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 MuseumMaryland 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 InstitutePhoto 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 CenterPhoto 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 CenterPhoto 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 SoldiersPhoto 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 MuseumPhoto 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.