Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
1500 South Park Street
Little Rock, AR 72202
In 1957, the Supreme Court ordered Little Rock Central High to desegregate. The first African-American students to attend became known as the “Little Rock Nine” and helped to force desegregation despite Governor Orval Faubus’ efforts to prevent it. Now, the site is located diagonally across the street from the school along with the memorial and the Central High Commemorative Garden. The school itself is still active and has over 2,000 students in its population.
Levi Coffin House
113 North US Highway 27
Fountain City, IN
This 1839 two-story, eight-room brick house was a stop for slaves escaping on the underground railroad. Levi Coffin and his wife Catharine helped nearly 2,000 slaves escape to freedom in Canada over a period of 20 years. With this landmark being named one of the top 25 history sites in the nation by The History Channel, this is definitely a site to be seen.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
450 Auburn Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30312
This traditionally black neighborhood of several blocks in Atlanta includes Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was a pastor, and his grave site. If you want to get a glimpse into Dr. King’s life, this exhibit is one of the best ways to do it.
National Underground Railroad Museum (The Bierbower House)
38 West 4th Street
Maysville, KY 41056
The museum was founded in 1994 as the first national museum dedicated to studying, chronicling, and celebrating the underground railroad movement. The museum features its largest artifact – The Bierbower House. The house was built between 1838 and 1847 and it was close to the residencies of freed blacks so it served as the perfect place to hide runaway slaves. It still has servants’ quarters that contain hidden slave chambers for visitors to see.
253 W 125th Street
New York, New York 10027
The Apollo is one of the most famous music venues in the U.S. It is a nationally registered historic space, and was the home of Showtime at the Apollo, a television show showcasing new talent. If you visit the theater today, you can attend an Amateur Night at the Apollo, go on a Historic Tour, or get a more in-depth look at the city it’s in and get the “Harlem Experience.” Also, from February 8 through May 1, 2011, you can see an exhibit presented by the Apollo in the Museum of the City of New York called Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment.
African Burial Ground National Monument
New York, NY
The monument contains the remains of hundreds of Africans buried during the 17th and 18th centuries. This site has been designated a National Historic Landmark and has been called the more important urban archaeological project in the U.S.
Louis Armstrong House and Archives
34-56 107th Street
Corona, New York 11368
This was the home of famous jazz artist Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille. The couple stayed in this modest home until their death, and its furnishings have not changed over the years. You can hear audio clips of Louis’s recordings and of him practicing his trumpet, enjoying a meal, or talking with his friends throughout the tour. There is also an exhibit on Louis’s life and legacy.
Old Slave Mart Museum
6 Chalmers ST
Charleston, SC 29401
This museum is the only known former slave auction gallery still in existence. It tells the story of Charleston’s role in the inter-state slave trade and It focuses on the history of that specific site.
Museum of Black WWII history
179 Oak Hill School Road
Pownal, VT 05261
This museum is dedicated to informing visitors about the contributions of millions of African-Americans who served in the military during the Second World War. There are many picture and object displays to show the documentation of the trials and struggles African-Americans had to go through while serving in the military. The Tuskegee Airmen and 761st Tank Battalion are especially highlighted here.
Harlem Heritage Tours and Cultural Center
104 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY 10026
This cultural center provides visitors with walking tours that highlight the history of Harlem and its contributions to the greater American culture. You can choose between an selection of walking tours ranging from Gospel to Hip Hop. There are also informative and interesting exhibitions in the center about Harlem’s early Entrepreneurs and Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, a Harlem icon.
Robert Russa Moton Museum
900 Griffin Boulevard
Farmville, VA 23901
The Robert Moton Museum is a center that positively interprets the history of civil rights in education. It is located in Moton High School, the school that was the site of a student protest that spurred the famous Brown vs. Board of Education lawsuit.
Slave Relics museum (Walterboro)
208 Carn St
Walterboro, SC 29488
This museum is dedicated to celebrating the history of African-American slaves. Actual pieces of art and tools made and used by slaves are on display here.
Five Points, Denver
Denver, Colorado’s Five Points community began as upper class white residential area but after the extension of Broadway through older black neighborhoods and the appeal of modern conveniences in this neighborhood, Five Points quickly became a black ran and black owned community. Five Points was also a major stop for touring jazz musicians like Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. The area was also known as the Harlem of the west in the 1900s. The Five Points Jazz Festival, Juneteenth Celebration, and Colorado Black Arts Festival are now big attractions in the area.
Picture by Alex Saunders
The Rankin House
6152 Rankin Road
Ripley, OH 45167
This site is one of the better-known stops on the Underground Railroad Station and is seen as a National Historic Landmark. The house gives you a clear depiction of how the Rankin family lived while harboring the runaway slaves. It also contains several personal Rankin items and boasts one of the most beautiful views of the Ohio River.
Picture by Dallas Howard
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park
Star Route 1, Box 148
Earlimart CA 93219
California’s most popular African-American settlement, Allensworth was established by Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth and his associates in 1908. The Colonel died six years later, and difficulties in securing a dependable water supply led to the community’s decline in the 1920s.
- of 16
Black History Month is usually a time for reflection, remembrance, and recognition of the people who paved the way for us to live the way we live through inventions, medical and musical advances, or simply bravery. This year, why not do something a little different?
Instead of thinking of these inspirational people, visit their homes or go to a museum that features in-depth looks into these individual’s lives. We here at theGrio decided to help you out and start you off with our list of 15 historic places to visit in the U.S. Celebrate our culture and get a little history lesson at the same time!