Top 15 places to visit during Black History Month

These top-rated museums, historical sites, and memorials offer a glimpse into the vital role African-Americans have played in U.S. history.

by Michael Carl Budd

It's difficult to overstate just how much African-Americans have shaped U.S. history, but each February, many Americans honor that legacy by setting the month apart for reflection and commemoration.  From the fight for equality for all Americans to sports, music, and the visual and performing arts, the following 15 cultural institutions and sites cover a range of areas of Black achievement.  The venues, spread across the country, are each top-rated by experts and worth a visit not only during Black History Month, but year round.  

Today the former hotel is a 10,000sq ft memorial depicting key events of the US civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s.

- Michelin Guide

When Studio Museum opened in 1968, it was the first black fine-arts museum in the country, and it remains the place to go for historical insight into African-American art.

- Time Out

The world's largest institution of African-American history deals with the life and culture of African Americans from slave-trade days to the present.

- Michelin Guide

Pullman Historic District 82

11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave

Today the Pullman district makes a fascinating stop for anyone with a historical or architectural bent.

- Frommer's

This hour-long, self-guided walking tour takes you on a historical trek through Salem’s African American heritage

- Where

These two unique museums, housed under one roof, are in the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District

- Frommer's

Old Slave Mart Museum 87

6 Chalmers St

This is thought to be the state's only existing building that was used for slave auctioning, a practice that ended here in 1863.

- Fodor's

This was the first independent museum in the country dedicated to African American art, history and culture.

- Lonely Planet

American Jazz Museum 82

1616 E 18th St

You'll learn about different styles, rhythms, instruments and musicians - including KC native Charlie Parker - at the interactive American Jazz Museum.

- Lonely Planet

Known as Cedar Hill, this quaint Victorian house was the last residence of black statesman, orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

- Michelin Guide

This area of about 2 blocks around Auburn Avenue was established to preserve the birthplace and boyhood surroundings of the nation's foremost civil rights leader.

- Frommer's

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial 83

1850 West Basin Drive SW

The newest potential memorial on the Mall, and the first one to honor an African American, has been mired in funding difficulties for the past few years.

- Lonely Planet

Works by 20th-century African-American artists and contemporary art of the African Diasporas are the backbone of this museum's permanent collection.

- Fodor's

Black American West Museum 79

3091 California St

uilt in 1971, in the home of Dr. Justina Ford, Colorado's first black female doctor, to collect, preserve, and disseminate the contributions of African Americans.

- Afar Magazine

Reginald F. Lewis Museum 78

830 E Pratt St

With photographs, artifacts, video, and music, the Lewis Museum brings to life the stories of African American Marylanders.

- Frommer's

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