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.
450 Mulberry St
The site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination... the first museum to trace America's civil rights movement opened its doors at the tragically historic site.
144 W 125th St
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.
315 E Warren Ave
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.
11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave
Today the Pullman district makes a fascinating stop for anyone with a historical or architectural bent.
46 Joy St
The museum's premises comprise the African Meeting House, the oldest black church in the country, and the Abiel Smith School, the nation's first public school for African-American children.
1616 E 18th St
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum covers African American teams (eg the KC Monarchs and New York Black Yankees) that flourished until baseball became fully integrated.
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.
740 East 56th Place
This was the first independent museum in the country dedicated to African American art, history and culture.
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.
1411 W St SE
Known as Cedar Hill, this quaint Victorian house was the last residence of black statesman, orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
450 Auburn Ave NE
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.
1964 Independence Ave, 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.
600 State Dr
Works by 20th-century African-American artists and contemporary art of the African Diasporas are the backbone of this museum's permanent collection.
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.
830 E Pratt St
With photographs, artifacts, video, and music, the Lewis Museum brings to life the stories of African American Marylanders.