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List of museums focused on African Americans

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Title: List of museums focused on African Americans  
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Subject: African-American history, African-American culture, African-American studies, Post–Civil Rights era in African-American history, African American–Jewish relations
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List of museums focused on African Americans

This is a list of museums in the United States whose primary focus is on African American culture and history. Such museums are commonly known as African American museums. According to scholar Raymond Doswell, an African-American museum is "an institution established for the preservation of African-derived culture."[1]

Such museums have a mission of "collecting and preserving material on history and cultural heritage of African Americans." African-American museums share these goals with archives, genealogy groups, historical societies, and research libraries.[2] But museums differ as they have as a basic educational or aesthetic purpose in the collection and display of objects, and regular exhibitions for the public.[3] Being open to the public (not just researchers or by appointment) and having regular hours sets museums apart from historical sites or other facilities that may call themselves museums.[4]

History of African American museums in the United States

The first African-American museum was the College Museum in Hampton, Virginia, established in 1868.[2] Prior to 1950, there were about 30 museums devoted primarily to African-American culture and history in the United States. These were located primarily at historically black colleges and universities or at libraries that had significant African-American culture and history collections.[5]

Important collections were developed at Baltimore, Maryland; Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama; and Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama.[6] Additionally, local historical societies, history clubs, and reading groups in African-American communities also collected and displayed African-American cultural artifacts.[7]

The first independent, nonprofit museums in the United States were the African American Museum in Cleveland, Ohio (founded in 1956), the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois (founded in 1960), and the International Afro American Museum in Detroit, Michigan (founded in 1965; now known as the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History). Throughout the 1960s, the energy of the American Civil Rights Movement led to numerous local African-American museums. being founded[8] By 1991, there were about 150 African-American museums in 37 states.[2]

As of 2010 the largest African-American museum in the United States was the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. It will be exceeded in size by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture when completed in 2015.[9]

List of museums

Name City State Founded References
A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum Chicago Illinois 2005 [10]
African American Civil War Memorial Museum Washington D.C. 1999 [11]
African American Multicultural Museum Scottsdale Arizona 2005 [12]
African American Museum Dallas Texas 1974 [13]
African American Museum and Library at Oakland Oakland California 1994 [14]
African American Museum in Cleveland, The Cleveland Ohio 1956 [8]
African American Museum in Philadelphia Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1976 [15]
African American Museum of Iowa Cedar Rapids Iowa 2003 [16]
African American Museum of Nassau County Hempstead New York 1970 [17]
African American Museum of the Arts DeLand Florida 1994 [18]
Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum Jersey City New Jersey 1984 [19]
Alabama State Black Archives Research Center and Museum Huntsville Alabama 1990 [20]
Alexandria Black History Museum Alexandria Virginia 1987 [21]
America's Black Holocaust Museum Milwaukee Wisconsin 1988 [22]
Anacostia Museum Washington D.C. 1967 [23]
August Wilson Center for African American Culture Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 2006 [24]
Banneker-Douglass Museum Annapolis Maryland 1984 [25]
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Birmingham Alabama 1992 [26]
Black American West Museum & Heritage Center Denver, Colorado Colorado 1971 [27] [28]
Black History 101 Mobile Museum Detroit Michigan 1995 [29]
Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia Richmond Virginia 1988 [30]
Bontemps African American Museum Alexandria Louisiana 1988 [31]
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site Topeka Kansas 2004 [32]
California African American Museum Los Angeles California 1981 [33]
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Detroit Michigan 1965 [34]
Clemson Area African American Museum Clemson South Carolina 2002 [35]
Creole Heritage Folk Life Center Opelousas Louisiana 1970s (early) [36]
Crispus Attucks Museum Indianapolis Indiana 1998 [37]
Delta Cultural Center Helena Arkansas 1991 [38]
Dorchester Academy and Museum Midway Georgia 2004 [39]
Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum St. Petersburg Florida 2006 [40]
DuSable Museum of African American History Chicago Illinois 1960 [8]
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Washington D.C. 1962 [41]
George Washington Carver Museum, The Tuskegee Alabama 1941 [42]
George Washington Carver Museum Phoenix Arizona 1980 [43]
George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center Austin Texas 1980 [44]
Great Blacks in Wax Museum Baltimore Maryland 1983 [45]
Great Plains Black History Museum Omaha Nebraska 1975 [46]
Idaho Black History Museum Boise Idaho 1995 [47]
International Civil Rights Center and Museum Greensboro North Carolina 2010 [48]
Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum at Lexington History Center Lexington Kentucky 2002 [49]
John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center Hartford Connecticut 1991 [50]
John G. Riley Center/Museum of African American History and Culture Tallahassee Florida 1996 [51]
Kansas African-American Museum Wichita Kansas 1997 [52]
L.E. Coleman African-American Museum Halifax County, Virginia Virginia 2005 [53]
LaVilla Museum Jacksonville Florida 1999 [54]
Legacy Museum of African American History Lynchburg Virginia 2000 [55]
Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site Visitors Center Atlanta Georgia 1996 [56]
Mary McLeod Bethune Home Daytona Beach Florida 1956 [57]
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site Washington D.C. 1979 [58]
Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum Culver City California 2010 [59]
Minnesota African American History Museum and Cultural Center Minneapolis Minnesota
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Jackson Mississippi 2017 [60][61]
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Little Rock Arkansas 2008 [62]
Muhammad Ali Center Louisville Kentucky 2005 [63]
Museum of African American History & Abiel Smith School Boston Massachusetts 1964 [64]
Museum of the African Diaspora San Francisco California 2005 [65]
National African American Archives and Museum Mobile Alabama 1992
National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center Wilberforce Ohio 1987 [66]
National Center for Civil and Human Rights Atlanta Georgia 2014 [60]
National Center of Afro-American Artists Roxbury Massachusetts 1969 [67]
National Civil Rights Museum Memphis Tennessee 1991 [68]
National Museum of African American History and Culture Washington D.C. 2015 [69]
National Museum of African American Music Nashville Tennessee 2013 [70]
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Cincinnati Ohio 2004 [71]
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Kansas City Missouri 1990 [72]
New Orleans African American Museum New Orleans Louisiana 1988 [73]
Nicodemus National Historic Site Nicodemus Kansas 1996 [74]
Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum Monroe Louisiana 1994 [75]
Northwest African American Museum Seattle Washington 2008 [76]
Old Dillard Museum Fort Lauderdale Florida 1995 [77]
Oran Z's Black Facts and Wax Museum Los Angeles California 2000 [78]
Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art Newark Delaware 2004 [79]
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History & Culture Baltimore Maryland 2005 [80]
River Road African American Museum Donaldsonville Louisiana 1994 [81]
Slave Mart Museum Charleston South Carolina 1938 [82]
Smith-Robertson Museum and Cultural Center Jackson Mississippi 1984 [83]
St. Rita's Black History Museum New Smyrna Beach Florida 1999
Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum Tallahassee Florida 1976 [84]
Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum Hammond Louisiana 2005 [85]
Tubman African American Museum Macon Georgia 1981 [86]
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site Tuskegee Alabama 2008 [87]
Weeksville Heritage Center Brooklyn New York 2005 [88]
Wells'Built Museum Orlando Florida 2009

See also


  1. ^ Doswell, Raymond. Evaluating Educational Value in Museum Exhibitions: Establishing an Evaluation Process for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas State University. Department of Educational Leadership, 2008, p. 8.
  2. ^ a b c Dickerson, Amina J. "African American Museums and the New Century: Challenges in Leadership," In Leadership for the Future: Changing Directorial Roles in American History Museums and Historical Societies: Collected Essays. Bryant Franklin Tolles and Edward P. Alexander, ed. Nashville, Tenn.: American Association for State and Local History, 1991, p. 169.
  3. ^ Burcaw, George Ellis. Introduction to Museum Work. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Altamira Press, 1997, p. 19. Quote: The
  4. ^ Burcaw, p. 19.
  5. ^ Coleman, Christy. "African American Museums in the Twenty-first Century," In Museum Philosophy for the Twenty-first Century. Hugh H. Genoways, ed. Lanham, Md.: Altamira Press, 2006, p. 151.
  6. ^ Dickerson, p. 170.
  7. ^ Coleman, p. 151-152.
  8. ^ a b c Coleman, p. 152.
  9. ^ Dagbovie, Pero Gaglo. African American History Reconsidered. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2010, p. 75.
  10. ^ Petrosino, Frankie J. "Museum and Online Registry Preserve Story of Black Railroad Porters." The Crisis. September–October 2003, p. 10.
  11. ^ Evelyn, Douglas E.; Dickson, Paul; and Ackerman, S.J. On This Spot: Pinpointing the Past in Washington, D.C. Sterling, Va.: Capital Books, 2008, p. 269.
  12. ^ Curtis, p. 54.
  13. ^ Duty, Michael W. and Penn, Elan. Dallas & Fort Worth: A Pictorial Celebration. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, 2007, p. 45.
  14. ^ Mjagkij, Nina. Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations. Florence, Ky.: Taylor & Francis, 2001, p. 190.
  15. ^ Huntington, Tom. Ben Franklin's Philadelphia: A Guide. Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2006, p. 73.
  16. ^ Hornsby, Alton. Black America: A State-By-State Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2011, p. 275.
  17. ^ January 19, 2014.Long Island Press.Rumsey, Spencer. "Rhythm & Roots: Nassau's African American Museum Brings History to Life." Accessed 2014-02-26.
  18. ^ "African American Museum of the Arts." 2011. Accessed 2012-03-02.
  19. ^ Lurie, Maxine N. and Mappen, Marc. Encyclopedia of New Jersey. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2004, p. 8.
  20. ^ March 4, 2002.Gadsden Times.Faulk, Kent. "Budget Cuts Threaten Goals of Black Archives." Accessed 2013-09-07.
  21. ^ Founded in 1983 by the Parker-Gray Alumni and the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage, the museum was originally an archive known as the Alexandria Black History Research Center. Volunteers staffed the archive. In 1987, the City of Alexandria agreed to take over the archive, expanded its mission, and turned it into the Alexandria Black History Museum. See: Pulliam, Ted. Historic Alexandria: An Illustrated History. San Antonio, Tex.: Historical Publishing Network, 2011, p. 73.
  22. ^ Sisson, Richard. The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2006, p. 644.
  23. ^ Alexander, Edward P. The Museum in America: Innovators and Pioneers. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Alta Mira, 1997, p. 147-148.
  24. ^ Trotter, Joe William and Day, Jared N. Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh Since World War II. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010, p. 188.
  25. ^ Holland, Jesse J. Black Men Built the Capitol: Discovering African-American History In and Around Washington, D.C. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press, 2007, p. 121.
  26. ^ Romano, Renee C. The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2006, p. 28.
  27. ^ Founded in 1971 by Paul W. Stewart, the museum is located in the former home of Dr. Justina Ford, Colorado's first licensed African American Woman Doctor.
  28. ^
  29. ^ McCollum, Brian. "Ex-DPS Teacher's Black History 101 Mobile Museum Carves a Niche." Detroit Free Press. February 28, 2012. Accessed 2012-03-02.
  30. ^ Curtis, Nancy C. Black Heritage Sites: An African American Odyssey and Finder's Guide. Chicago: American Library Association, 1996, p. 248.
  31. ^ Shuman, Robert Baird. Great American Writers, Twentieth Century. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2002, p. 194.
  32. ^ Conway, Judith. "Brown v. Board of Education": The Case for Integration. Minneapolis, Minn.: Compass Point Books, 2007, p. 80.
  33. ^ Selz, Peter Howard. Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2006, p. 145.
  34. ^ Woodford, Arthur M. This Is Detroit, 1701-2001. Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 2001, p. 241.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Bastien, Judy. "Celebrating Tradition." Opelousas Daily World. June 20, 2010.
  37. ^ "Crispus Attucks Museum". Retrieved 28 Feb 2013. 
  38. ^ Knutson, Karen. "Arkansas Primer: It's Now on the Map, Thanks to Bill Clinton." Chicago Sun-Times. October 11, 1992.
  39. ^ Marten, Charlotte. "Dorchester Had Important Role in Civil Rights History." Coastal Courier. February 3, 2012.
  40. ^ Wilson, Jon. "Museum Will Open Eyes to Black History." St. Petersburg Times. March 16, 2006.
  41. ^ Moker, Molly. The Official Guide to America's National Parks. New York, N.Y.: Fodors Travel, 2009, p. 106.
  42. ^ Kremer, Gary R. George Washington Carver: A Biography. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood, 2011, p. 173.
  43. ^ Melendez, Mel. "Carver Museum Puts Spotlight on Black History." Arizona Republic. January 27, 2006.
  44. ^ Curtis, p. 274.
  45. ^ The museum opened in 1983, but closed in 1985 due to space limitations. It reopened in larger quarters in 1988. Some sources use the 1988 date as the museum's founding. See: Harley-Adams, Sandra. "Baltimore's Black Wax Museum." The Crisis. February 1989, p. 12.
  46. ^ Danilov, Victor J. Women and Museums: A Comprehensive Guide. Lanham, Md.: AltaMira Press, 2005, p. 238.
  47. ^ Burden, Paul R. A Subject Guide to Quality Web Sites. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2010, p. 321.
  48. ^ Minchin, Timothy J. and Salmond, John A. After the Dream: Black and White Southerners Since 1965. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2011, p. 259.
  49. ^ Gates, Henry Louis and Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks. Harlem Renaissance Lives From the African American National Biography. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 246.
  50. ^ Amaral, Jorge. "Making Room for History." Hartford Courant. May 20, 2005; Goode, Steven. "Grand Vision For Hartford's Northwest School." Hartford Courant. October 2, 2010.
  51. ^ "Riley House Receives Collection of Abolitionist Papers." Black Issues in Higher Education. October 7, 2004, p. 13.
  52. ^ "Cochran Brings Group a Message of 'Excellence'." Wichita Eagle. November 7, 1999.
  53. ^ "L. E. Coleman Museum Opens This Saturday." The Gazette-Virginian. October 14, 2005.
  54. ^ Bull, Roger. "Ritz Theatre Celebrates 10 Years Back in Business in LaVilla." Florida Times-Union. September 14, 2009. Accessed 2012-03-03; Potter, Dorothy Bundy Turner and Potter, Clifton W. Lynchburg, 1757-2007. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2007, p. 117.
  55. ^ Brezus, Kia Shant'e. "Planting Historical Feet." Associated Press. July 16, 2000. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  56. ^ While the national historic site was designated in 1980, the museum in the visitors center was not constructed until 1996. See: Scott, David Logan and Scott, Kay Woelfel. Guide to the National Park Areas: Eastern States. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press, 2004, p. 55; Davis, Ren and Davis, Helen. Atlanta Walks: A Comprehensive Guide to Walking, Running, and Bicycling the Area's Scenic and Historic Locales. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 2011, p. 26.
  57. ^ The Mary McLeod Bethune Home is operated as a historic house museum. See: Curtis, p. 61.
  58. ^ Holland, p. 93.
  59. ^ Johnson, Winter. "'Freedom Ride' Celebrated at Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum." Culver City Patch. August 10, 2011. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  60. ^ a b Severson, Kim. "New Museums to Shine a Spotlight on Civil Rights Era." The New York Times. February 19, 2012. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  61. ^ Waibel, Elizabeth. "Museum Needs Civil Rights Stories." Jackson Free Press. January 27, 2012. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  62. ^ Davis, Ryan. "A Cultural Icon Rises From the Ashes in Historic Little Rock." The Crisis. Summer 2009, p. 39-40.
  63. ^ "Muhammad Ali Returns Home for Center Dedication." Jet. December 12, 2005, p. 52.
  64. ^ Kaufman, Polly Welts. Boston Women's Heritage Trail: Seven Self-Guided Walking Tours Through Four Centuries of Boston Women's History. Boston: Boston Women's Heritage Trail, 2006, p. 36.
  65. ^ Bertho, Michelle; Crawford, Beverly; and Fogarty, Edward A. The Impact of Globalization on the United States. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2008, p. 46.
  66. ^ Ruffings, Fath Davis. "Culture Wars Won and Lost, Part II: Ethnic Museums on the Mall." Radical History Review. June 1998, p. 80.
  67. ^ Lafo, Rachel Rosenfield; Capasso, Nicholas J.; and Uhrhane, Jennifer. Painting in Boston, 1950-2000. Lincoln, Mass.: DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, 2002, p. 36.
  68. ^ "Civil Rights Museum Opens in Memphis." Jet. July 22, 1991, p. 14.
  69. ^ Trescott, Jacqueline. "African American Museum Groundbreaking Showcases Living History." The Washington Post. February 22, 2012. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  70. ^ The museum was originally named the Museum of African American Art, Music and Culture, but changed its name to reflect a focus solely on music. See: "Study: African American Music Museum Could Have $9.1M Annual Impact." Nashville Post. February 22, 2012. Accessed 2012-03-03; Garrison, Joy. "African-American Museum Gets New Name, Music-Only Focus." Nashville City Paper. September 1, 2011. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  71. ^ "National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Opens In Cincinnati." Jet. September 13, 2004, p. 4-13.
  72. ^ Some sources claim the museum did not open until 1997. The museum moved to new quarters in 1997, but opened in 1990. See: Rielly, Edward J. Baseball in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching the National Pastime. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co, 2006, p. 34; Pahigian, Josh. 101 Baseball Places to Visit Before You Strike Out. Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press, 2008, p. 9.
  73. ^ Carr, Martha. "African-American Museum Closed." Times-Picayune. November 1, 2003.
  74. ^ White, Mel. Complete National Parks of the United States: Featuring 400+ Parks, Monuments, Battlefields, Historic Sites, Scenic Trails, Recreation Areas, and Seashores. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2009, p. 257-258.
  75. ^ McCrea, Bridget. "Museum Offers Historic Walk Through Black Culture." Black Enterprise. June 17, 2010. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  76. ^ Gilmore, Susan. "African American Museum Opens to Acclaim." Seattle Times. March 9, 2008. Accessed 2008-03-09.
  77. ^ American Association for State and Local History. Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 2002, p. 146.
  78. ^ Lynch, Christopher J. "Oran Z's Black Facts and Wax Museum: A Bizarre, Brutally-Honest African-American History Collection in Baldwin Hills." L.A. Weekly. September 8, 2011. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  79. ^ Anyaso, Hilary Hurd. "African American Art Front and Center." Black Issues in Higher Education. December 2, 2004.
  80. ^ Holland, p. 132.
  81. ^ Anderson, Katharine. Nature, Culture, and Big Old Trees. Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press, 2003, p. 39.
  82. ^ The Old Slave Mart Museum has operated on and off since 1938, under various owners. It has, at times, been an art museum, a slave history museum, and other kinds of museum. See: Dixon, Nenie and Bull, Elias. "National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form for Old Slave Mart." February 12, 1975. Accessed 2010-05-27.
  83. ^ Brown, Marquita. "Smith Robertson Museum a Cultural Experience." The Clarion-Ledger. February 6, 2011.
  84. ^ McCloud, Rashad. "Black Archives Unveils New Exhibits." The Famuan. October 2, 2006. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  85. ^ The Tangipahoa Black Festival began operation in 1984. It changed its name to the Tangipahoa Black Heritage Festival in 1987. It purchased property for a museum shortly thereafter, but did not become a museum until 2005. See: "About Us." Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archives. 2012. Accessed 2012-03-03.
  86. ^ American Art Directory 2008. New Providence, N.J.: National Register Pub., 2007, p. 107.
  87. ^ Harrison, Christine. "Historic Homecoming for Tuskegee Airmen as National Site Opens in Their Honor." Montgomery Advertiser. October 23, 2008.
  88. ^ Dolkart, Andrew. Guide to New York City Landmarks. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008, p. 274.

External links

  • Association of African American Museums
  • "Jim Crow History" program's map and details of museums in the U.S. devoted to African American history
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