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10 Inspiring Places to Visit for Black History Month

The great Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass share birthdays in the month of February. During the month of February, we remember the African Americans who played pivotal roles in building this nation. (1) We honor their achievements across all the major fields of study: science, health, education, engineering, and creative arts to name a few.

Take time during this month to visit these historic locations. Draw on the power of inspiration through listening and learning from past teachers, artists, and thought leaders.

1. 501 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta

No trip to the south would be complete without first stopping by the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King's life began on the 2nd-floor middle room on January 15, 1929. At only eight years old he began to share the pulpit at the local Baptist Church with his father on the corner of Auburn and Jackson Street. He would go on to produce many famous civil rights speeches and be arrested for his courage over 30 times. (1)

2. Negro Leagues Baseball & American Jazz Museums, Kansas City

Kansas City hosts some of the best African American museums in the entire country. Both museums share the same building in the18th & Vine District. The NLBM was founded by a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the rich history and culture of African American baseball. As you well know, Kansas City is also famous for its Jazz music and culture. Be sure to stop by the American Jazz Museum for live music and fun activities.

3. Fort Pillow State Park, Tennessee

Fort Pillow State Park honors the service of 262 black Union Soldiers who were slaughtered by the Confederate army in 1864. Originally named for Gideon J. Pillow of the Confederate army, the fort today is still well preserved and visitors can take a tour of the grounds. The museum is open from 8am to 4pm. 32 campground sites make this a perfect summer spot for families.

4. DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago

DuSable Museum is dedicated to the preservation of African American arts, history, and culture. Popular exhibits include Freedom’s Journey, and Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services. In 2018 the theme for black history month is African Americans in Times of War. Be sure to also check out the many live performances the museum has to offer.

5. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit

Founded in 1965, the Charles H. Wright Museum contains over 35,000 artifacts. Popular collections in the museum include the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, and documents on the labor movement in Detroit. Charles H. Wright on creating a museum:
An idea came to me that African Americans needed a museum to collect and preserve our history and culture. And, with the help of many minds and hands, that idea came to fruition.

6. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati

The grand opening of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center was in 2004. The center aims to honor those who helped “abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people.” The location was chosen due to the prominence of the Ohio River in helping thousands of slaves escape to the north. It attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. (2)

7. National Museum of African American History and Culture, D.C.

The newest addition to all the African American museums, the National Museum of African American History and Culture contains over 36,000 artifacts. Popular exhibits include the forgotten City of Hope, Cultural Expressions, and A Changing America. Collections range from literature, music, photography, and the American south to name a few.

8. Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, D.C.

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site honors the legend who escaped brutal captivity as a young man and who developed into a leading voice in the abolitionist movement. "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong,” said Douglass. He spent the last 17 years of his life here at Cedar Hill, where his legacy lives on today.

9. Langston Hughes House, New York City

Author during the famous Harlem Renaissance, Hughes (1902-1967) spent most of his life living in New York City. He dedicated his mind to the question of black identity. Langston Hughes on dreams:
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

10. Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Ohio

Charles Young entered West Point on June 10, 1884. He went on to become only the third African American to graduate from the academy since its beginnings. He went on to serve under Theodore Roosevelt and retained the highest postion of any African American until his death in1922.


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