Ce n'est actuellement pas un moment sûr ou responsable pour parcourir le monde. Tout contenu de voyage que vous trouvez ici est uniquement destiné à l'inspiration et à la recherche pour le moment! De plus, certains articles de ce site contiennent des liens d'affiliation, ce qui signifie que si vous réservez ou achetez quelque chose via l'un de ces liens, je peux gagner une petite commission (sans frais supplémentaires pour vous!). Lisez la politique de divulgation complète ici.


J'écris beaucoup sur l'histoire sur ce site, car c'est quelque chose que je recherche toujours quand je voyage. Je tisse souvent des faits historiques dans mes articles de blog, et dans le passé, j'ai touché à toutes sortes d'histoire, de l'histoire douloureuse sur des sites comme les camps de concentration en Europe et les champs de la mort au Cambodge, à une histoire plus légère comme celle de la musique country. et le whisky.

Quand j'ai décidé pour la première fois que je voulais écrire un article sur les sites d'histoire des Noirs en Amérique, je n'étais pas sûr au début si moi, un blogueur de voyage blanc, étais le meilleur pour compiler cette liste.

En fin de compte, cependant, l'histoire des Noirs est toujours de l'histoire. Et c'est souvent nous, les voyageurs non noirs, qui pouvons profiter le plus de l'apprentissage de moments historiques importants qui sont souvent passés sous silence (ou simplement omis) de nos cours d'histoire blanchis à la chaux à l'école.

Musée national des droits civils
Musée national des droits civils

Si je peux utiliser cette plate-forme pour écrire sur l'histoire des Amérindiens dans le sud-ouest ou sur l'histoire juive en Europe, j'espère que vous serez également ouvert à mon partage d'informations sur l'histoire des Noirs aux États-Unis. Il ne devrait pas incomber uniquement aux blogueurs de voyage noirs de parler de ces endroits.

Je crois fermement que voyager en soi peut être une excellente éducation, mais nous ignorons souvent tout ce que nous n'avons pas appris. Considérez cela comme un rappel de certaines des choses sur lesquelles beaucoup d'entre nous pourraient en apprendre un peu plus.

J'ai fait de mon mieux pour inclure un large éventail de sites et de visites historiques et éducatifs sur cette liste, et je me suis tourné vers d'autres créateurs de contenu de voyage pour m'aider à écrire sur ceux que je n'ai pas encore visités personnellement. J'espère que cette liste vous incitera à ajouter au moins un ou deux de ces endroits à vos propres projets de voyage aux États-Unis à l'avenir.

Mémorial des anges à Whitney Plantation "src =" http://www.ot-marcqenbaroeul.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/P5273180-X2.jpg
Mémorial à Whitney Plantation en Louisiane

Il convient de noter que de nombreux sites inclus sur cette liste se trouvent maintenant sur le sentier officiel des droits civils des États-Unis, qui comprend plus de 100 sites dans 14 États faisant partie intégrante du mouvement des droits civils aux États-Unis.

Ce sentier est un excellent point de départ (consultez un bon guide de voyage sur la route ici), mais je voulais m'assurer d'inclure plus que * juste * des lieux notables des droits civils ici.

NOTEZ S'IL VOUS PLAÎT: Nous avons inclus des informations sur les heures d'ouverture et les frais d'admission pour chaque musée et attraction, et avons également essayé de noter les changements / fermetures en cours en raison de la pandémie COVID-19. Mais gardez à l'esprit que ces détails peuvent changer! Veuillez consulter les sites Web de chaque attraction pour des informations mises à jour avant votre visite.

Ce que vous trouverez dans cet article

Musées d'histoire des Noirs

1. Musée national d'histoire et de culture afro-américaines

Washington, DC | Soumis par Larissa of Life avec Larissa

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Photo NMAAHC fournie par la Smithsonian Institution

Situé au cœur de Washington D.C., le Musée national de la culture et de l'histoire afro-américaine (NMAAHC) aide à la représentation visuelle de l'histoire des Noirs au fil du temps, le bâtiment lui-même étant une œuvre d'art.

Avoir l'opportunité de visiter ce musée avec ma famille était surréaliste et l'expérience a suscité une conversation bien méritée entre nous. Bien que ce ne soit pas une expérience tout à fait agréable, je pense qu’il est important de noter que le NMAAHC imite la vie en ce qu’il présente des moments de chagrin et de joie et tout le reste.

Comprenant cinq étages mettant en lumière les différentes luttes et succès des Afro-Américains, le musée prend du temps à traverser, alors je suggère de consacrer une journée entière à l'expérience. Parce que le musée a tellement d'éléments à apprécier, je sais que je reviendrai le visiter à l'avenir et j'encourage tout le monde à prendre le temps de découvrir le Musée national d'histoire et de culture afro-américaines.

Le musée est généralement ouvert de 10 h 00 à 17 h 30. tous les jours sauf le jour de Noël. Bien que le musée ne facture pas de frais d’entrée, consultez le site Web pour la période de l’année que vous prévoyez de visiter, car il peut parfois être nécessaire de réserver des billets à entrée chronométrée.

Vous pouvez également associer une visite du musée à une visite de DC consacrée à l'histoire des Noirs.

Mise à jour COVID-19: Le NMAAHC est temporairement fermé.

2. Musée national des droits civils

Memphis, Tennessee

Musée national des droits civils "src =" http://www.ot-marcqenbaroeul.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/P6033545-X2.jpg

Lorsque j'ai passé un long week-end à Memphis il y a quelques étés, la chose la plus mémorable que j'ai faite a été de visiter le National Civil Rights Museum sur Mulberry Street. Ce musée retrace le mouvement américain des droits civiques de ses débuts à nos jours.

Le musée est puissant et émouvant – et il l'est d'autant plus qu'il a été développé autour de l'endroit même où le leader des droits civiques, le Dr Martin Luther King Jr., a été assassiné en 1968.

Même si vous pensez comprendre l'impact de l'esclavage et du mouvement des droits civiques sur le climat social et politique actuel de notre pays, vous devriez toujours visiter ce musée – car vous avez probablement manqué une grande partie de l'histoire à l'école.

Les expositions immersives vous mènent à travers une chronologie de l'histoire des droits civiques, en commençant par la traite des esclaves africains en Amérique du Nord et en se terminant à la chambre 306 de l'ancien Lorraine Motel, où le Dr King résidait à sa mort.

L'ancien Lorraine Motel, maintenant intégré au musée

Le Musée national des droits civils est ouvert les lundis de 9 h à 18 h et du mercredi au samedi de 9 h à 17 h. Les billets coûtent 17 $ pour les adultes et 14 $ pour les enfants. Prévoyez au moins 2 heures pour explorer pleinement le musée.

Mise à jour COVID-19: Le musée est actuellement limité à 30% de sa capacité avec un flux de 25 invités toutes les 20 minutes. Les masques sont obligatoires et les transactions sans numéraire sont préférées.

3. Centre national de la liberté du chemin de fer clandestin

Cincinnati, Ohio

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Pendant la guerre civile (et dans les années qui l'ont précédée), Cincinnati était une ville frontalière de l'Ohio (un État libre) en face du Kentucky (un État esclave). La ville a sans surprise joué un rôle énorme à la fois dans l'abolitionnisme et dans le chemin de fer clandestin.

L'histoire de l'esclavage en Amérique est racontée au National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, un musée fantastique situé sur la rivière Ohio, dans le centre-ville de Cincinnati.

Cependant, le musée ne se concentre pas uniquement sur les débuts de l'Amérique. Selon son énoncé de mission, l'objectif du musée est de «révéler des histoires sur les héros de la liberté, de l'ère du chemin de fer clandestin à l'époque contemporaine, stimulant et inspirant chacun à faire des pas courageux vers la liberté aujourd'hui».

Outre de grandes expositions sur la traite des esclaves dans les Amériques et le chemin de fer clandestin, le musée présente également des expositions sur l'esclavage moderne et les luttes pour la liberté qui se poursuivent dans notre monde aujourd'hui.

Centre national de la liberté du chemin de fer souterrain "src =" http://www.ot-marcqenbaroeul.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/35183702170_0466a95ffa_o-X2.jpg

Il y a un mélange d'expositions permanentes et spéciales ici, ainsi que la bibliothèque John Parker et le centre de recherche familiale, où des bénévoles peuvent vous aider à retracer votre arbre généalogique.

L'entrée au National Underground Railroad Freedom Center est de 15 $ pour les adultes et de 10,50 $ pour les enfants. Le musée est actuellement ouvert du jeudi au dimanche de midi à 17 h.

Mise à jour COVID-19: Le musée a actuellement besoin de billets chronométrés. Les masques sont obligatoires et les transactions sans numéraire sont préférées.

4. Musée Old Slave Mart

Charleston, Caroline du Sud | Soumis par Noel de This Hawaii Life

Charleston est une belle ville historique du sud, mais il ne s'agit pas seulement de vieilles maisons du sud. Pour en savoir plus sur l'histoire des Noirs à Charleston, vous devez absolument visiter le Old Salve Mart Museum. Cette maison de vente aux enchères Antebellum fait partie de l'histoire afro-américaine de Charleston et est inscrite au registre national des lieux historiques.

À une époque où la plupart des ventes aux enchères d'esclaves se faisaient à l'extérieur dans le sud, Charleston avait une ordonnance qui l'interdisait; et ainsi la maison de vente aux enchères Ryan a été fondée sur les rues Queen et Chalmers en 1859 avec une variété de bâtiments, salles de vente et cours, ainsi qu'une cuisine, une prison et une morgue.

Après la fin de l'esclavage dans les années 1860, le bâtiment est devenu un immeuble d'habitation, un atelier de réparation automobile et plus tard un musée d'art et d'artisanat noir. Il a finalement été acquis par la ville de Charleston et transformé en musée en 2007.

Situé dans une petite rue calme non loin des zones riveraines de la ville, le Old Slave Mart est imposant et sinistre. À l'intérieur, vous trouverez des story-boards et des artefacts qui incluent les chaînes et les chaînes utilisées sur les esclaves importés d'Afrique de l'Ouest.

J'ai trouvé que le musée est relativement petit et qu'une visite de bricolage vous permettra de parcourir la plupart des story-boards en moins d'une heure. C'était facile à suivre et vous pouvez explorer les deux niveaux du bâtiment afin d'en apprendre davantage sur ce sombre passé et le commerce de l'esclavage de Charleston dans le sud.

Le musée Old Slave Mart est ouvert de 9 h à 17 h. Du lundi au samedi. L'entrée est de 7 $ pour les adultes et de 5 $ pour les enfants.

5. Musée du patrimoine et Mémorial national pour la paix et la justice

Montgomery, Alabama | Soumis par Rebecca de Rebecca and the World

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À Montgomery, en Alabama, vous trouverez ce qui a été décrit comme le premier mémorial de lynchage des États-Unis. Deux sites, tous deux supervisés par Equal Justice Initiative et ouverts en 2018, fournissent des récits choquants sur la brutalité contre les Noirs américains de l'esclavage à aujourd'hui.

Je recommande de visiter d'abord le Legacy Museum, avec ses riches visuels, expositions et vidéos. Dès que vous entrez dans le musée, vous serez plongé dans des récits historiques de l'esclavage (racontés de manière obsédante par des personnages holographiques), un aperçu de l'ère Jim Crow et des statistiques effroyables sur l'incarcération de masse aujourd'hui.

Un peu moins d'un mile (vous pouvez y marcher ou prendre une navette), le Mémorial national pour la paix et la justice se trouve sur six acres. Une zone gazonnée luxuriante cède la place à un mémorial inoubliable qui rend hommage aux plus de 4400 hommes, femmes et enfants noirs qui ont été brutalement assassinés entre 1877 et 1950.

En entrant, vous vous frayerez un chemin à travers des colonnes au niveau des yeux – chacune énumérant les comtés américains et les noms des victimes de lynchage. Au fur et à mesure que vous avancez dans le mémorial, les colonnes pendent du plafond, ressemblant à des victimes de lynchage.

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Les deux expériences sont autoguidées, mais le personnel est disponible pour répondre aux questions. Le musée et le mémorial sont confrontés, et vous aurez besoin de temps après pour traiter ce que vous avez vu, lu et entendu.

Il en coûte 10 $ (adultes) pour un billet combiné pour visiter les deux sites (c'est 8 $ pour visiter uniquement le Legacy Museum, tandis que le mémorial est gratuit). Les billets pour le Legacy Museum sont chronométrés – je recommande de réserver en ligne à l'avance afin que vous puissiez visiter les deux sites le même jour.

Mise à jour COVID-19: Le Legacy Museum est temporairement fermé, mais le monument est ouvert.

6. Institut des droits civils de Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama | Soumis par Karen de Family Travels on a Budget

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Le Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, en Alabama, partage l'histoire du mouvement des droits civiques tel qu'il a été vécu dans la ville.

Les visiteurs de l'Institut découvrent l'histoire de Birmingham, depuis ses débuts en tant que ville productrice de fer jusqu'à l'ère Jim Crow, la déségrégation et jusqu'au 21e siècle. Les expositions interactives attirent les visiteurs sur les disparités qui existaient pour les minorités raciales en matière de logement, d'éducation et de politique. Les problèmes difficiles comme le KKK et les lynchages sont traités avec sensibilité.

Les expositions couvrent les principaux moments du mouvement des droits civiques, notamment le trajet en bus de Rosa Parks, les manifestations pacifiques dirigées par le Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., les attaques contre des manifestants pacifiques à Kelly Ingram Park et l'attentat à la bombe de la 16e rue qui a tué quatre jeunes filles . L'Institut ne s'arrête pas là, mais emmène les invités dans le voyage continu à travers la déségrégation, l'élection du premier maire noir de la ville et dans aujourd'hui.

Une dernière exposition invite les visiteurs à réfléchir à leur rôle dans la société et à la manière dont ils peuvent faire une différence pour leur communauté locale.

L'Institut, situé au 520 16th Street North, se trouve en face de la 16th Street Baptist Church et du Kelly Ingram Park. Le Birmingham Civil Rights Institute est ouvert tous les jours sauf le lundi. L'entrée adulte est de 15 $ et gratuite le jour de Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mise à jour COVID-19: Le musée est temporairement fermé.

7. Musée des promenades en liberté

Montgomery, Alabama | Soumis par Jen Ambrose et Ryan Victor de Passions and Places

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L'un des nombreux sites importants des droits civiques à Montgomery, le Freedom Rides Museum est un incontournable de tout road trip en Alabama. Installé dans une gare routière rénovée de Greyhound, ses expositions racontent l'histoire d'une manifestation non violente dirigée par des étudiants contre la ségrégation.

Au printemps 1961, des groupes d'étudiants – noirs et blancs, hommes et femmes – ont pris le bus Greyhound de Washington, DC, à la Nouvelle-Orléans. En violation des lois et des normes locales, les étudiants noirs et blancs se sont assis ensemble dans le bus, dans les restaurants et les zones d'attente des gares routières. Lorsqu'un groupe de ces Freedom Riders est descendu du bus à Montgomery, en Alabama, ils ont été violemment attaqués par une foule de partisans de la ségrégation. Et malgré leur promesse de protéger les manifestants, la police n'a pris aucune mesure.

Aujourd'hui, les visiteurs du Freedom Rides Museum peuvent apprendre les détails de cette manifestation, les étudiants qui y ont participé, les horribles lois qu'ils combattaient et la violence qu'ils ont subie. Le personnel du musée et les stagiaires de l'université voisine sont très compétents et vous guideront à travers les expositions pour vous fournir plus de contexte.

Le musée est situé en bordure du centre-ville de Montgomery, et l'entrée est de 5 $. Il est ouvert de 11 h à 16 h. Du mardi au vendredi et de 10 h 00 à 16 h 00 le samedi.

Mise à jour COVID-19: Le musée est ouvert, mais fonctionne à capacité réduite.

8. Centre culturel Green McAdoo

Clinton, Tennessee | Soumis par Apryl Chapman Thomas de Southern Hospitality Magazine Traveler

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À environ 20 miles au nord-ouest de Knoxville, Tennessee, se trouve Clinton, une ville typique du sud, à la fois en apparence et en atmosphère. Cependant, comme le dit le proverbe, "ce sont les calmes que vous devez regarder."

En août 1956, cette petite ville a fait un geste historique. Le lycée Clinton deviendrait le premier lycée à se déségréger de la région lorsque 12 jeunes élèves de Green McAdoo (un lycée afro-américain) franchiraient ses portes. Les 12 étudiants deviendraient connus sous le nom de «Clinton 12.»

Aujourd'hui, le centre culturel Green McAdoo guide les visiteurs à travers cette période tumultueuse à la fois dans le pays et à Clinton. L'expérience muséale commence dans une salle de classe des années 1950 où vous découvrez les étudiants de McAdoo et le procès local qui a lancé le processus et son lien avec l'affaire historique Brown contre Board Education.

Une fois la classe «rejetée», explorez les expositions qui mettent en évidence chronologiquement les événements qui se sont déroulés dans la ville. Découvrez la création d'une garde locale, écoutez des témoignages de première main, «rencontrez» des personnalités importantes comme le révérend Paul Turner, et plus encore. L'une des parties les plus remarquables de l'histoire dont tout le monde peut aujourd'hui tirer des leçons est peut-être la façon dont les communautés de Clinton se sont finalement réunies.

Le Centre culturel McAdoo se termine par des biographies détaillées sur le «Clinton 12» et sur ceux qui ont participé à la déségrégation de Clinton High School. Avant de partir, assurez-vous de consulter la statue détaillée du «Clinton 12» et notez leur détermination et leur volonté.

Le musée est ouvert du lundi au samedi de 10h à 17h.

9. Musée d'histoire des Noirs de l'Idaho

Boise, Idaho | Soumis par Kay de The Awkward Traveller

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Photo fournie par l'Idaho Black History Museum

L'Idaho est souvent négligé en ce qui concerne l'histoire des Noirs aux États-Unis, mais les mineurs, les éleveurs et les cow-boys noirs ont façonné la culture de l'Idaho à ce qu'elle est aujourd'hui.

Le musée d'histoire des Noirs de l'Idaho, situé dans une église historique baptiste noire à Boise, explore l'Idaho à travers la lentille noire – celle qui voyait l'Idaho comme un moyen d'échapper aux États du Sud après la guerre civile.

Visiter le musée d'histoire des Noirs de l'Idaho est l'une des meilleures choses à faire à Boise, car il est essentiel de comprendre la fondation de l'Idaho en tant qu'État, ainsi que la communauté noire en son sein.

Le musée organise également des ateliers, des conférences, des événements communautaires et des programmes de sensibilisation. Les résidents non noirs de Boise sont également disposés à apprendre et à écouter; dans une conférence pour améliorer le système de justice pénale du comté pour mieux servir les communautés du BIPOC, une grande partie des participants étaient blancs. Le musée d'histoire des Noirs de l'Idaho sert de pont entre les cultures de l'État et milite pour la réforme institutionnelle et l'éducation.

Le musée est ouvert du mercredi au samedi et fonctionne grâce aux dons.


Et bien que cette liste couvre d'excellents musées d'histoire des Noirs aux États-Unis, nous n'avons vraiment fait qu'effleurer la surface! Parmi les autres qui valent également le détour, citons:

  • Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum à Memphis, Tennessee – Ce musée est situé dans une maison du XIXe siècle qui faisait autrefois partie du chemin de fer clandestin. Les visiteurs peuvent en apprendre davantage sur la maison et son rôle pour aider les gens à échapper à l'esclavage, avec des tunnels et des trappes.
  • Buffalo Soldiers Museum à Houston, Texas – Ce musée raconte l'histoire des soldats historiques de Buffalo, soldats du régiment du calvaire noir qui ont principalement servi dans l'Ouest dans les années qui ont suivi la guerre civile. Le musée raconte leur histoire et couvre l'histoire plus large des Afro-Américains dans l'armée américaine.
  • Musée des droits civils du Mississippi à Jackson, Mississippi – Ce musée est lié au musée d'histoire du Mississippi et, ensemble, aux deux chroniques du passé du Mississippi. Le Mississippi Civil Rights Museum se concentre spécifiquement sur l'expérience des Noirs dans le Mississippi, de l'époque d'avant la guerre civile au mouvement des droits civiques.

Musées qui célèbrent la culture noire

S'il est important d'apprendre l'histoire des Noirs, nous ne devrions pas seulement se concentrer sur les musées et attractions sérieux. La joie noire devrait être tout aussi importante dans l'histoire des Noirs – c'est pourquoi je sépare ces musées car ils célèbrent une autre facette de l'histoire et de la culture des Noirs.

1. Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Memphis, Tennessee | Soumis par Ashley de My Wanderlusty Life

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The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a truly groovy place to learn about Black history. You can find the museum at the former location of Stax Records, a record label founded in 1957 that was once home to such names as Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers, and so many more.

A trip to the Stax Museum will take you on a journey through the history of soul music as well as Stax's own past as a movie theater-turned-recording studio that powered some of the biggest names in the industry. It starts with soul's humble beginnings in the church (there's an actual early-1900's church from the Mississippi Delta inside), and moves all the way through the soul boom of the 60s and 70s.

Stax tells the story of soul music through videos and listening stations, priceless memorabilia like Tina Turner's dresses and Isaac Hayes's 24k gold-trimmed Cadillac, a replica of the original recording studio, and even a beckoning Soul Train dance floor.

Of all the great things to do in Memphis where you can learn about Black history, the Stax Museum is definitely one of the most fun and interesting.

The Stax Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for kids.

COVID-19 update: Tour group size is currently limited to 25 guests, and it's recommended you purchase tickets online in advance. Masks are required, and cashless transactions are preferred.

Note from Amanda: In Memphis, the Rock n Soul Museum is also worth a visit if you want to learn about the roots of rock music. This museum is a Smithsonian affiliate.

2. Motown Museum

Detroit, Michigan | Submitted by Stella Jane of Around the World in 24 Hours

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One of Detroit’s big claims to fame is Motown Records. And there’s no better place to learn the history of Motown and its importance to Black American history than the Motown Museum in Detroit.

The museum itself is actually located in the former home of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, and it was created by his sister, Esther Gordy Edwards. Berry Gordy is one of the most towering figures in Black American music. He got started as a songwriter for Jackie Wilson, and then he started Motown Records with a small loan from his family.

Some of the great Black artists you'll learn about at the Motown Museum include Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Stevie Wonder.

It’s impossible to imagine what popular music would be like today without Motown Records. The most successful musicians in the world today, like Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Bruno Mars, come to pay tribute to the Motown Museum and see the studio that started it all.

The Motown Museum is located on 2648 W Grand Blvd. and is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $15 per adult.

COVID-19 update: Tour group size is currently limited to 10 guests, and it's recommended you purchase tickets online in advance. Masks are required, and they are doing temperature checks at the door.

3. Museum of the African Diaspora

San Francisco, Californie | Submitted by Rai of A Rai of Light

Africa is considered the cradle of humankind, and the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco sets about to question and celebrate the universal connection of you and I through our association with Africa.

Rather than a collection of pieces like a traditional art museum, the MoAD distinguishes itself as a home of storytelling, primarily through asking visitors, “When did you first realize you are African?”

This contemporary art museum highlights Black culture by documenting the history, art, and beliefs of the African diaspora through time, with exhibits positioned across three floors. There is a strong focus on bringing new artists onto the scene, and the Emerging Artists Program has introduced some amazing work to me.

A highlight of any visit is the three-story mural of what appears to be the face of a child at first glance, but on closer inspection you see that this image is actually made up using the faces of thousands of people.

The MoAD is located at 685 Mission Street and is open Wednesday – Saturday from 11 a.m. -6 p.m. and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults.

COVID-19 update: The MoAD is temporarily closed.


Some other museums that celebrate and display Black art and culture include:


Historic sites to learn about Black History

1. African Burial Ground National Monument

New York, New York | Submitted by Rachel of Rachel's Ruminations

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The African Burial Ground, a national monument in New York City, illuminates a little-known period in African-American history. Enslaved Africans were brought to New York as early as the 1630s, and slavery wasn’t entirely eliminated there until after a very gradual emancipation started in 1799.

The African Burial Ground was a 6-acre cemetery used by both free and enslaved Africans in the 17e and 18e century in what is now lower Manhattan. When a new federal building was being built on the site in 1991, the graves were rediscovered. Archeologists investigated the 419 graves found on the site, but perhaps 15,000 are still buried under nearby buildings.

The African Burial Ground today tells the story of these individuals and serves as a place of remembrance of the African diaspora at the same time. Inside, displays show how these enslaved people lived, and the archeological evidence – including many remains of young children – attests to their hard lives. Outside is a memorial to these nameless people who built Manhattan, and, nearby, the place where they were reburied using West African rituals.

You can read more about the African Burial Ground here. It is located at 290 Broadway between Duane and Reade Streets. It's open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and admission is free.

COVID-19 update: The African Burial Ground Monument is temporarily closed.

2. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park

Church Creek, Maryland | Submitted by Melissa of The Family Voyage

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One of the most revered figures in Black American history is Harriet Tubman, who escaped from enslavement on Maryland’s Eastern Shore but subsequently returned 13 times to guide 70 other enslaved people to freedom and worked as an abolitionist in Philadelphia. Today, visitors can learn her story and honor her legacy at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park, which has been established in the area where she grew up and from which she eventually fled.

The site has an incredible, immersive museum where visitors can bear witness to Harriet Tubman’s story and learn both the brutal reality of her enslavement as well as the extraordinary bravery of her years as a free woman. After experiencing the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitors Center, you can continue your visit by walking or driving to various sites along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.

The Visitors Center and many sites along the Byway are completely free to visit. The National Historic Park makes for an easy day trip from Washington, DC (just under 2 hours by car), or you can visit as part of a weekend stay on the Eastern Shore to see the wild horses of Chincoteague and Assateague.

The Visitors Center and park are open every day except holidays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and admission is free.

COVID-19 update: The park is temporarily closed.

3. First African Baptist Church

Savannah, Georgia | Submitted by Kate of Our Escape Clause

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The oldest Black congregation in the USA can be found meeting at the First African Baptist Church in central Savannah, just as they have been doing since 1773 – and yes, that’s 3 years before the colony of Georgia even became part of the USA!

Unsurprisingly, given the time period, the First African Baptist Church was founded and built – literally and figuratively – primarily by enslaved people, and the church continues to act as part of their legacy today.

While the congregation has been active since the 18th century, the building itself was completed in 1859 – just two years before the outbreak of the US Civil War.

Touring the First African Baptist Church as part of your Savannah itinerary adds extremely valuable context to a city that is often visited for its physical beauty (much of which it owes to the labor of enslaved people) and delicious food (the legacy of which, again, can often be traced to the labor of enslaved people).

A visit to the church will teach you not only about the history of the congregation (including the church’s role as a stop on the Underground Railroad), but also additional important Black history in Savannah, including the horror of The Weeping Time in 1859, the largest-ever auction of enslaved people in US.

Tours of First African Baptist Church are given Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m., and at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 USD.

Note from Amanda: Savannah has lots of fascinating history, and is one of my favorite cities to visit in the US. While you're there, check out this list of Black-owned business in Savannah by Gabby over at Packs Light, and be sure to also visit the Owens Thomas House & Slave Quarters, which does the historic home tour right.

4. Whitney Plantation

Edgard, Louisiana

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Former slave cabin and a “Jamaica Train,” a series of cast iron kettles used to refine sugar in the 1800s.

Unlike at the vast majority of antebellum plantations you can visit across the southern USA, the visitor experience at Whitney Plantation doesn't focus on the wealth and lived experience of the white plantation owners. Instead, this is the only plantation in Louisiana (and, in fact, maybe in the United States) that focuses solely on the experience of enslaved people who lived, worked, and died there.

Whitney Plantation is located along the Mississippi River in southern Louisiana, along a stretch of the “Old River Road” roughly one hour from New Orleans. A tour here covers much more than just life on this one plantation; it covers the whole slavery experience in Louisiana.

You can visit the old slave cabins and original owners' house from 1790, but also will see a freedman's church, along with monuments and memorials built to honor the estimated 100,000 people who were held in slavery in Louisiana. This sort of set-up is totally unique to Whitney Plantation.

Visiting Whitney Plantation is confronting and uncomfortable, but I place it up there as one of the absolutely necessary things to do on a trip to New Orleans.

Whitney Plantation is open Friday-Monday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and tours cost $25. You can book tours plus transportation from New Orleans for around $65-$70. Book a tour here.

COVID-19 update: Whitney Plantation is open again, but all tours are currently self-guided. You'll need a timed ticket, and to be able to download an app on your phone in order to access all the tour materials. Masks are required in any indoor spaces.

5. Laura Plantation

Vacherie, Louisiana | Submitted by Moshe of The Top Ten Traveler

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Laura Plantation, located midway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge in Louisiana, is a rare evidence of the history of slavery in this area. The story of this place is based on Laura’s memories, written in 1936, and other historical documentation. Laura was the last owner from the Duparc family, who owned this plantation for almost 100 years (four generations).

While the tour starts at the “big house” with the history of the Duparc family, the most powerful part is when you leave the house. There is a massive contrast between the greenery and peaceful landscape, and the unpeaceful history of the place. Then you arrive at the slaves’ quarters.

There are two slave cabins left today, out of 69 cabins that stood here before the Civil War. Every cabin, not larger than a standard bedroom, was divided into two small rooms, and each was a home for a family of enslaved people. In these small rooms, people lived, cooked, washed, raised children, and socialized. Here they woke up every morning to a life of slavery and came back at night after a long day in the fields.

A striking list from 1808

Visiting Laura Plantation, learning about this history, and seeing it with your own eyes is an emotional experience. This is a must-visit site for every person.

Tours of Laura Plantation last approximately 75 minutes, and cost $23 per adult. It's recommended that you book a tour in advance, as they are only offered 5-6 times per day.

COVID-19 update: Timed entry tickets for tours must be purchased online in advance, and group size is limited to 9 guests. Masks are required indoors, and they may perform temperature checks.

Note from Amanda: I don't recommend visits to all plantations in the South; many gloss over the reality of slavery and the legacy it's left behind. Whitney and Laura are really the only two plantations in the New Orleans area I would recommend. For me, a good rule of thumb is to check whether a plantation can be rented out for weddings or other events. If so, it's one I'll skip, as I don't believe we should celebrate the pretty, white-washed aspects of plantation life while ignoring the horrors that happened there.

6. Fort Mose Historic State Park

St. Augustine, Florida | Submitted by Victoria of Florida Trippers

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One of the most interesting places to learn about Black History in the United States is at Fort Mose Historic State Park in Florida. Most people have never even heard of Fort Mose, but it played an important role in American Black history and is one of the best things to do in Florida if you love learning about the past.

Located just 2 miles north of Saint Augustine, Fort Mose was the first legally sanctioned free African American settlement in the USA. Founded in the 1730s, it was the first settlement of its kind specifically constructed for people running away from the Carolinas and slavery in those English colonies.

Unfortunately, the settlement itself was destroyed and no longer stands, but it was a precursor for what would become the Underground Railroad Network, and you can still visit the site where Fort Mose stood.

Today, visitors to the park can learn about the site's history in an interactive museum, and can enjoy the outdoor spaces which are popular for boating and bird watching.

The Visitor Center at Fort Mose Historic State Park is open Thursday-Monday from 9 a.m.- 5p.m. The grounds are open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The park is free to visit, and the museum costs $2.

COVID-19 update: The park is open, but the museum and all other indoor facilities are closed. Restroom availability may be limited. Masks are required indoors.

7. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

Tuskegee, Alabama | Submitted by Ashley of Destination WWII

One of the most significant periods in American history is World War II, but less well-known is the all-Black branch of the U.S. Army who helped lead the Allies to victory. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site is located at a humble airfield in Alabama where you can learn all about the Tuskegee Airmen – the U.S. military's first Black aviators. (Though the term also refers to mechanics, nurses, instructors, and the rest of the support staff.)

Tuskegee Airmen NHS is located at Moton Field in Tuskegee Alabama, the Airmen's first training site. Inside the restored hangars you'll find a museum that tells their stories through informational displays, historical artifacts, and, of course, original aircraft. There's an informative film, a gift shop, and, because the site is run by the National Park Service, free guided ranger tours. You can also explore the historic buildings of the airfield on your own.

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site is one of the great World War II travel destinations in the U.S. and a remarkable site at which to learn about the two battles the Airmen fought: the war against the Axis powers abroad and racism struggles here at home.

The site is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and admission is free.

COVID-19 update: The site is temporarily closed.

8. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park

Atlanta, Georgia | Submitted by Olivia of O. Christine

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An integral city during the Civil Rights Movement and in African American history, Atlanta, Georgia holds no shortage of Black History sites and landmarks. During your tour of the city, be sure to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, a three-block park comprised of notable sites connected to Dr. King’s early life and legacy.

Stop by the visitor center first to get acquainted with the area. View current exhibits or sign up for a free Birth Home tour (first come, first serve), and stroll the Peace Plaza.

Then cross the street to visit the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King grew up attending and later became an ordained minister. Adjacent to the church is the King Center, where Dr. and Mrs. King’s tomb rests with a beautiful reflection pool and “eternal flame.”

You can continue your exploration of the historic site across the street to view the Historic Fire Station No. 6 (where you can learn about the desegregation of the Atlanta Fire Department) and visit King’s birth home (tours booked at the visitor center).

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is free to visit and is connected to the Freedom Park Trail, which you can walk for 1.5 miles to the Carter Center. The visitor center and indoor sites are open daily (except for holidays) from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

COVID-19 update: The visitor center and indoor sites are temporarily closed.

9. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

Topeka, Kansas | Submitted by Theresa of The Local Tourist

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Until May 17, 1954, it was perfectly legal for schools and businesses to segregate based solely on race. On that date, however, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that the doctrine of separate but equal was unconstitutional.

Thirteen families, including Oliver Brown, initiated a case against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, when their children were denied admittance to the schools closest to their homes and instead were bused to Black-only institutions. After the plaintiffs lost at the local level, they appealed and took it to the highest court in the country, which consolidated the Topeka case with four others.

Today, the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site tells the story of this case that changed the nation. It’s located in Monroe Elementary, one of the four former segregated schools in Topeka. Exhibits provide an overview of racism and segregation, a kindergarten room restored to its appearance in 1954, and the Civil Rights Movement that followed the historic decision.

The most impactful gallery is “The Road to Brown v. Board of Education.” Videos and photos display disturbing scenes from the time, and it’s a profound lesson in what humans are capable of doing to each other. The site is also an education in resilience and the growth that’s possible when people to the right thing.

The site is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and admission is free.

COVID-19 update: The site is temporarily closed.

10. Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

Birmingham, Alabama | Submitted by Stephanie of History Fangirl

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The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument protects an important slice of historic Birmingham that includes the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park. Created during the final days of the Obama administration in 2016, the monument honors both the symbolic role that Birmingham played in the Civil Rights movement as well as the specific and tragic events here which pushed it forward.

The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is most famous for being the site of the KKK bombing where four little girls died. However, the church was more than that, and was chosen by the KKK because it played such a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement. Much of the movement's organizing came from here, and it had been an important stopping point for Black thinkers and artists for decades.

Kelly Ingram Park across the street is where the nefarious Bull Connor committed some of the worst state-sponsored atrocities. You will find statues here depicting the fire hoses aimed at children as well as other public art.

Visiting the monument is free. Tours for the church can be prearranged under certain conditions for a fee.

11. Edmund Pettus Bridge

Selma, Alabama | Submitted by Stephanie of Oklahoma Wonders

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Walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma is a way to connect physically and spiritually with Black and Civil Rights History in this country. While there are so many great educational institutions and monuments to see, walking across the bridge is more like going on a short pilgrimage.

Named after a prominent Confederate, the Pettus Bridge has now come to mean so much more. During Jim Crow, while Black Americans technically had the right to vote, many states in the South put in place artificial barriers to stop them. Voting Rights demonstrations were held in the state, and Selma became an important flashpoint after a protestor, Jimmie Lee Jackson, was shot at a protest and died.

In response, a peaceful march was planned from Selma to the state capital in Montgomery. In what became known as Bloody Sunday, protesters were beaten by State Troopers as they attempted to cross the bridge to leave Selma.

Of course, you will also want to get the context about the important role the bridge played. Before your walk, pay a visit to the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute nearby.

Walking across the bridge is free. Entry to the museum is $6.50 with discounted tickets available to students and senior citizens.

12. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Park

Little Rock, Arkansas | Submitted by Roxanna of Gypsy With a Day Job

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Little Rock Central High School National Historic Park tells the story of the fight for desegregation in the city schools in 1957, and the first 9 Black students to attend the school. These teenagers, now known as the Little Rock 9, were excited, expecting classes and opportunities that had not been available at their Black-only school.

Opposition was inevitable, but they did not anticipate angry mobs, screaming, cursing, spitting, or their own governor bringing troops to bar them from entering the school. The students became a media focal point through a 25 day crisis that culminated with federal troops escorting them to class.

The Historic Park shares these events in a gripping multimedia format. Like so many places to learn about Black History in the United States, LRCHS is jarring, shocking, and heart breaking. But it also shares a story of rising above. As mere children, the Little Rock 9 faced hatred and harassment with dignity, encouraging Black students across the southern states.

Perhaps the most important place to visit in Little Rock, the LRCHS National Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day. The high school itself may only be visited by guided ranger tours, arranged through the visitor center. Entrance is free.

COVID-19 update: The historic park is temporarily closed.

13. International Civil Rights Center and Museum

Greensboro, North Carolina | Submitted by Christina Riley of NC Tripping

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Located in the heart of downtown, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum is one of the most visited attractions in Greensboro. On February 1, 1960, it was known as FW Woolworths and on that day, four North Carolina A&T State University students sat down at the “Whites Only” lunch counter inside.

Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair, Jr. and David Richmond staged a sit-in to challenge the laws of segregation, and the event was a huge moment in the American Civil Rights movement. The A&T Four (eventually, Greensboro Four) laid down a foundation for change and nonviolent protests that sparked movements across the nation.

Today, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum sits in the Woolworth building as a permanent fixture to celebrate the courage of the Four. With educational exhibits, photography, artifacts, and interactive galleries, this museum is a must to expand an understanding of Black History in America.

The museum is open from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. du quotidien. Admission is $15 for adults, and $10 for youth. Children under 5 are free.

COVID-19 update: The site is temporarily closed.

14. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Washington, DC | Submitted by Sinead of Map Made Memories

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We visited Washington, DC, as part of our family gap year with our three children. Among the many museums and world-famous monuments in the city, we visited the free to enter Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in West Potomac Park. This sunset visit is one of my favorite memories of our year long trip.

I found the simple yet striking memorial incredibly moving and evocative. There are no fountains, pillars or temples – just a simple statute which is a dignified statement of strength and hope.

But what I remember most is the effect this memorial had on my children. They recognized the Stone of Hope statue and were full of questions – “Who is this man? What did he do to have such an enormous statue of him made? Why is he here?” As a family, we read the powerful quotes from Dr. King that are etched into stone near his statue, and I answered my children’s questions as best I could. Their interest was ignited and the children have since independently chosen to read and learn about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.

This memorial is outdoors and free to visit.

15. Stonewall Inn and Forever Living Monument

New York City, New York | Submitted by Norbert of GloboTreks

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New York City is full of iconic sights, but tourists often miss one of its pivotal spots regarding human rights movements: The Stonewall Inn.

While Stonewall is more associated with LGBTQ rights, one of the most prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969 was Marsha P. Johnson, a Black street queen, gay liberation activist, and self-identified drag queen.

At the time, Stonewall was the only bar for gay men in New York City where dancing was allowed, making it a common target for frequent police raids on gay bars. The police would come unannounced and expect to be paid off while they lined up patrons to arrest transgender people and those in drag. But this night the raid didn't go as planned.

While Johnson did not start the riots on June 28, 1969, she is well regarded as being one of the key individuals in the vanguard of the pushback against police brutality. Johnson is known to have climbed a lamppost and dropped a heavy bag onto the hood of a police car, shattering the windshield. Le reste appartient à l'histoire.

Today, you can visit the Stonewall Inn and enjoy a drink, dance, and watch a drag show. Take a look at some iconic memorabilia inside the bar and learn about its history, now commemorated as a New York State Historic Site.

Right in front of the bar, there's Christopher Park, where you can expand your exploration with a virtual tour of the Stonewall Forever Living Monument. You can even visit the monument from home!


Black History tours and trails

1. Boston Black Heritage Trail

Boston, Massachusetts | Submitted by Brianne of A Traveling Life

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Boston’s Black History Trail shines an important light on the city’s African American community from the Civil War to the early days of the Civil Rights movement. The 1.5 mile-long trail weaves through picturesque Beacon Hill, which was a thriving Black neighborhood during the 19th century, and its 14 stops include homes, businesses, churches, and stations on the Underground Railroad.

The trail starts at one of Boston’s most prominent attractions, the Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Regiment Memorial, which honors the Union army's second all-Black regiment of the Civil War.

While the homes on the tour are privately owned, tourists can enter two sites, both of which are National Historic Landmarks: the Abiel Smith School, which was built in 1835 to house the city’s school for Black children, and the nation's first African Meeting House, which gave people of all races a place to assemble and advocate for freedom for 160 years.

To explore Boston’s Black History Trail, you can pick up a map from the National Park Service (46 Joy St.), and head out on a self-guided tour. Or, during the spring and summer, you can join a free 90-minute tour led by an NPS ranger.

2. Treme walking tour

New Orleans, Louisiana | Submitted by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett of Green Global Travel

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Even if you were an avid fan of the HBO series named after it, you might not realize that Tremé, New Orleans is the oldest African-American neighborhood in the USA. It's also arguably the birthplace of modern music: Congo Square was the only place in America where African and Afro-Caribbean people were allowed to preserve their cultural traditions for over a century, which eventually led to the birth of jazz (popularized in local brothels) and rock ‘n' roll.

To learn more about the rich history of the neighborhood, check out French Quarter Phantoms' Tour Treme. The guided walking tour earned National Geographic's GeoTourism Award for “sustaining and enhancing the unique geographic character of the region” through their commitment to aesthetics, culture, environment, heritage, and the well-being of local residents. The tour of the .69-square mile neighborhood takes in all the important sites.

There's Congo Square, the “Place des Nègres” that would teem every Sunday with enslaved Africans (who were given the day off under France’s Code Noir) and free people of color. There's Storyville, where brothels once hosted performances by future legends like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. There's iconic Creole restaurant Dooky Chase, where MLK and Co. would break bread while planning Civil Rights actions, and the Mardi Gras Indian history of the Backstreet Cultural Museum. And you won't want to miss the Petit Jazz Museum, founded by Tremé historian Al Jackson.

It's a great walking tour for those looking to get outside the French Quarter, and especially intriguing for music lovers and anyone curious about African-American history.

This tour runs at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The 2-hour tour costs $25 per person ($22 if you book online in advance).

3. Memphis Black history tour

Memphis, Tennessee

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This tour in Memphis gets rave reviews from visitors. It's officially called “A Tour of Possibilities,” and aims to “explore the African American influence on local business, music, sports, politics, education and religion” in Memphis.

The 2.5-hour tour covers a dozen different significant sites throughout the city of Memphis, focusing on the city's role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Currently, this tour is being offered as a driving tour where you can drive your own vehicle (making it a no-contact way to learn about Black History in Memphis). Book this tour here.


Other Black History tours throughout the US that have great reviews include the following:


If you have made it all the way to the end of this list, then bravo. I commend your curiosity and desire to learn more about ALL United States history, and hope that this list has provided some inspiration.

This of course is not an all-inclusive list, and I apologize if I've left off any significant spots; I had to cut off submissions somewhere! I do think it's an excellent starting point, though, and invite you to add at least a few of these to your must-visit list.


Have you visited any of these sites or others in the US that teach us about Black History?