One of the best ways to celebrate Black History Month is by learning about the many inspiring black historical figures who helped shape our country. Regardless of where you live, we highly suggest checking out a museum dedicated to African American history.
Here is our list of museums to visit during Black History Month:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the “only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture,” according to its website. Since its opening in September 2016, it has gained nearly 100,000 members and received 1.7 million visitors in 2018 alone. Today, the museum boasts an impressive collection of over 36,000 artifacts, which include Harriet Tubman’s prayer shawl, Chuck Berry’s Cadillac, Emmett Till’s casket, and hand-written letters from James Baldwin. During Black History Month, the museum hosts film screenings and lectures.
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum doesn’t shy away from the state’s harrowing past. From highlighting the resilience of the African Americans who fought for equality, to revealing the vicious segregation of their time, the museum seeks to shed light on the entirety of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. The museum’s eight interactive galleries include a recreated jail cell from the 1960s and an area called “This Little Light of Mine,” which features a glowing abstract sculpture.
Museum of the African Diaspora
San Francisco, California
Located in the heart of San Francisco, the Museum of the African Diaspora showcases artwork by African Americans and emerging artists who are frequently under-represented. It is one of the only museums in the world dedicated entirely to African Diaspora, a term which refers to the dispersion of peoples of African descent across the globe. The exhibits display artwork regarding a variety of topics, from jazz music to slave narratives, and rotate annually to provide a fresh experience each year.
African American Museum in Philadelphia
Founded in 1976, the African American Museum in Philadelphia was the first municipality-funded African American history museum. It features a variety of exhibits focusing on topics like the Civil Rights Movement and the African diaspora. Such exhibits include a 100-year interactive timeline, ten full-size video projections of 18th century heroes in Philadelphia, and a children’s corner.
Don’t let the stories of the past go unheard—take time to learn about and celebrate African American culture at one of these amazing museums to visit during black history month.