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14 Best U.S. Attractions to Celebrate Black History Month

February is Black History Month in the U.S., which brings our attention to the immense struggles and inspiring perseverance of African American people in our country. From slavery to segregation, boycotts, riots, racism, and many epic “firsts,” there is a lot to learn about the Black culture and experience as you travel the country and visit historic sites.

Here is a sampling of some of the best attractions to see and celebrate Black History Month this year.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - Kansas City, Missouri Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Credit: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - Kansas City, Missouri

What Is It? The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is located in Kansas City, just a few blocks from the YMCA where the leagues first began in 1920. This is a stop along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail and a niche museum that celebrates the history of both African American history and the advancement of Black people in the country.

Why Do It? In this museum, you can learn a lot from the artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits. The museum has seen over two million visitors since it opened. It is a must-visit destination during Black history month and for baseball fans at any time of the year.

Good to Know: Adult admission tickets are $10, and the museum is open from Tuesdays through Fridays (closed Mondays).

Black History Tour of Downtown Grand Rapids - Grand Rapids, Michigan Statue of Mayor Lyman Parks, Grand Rapids' first African American mayorf
Credit: Statue of Mayor Lyman Parks, Grand Rapids' first African American mayorf by experiencegr.com

Black History Tour of Downtown Grand Rapids - Grand Rapids, Michigan

What Is It? The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan stands out during Black History Month because it offers a Black History Tour in the downtown area.

Why Do It? On this self-guided walking tour, you can see 11 historical sites, including the historic Fountain Street Church and the statue of Grand Rapid’s first African American mayor, Lyman Parks.

Good to Know: Download the free GR Walks app to do the walking tour yourself. The tour is about two miles long and narrated by Joe Jones, the city commissioner and former president of the Urban League of West Michigan.

National Museum of African American History and Culture - Washington, D.C. A people’s journey, a nation’s story
Credit: A people’s journey, a nation’s story by nmaahc.si.edu

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

What Is It? Washington, D.C. is a wonderful place to visit if you want to learn about Black history month this February. One essential stop in the city is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is a Smithsonian museum. The museum opened to the public in 2016 and has more than 40,000 artifacts.

Why Do It? It is the only national museum exclusively dedicated to the documentation of African American history, life, and culture. You can find a list of current exhibitions on the museum’s website.

Good to Know: The museum is free to visit; however, free timed entry passes are required. The museum is open from either 10am or noon to 5:30pm daily. During your visit, plan to visit the Sweet Home Café onsite to experience authentic and traditional African American cuisine.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum - Jackson, Mississippi Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
Credit: Mississippi Civil Rights Museum by Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum - Jackson, Mississippi

What Is It? This museum tells the stories of Mississippians who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement, including Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Vernon Dahmer. The museum opened in 2017 and focuses on the years between 1945 and 1976.

Why Do It? There are eight galleries filled with exhibits, artifacts, documents, film footage, and interactive displays at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. This is a place where you can learn about how Black Mississippians made civil rights a reality for all people.

Good to Know: Admission to the museum is $15 for adults. Alternatively, you can visit the museum for free on any Sunday.

National Civil Rights Museum - Memphis, Tennessee National Civil Rights Museum
Credit: National Civil Rights Museum by National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum - Memphis, Tennessee

What Is It? This is a civil rights museum that tells the story of the struggles of African Americans, from slavery to separate-but-equal accommodations, boycotts, assassinations, and success. The museum was established in 1991 and is at the site of the former Lorraine Motel, which is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Why Do It? You can view over 260 artifacts and more than 40 films when you visit the museum to learn about Black history. There are permanent exhibits, special exhibits, and a yearlong exhibition outside.

Good to Know: The National Civil Rights Museum is closed on Tuesdays but opens every other day from 9am to 5pm. It takes about 1.5 hours to see the museum, and the admission price is $18 for adults.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park - Church Creek, Maryland Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
Credit: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park by commons.wikimedia.org

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park - Church Creek, Maryland

What Is It? Here’s a park that is a National Park Service site dedicated to the deeply spiritual woman and legendary leader Harriet Tubman. The park has a visitor center with permanent exhibits and a film to watch. There is also a museum store and research library.

Why Do It? Tubman risked her life to guide enslaved people north so that they could experience freedom. This park introduces visitors to her story. There is also a nice legacy garden that you can take a walk in during your visit.

Good to Know: It is free to visit the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument. The park is closed on Mondays but opens every other day between 10am and 4pm.

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) - San Francisco, California Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
Credit: Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) by Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) - San Francisco, California

What Is It? Based in San Francisco, this museum celebrates Black cultures and invites visitors to be inspired by the African Diaspora. It is a contemporary art museum that features photography, fashion, film, and other types of art.

Why Do It? Since 2005, this museum has been playing an important role in the local arts community and presents information about the rich cultural heritage of people from Africa and individuals of African descent.

Good to Know: The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11am to 6pm and from Sundays from noon to 5pm. General admission is $12 for adults.

Boston African American National Historic Site - Boston, Massachusetts The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial at the historic site
Credit: The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial at the historic site by nps.gov

Boston African American National Historic Site - Boston, Massachusetts

What Is It? The African American community led the fight against slavery in the 1800s on the north slope of Beacon Hill in Boston. This national historic site commemorates the efforts of leaders of the Abolition Movement, Underground Railroad, and Civil War.

Why Do It? This site features a 1.5-mile trail that links various sites related to Black history in Boston. There are self-guided and ranger-led tours available. It’s a great way to learn about the free Black community that lived in this area from the late 18th century to the 19th century.

Good to Know: There is no fee to join a ranger-guided walking tour of the Black Heritage Trail. However, admission to the Museum of African American History is $10 for adults.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute - Birmingham, Alabama A cultural and educational research center worth visiting
Credit: A cultural and educational research center worth visiting by bcri.org

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute - Birmingham, Alabama

What Is It? Here’s a civil rights museum that is part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and a Smithsonian Institution affiliate. The museum teaches visitors lessons about civil and human rights by exploring the past and working towards a better future.

Why Do It? There are permanent, traveling, and special exhibits to explore at this historical site. The galleries each have something different to offer as you learn new things at any age.

Good to Know: The adult admission fee to visit the institute is $15. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays but open from 10am to 5pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Idaho Black History Museum - Boise, Idaho Learn about a unique side of Black history in America
Credit: Learn about a unique side of Black history in America by ibhm.org

Idaho Black History Museum - Boise, Idaho

What Is It? The Idaho Black History Museum is in the former St. Paul Baptist Church and in a building that dates back to 1921. It was Idaho’s first Black church.

Why Do It? Many people don’t think about places like Idaho when they are looking to learn about Black history. This museum offers a unique perspective on the Black experience in America.

Good to Know: The museum is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 11am to 3pm and on Fridays from 10am to 1pm. It is free to visit the museum, although it welcomes donations from visitors.

Beale Street Historic District - Memphis, Tennessee Listen to music in the home of the blues
Credit: Listen to music in the home of the blues by bealestreet.com

Beale Street Historic District - Memphis, Tennessee

What Is It? Beale Street is known as the home of blues music and a top tourist attraction in Tennessee. The African American community led the blues movement on this iconic street that is still home to many live music venues. Beale Street was originally home to many Black-owned businesses and the headquarters of an anti-segregationist newspaper.

Why Do It? There’s always something fun and exciting going on when you visit Beale Street. Many seasonal events are held here throughout the year.

Good to Know: The historic district is an essential stop along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The trail spans multiple states and makes an excellent road trip to learn about Black history.

DuSable Museum of African American History - Chicago, Illinois The nation’s oldest independent African American museum
Credit: The nation’s oldest independent African American museum by dusablemuseum.org

DuSable Museum of African American History - Chicago, Illinois

What Is It? Located in Chicago, the DuSable Museum is the nation’s oldest independent African American museum. It has over 15,000 pieces in its collection, including paintings, print works, sculptures, and historical memorabilia.

Why Do It? Margaret Taylor Burroughs created this museum to celebrate Black culture. It attracts over 100,000 visitors each year to educate the public about the African American experience.

Good to Know: This museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 4pm. The museum offers free visit days on Wednesdays. the adult admission price for non-Chicago residents is $14.50.  

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum - Houston, Texas Learn about the African American military experience
Credit: Learn about the African American military experience by buffalosoldiersmuseum.org

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum - Houston, Texas

What Is It? The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum covers the stories and contributions that African Americans made in the military. It features exhibits, educational programming, and visual art displays.

Why Do It? This is a unique museum because it specifically focuses on the African American military experience. “Buffalo soldiers” is a name that is used with pride and to symbolize great bravery.

Good to Know: You can visit this museum Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Free admission is granted on Thursdays from 1pm to 5pm.

Martin Luther King National Historical Park - Atlanta, Georgia Childhood home of Martin Luther King Jr
Credit: Childhood home of Martin Luther King Jr by © David Carey | Dreamstime.com

Martin Luther King National Historical Park - Atlanta, Georgia

What Is It? Visit this national historical park to learn about the legendary Martin Luther King, Jr. and visit the home of his birth. Essential stops are the home where Dr. King was born, the rose garden, historic Baptist church, and DREAM gallery.

Why Do It? The park is a top tourist destination in Atlanta and draws lots of national and international visitors. Dr. King was an incredibly important figure in Black history in America and is still an inspiration for visitors today.

Good to Know: There is no admission fee to visit this National Park Service site. It is closed Sunday but opens every other day from 9am to 5pm.

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