The Whitney Plantation offers visitors the chance to tour several slave cabins and holding homes, providing an opportunity to learn about Black history.

  1. National Civil Rights Museum Memphis, Tennessee

The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis is a history museum located a few yards away from the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

The museum houses hundreds of black artifacts, videos, oral histories, etc., detailing the harrowing  Black American experience from slavery to life under Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement.

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  1. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Ohio
black-history-museums
Source: “Bristolville Civil War Monument” by Jack W. Pearce is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located at the banks of the Ohio river, right where several slave refugees crossed during their flight to freedom.

The center showcases different videos detailing the slavery experience of Black people, especially a large building exhibit that served as a holding pen for the enslaved people.

  1. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Missouri
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Source: “Jazz/Negro League Museum” by ChrisM70 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) was established in 1990 by local historians and ex-baseball players. Until 1997 and under the leadership of its late chairman, John “Buck” O’Neil, the NLBM operated in a tiny one-room office space for the public.

The museum currently occupies a space of more than 10,000 square feet and is housed in the same building as the American Jazz Museum.  The NLBM represents preserving the rich cultural history of African American baseball and its impact on America’s societal advancement.

  1. National Museum Of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC

The National Museum of African American History & Culture is one of the United States’ Black history museums, focusing on all aspects of the African American experience. The NMAAHC is a Smithsonian museum where visitors can deeply uncover Black heritage.

The museum owns one of the most extensive collections, detailing over 500 years of rapidly evolving Black history and culture in the United States of America. Exhibits include Chuck Berry’s red 1973 Cadillac, Harriet Tubman’s shawl, remnants of a slave ship, a glass-topped casket of murdered black teenager Emmett Till, and many others. The museum takes you through a lifetime experience of Black people.

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African Americans have had a bittersweet experience in the United States. Newer generations cannot adequately understand the constant misunderstanding between the white and black races without knowledge of Black history. These Black history museums serve as cultural institutions that preserve black people’s cultural heritage and experiences.

Explore the beautiful Black culture in-depth by visiting one of these Black history museums! 

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James Essiet
James Essiet
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