7 African American Museums That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Check out these little-known institutions celebrating our community

staff photo by Sarah Pastrana A wax statue of Dorothy Irene Height, the chair and president of the National Council of Negro Women, greeted guests at the Black History Month observance luncheon held at Club Meade on Feb. 23. Dr. Joanne Martin, co-founder and CEO of the National Black Wax Museum in Baltimore, was the guest speaker for the event.

Learn something new and pay your respects to African Americans who have made tremendous contributions and sacrifices for current and future generations. Here are a few museums and centers that are a bit under the radar, yet inspiring.

 

1. Great Blacks in Wax Museum

Maryland Government Picture

The National Blacks in Wax Museum, an African American history museum in Maryland, is the first of its kind.

Photo by Sarah Pastrana

The wax statue above is of Dorothy Irene Height, the chair and president of the National Council of Negro Women.

 

2. African American Firefighter Museum

 

Photo by Dan DeLuca

The African American Firefighters Museum in Los Angeles is the first, and currently the sole museum in a free-standing building focused on African American firefighters. The museum has pictures and memorabilia documenting the work of African American firefighters in Los Angeles and the nation.

 

3. National Voting Rights Museum and Institute

Photo by Tony Webster

Located in Selma, Alabama, the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute follows the struggle for the right to vote. This museum is not too far from the site of Bloody Sunday. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, a group of nonviolent protesters were beaten with police sticks and sprayed with tear gas when they refused to disperse from the Edmund Pettus Bridge during a protest for voting rights.

 

4. Muhammad Ali Center

Photo by Phil and Jo Schiffbauer

The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, operates under the motto: Be Great: Do Great Things and Muhammad Ali’s core principles. The center offers a museum, events and educational programs. Exhibits and galleries provide insight into Ali’s achievements and are meant to inspire visitors.

 

5. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Photo of Slave Pen by Christopher Paulin

The Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati has exhibits that recapture and demonstrate the African American experiences.

 

6. Buffalo Soldiers

Photo by Patrick Feller

The stories about the Buffalo Soldiers, African American regiments in the U.S. Army, unfold at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, Texas.

 

7. Negro League Baseball Museum

Photo by Paul Sableman

The artifacts from the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City dates back from the 1800s through the 1960s, according to the museum’s website. It’s located in the same complex as the African American Jazz Museum.

 

In addition to being a Black Enterprise contributor, Claudine Williams is the editor-in-chief for the luxury travel site, Somewhere Luxurious. Visit Somewhere Luxurious for glamorous places to visit; restaurants with mouthwatering cuisine; can’t-miss events, must-see, must-visit destinations; and recaps from your favorite reality TV shows. Get updates from Claudine on Twitter and the Somewhere Luxurious YouTube Channel.