9 Great US Travel Destinations for Learning African American Culture

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Looking to explore African American culture on your next vacation? The United States is home to a wealth of destinations with museums, historic sites, and festivals for cultural immersion.

Here are 9 great US travel destinations for exploring African American culture.

Tuskegee, Alabama

Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university (HBCU) known for providing education to black students who once has limited access. It was established by Booker T. Washington. It is here where the University began its legacy of training the Tuskegee Airmen.

The George Washington Carver Museum, Booker T. Washington’s home, (The Oaks), the burial site of him and his family, as well as other historic burial sites, are all located in the heart of campus. The George Washington Carver Museum will begin rehabilitation work in 2023, but it is currently open to visitors.

Atlanta, Georgia

Located in Atlanta, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights are two great destinations for those interested in African American culture and history.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site commemorates the life and work of the civil rights leader and includes his boyhood home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was a co-pastor, and his tomb.

Savannah, Georgia

Or visit the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, one of the oldest congregations in the United States. The church is a symbol and legacy to the struggle for freedom and justice. During the antebellum period, the church served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. There are still portions of the wood floor that have pencil-width holes that served as breathing spots for slaves as they waited underground to continue their trip to freedom.

learn african american culture
Floor in First African Baptist Church – Savannah, GA

Chicago, Illinois

Named after Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a Haitian immigrant who founded the city of Chicago, The DuSable Museum of African American History is a must when visiting Chicago. The music exhibits cover works of art, history, and the culture of African Americans from ancient Africa to modern times. 

Washington, D.C.

Enthusiasts who travel to learn culture should not miss the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Not only does the museum showcase African American history and culture. The displays are numerous artifacts, personal items, and photographs that make the exhibit resonate and feel alive.

The museum leaves visitors with a unique perspective on the American experience and it’s influence of African American culture. The struggle of the African Americans plight is lightly touched in the museum exhibits.

The museum sheds a positive light on black culture by celebrating its contributions, achievements, and progress in art, sports, history, TV, and music. 

Cincinnati, Ohio

Located on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is the first national museum dedicated to the study and interpretation of the Underground Railroad.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a living tribute to the brave men and women who risked their lives to help others achieve freedom. The museum provides a powerful reminder of the importance of always fighting for what is right, even when it seems impossible.

Baltimore, Maryland

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum was one of the richest black businessmen who built a billion-dollar enterprise. The permanent exhibition presents a wealth of information about the experience of African Americans from slavery to the present day.  Allow at least an hour for the full experience of all three floors. The second floor is a rotating exhibit and features guest artists.

Boston, Massachusetts

The Black Heritage Trail is a 1.6-mile-long path that passes through Beacon Hill and was once the largest community of African Americans in Boston. 

The trail includes the African Meeting House which is part of the Museum of African American History. You can follow the trail in your own time, but you’ll learn so much more with a tour guide. Boston has some of the most charming streets in America and you’ll love seeing the historical architecture of buildings where important speeches were made and abolitionists once stood. 

Detroit, Michigan

There is no museum focused on African American history larger than the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The museum features original Motown artifacts, interactive exhibits, and multimedia presentations. The exhibits leave a deep impression of life for African Americans in Africa, Detroit, and around the world.

The Motown Museum is a living tribute to the music that changed the world. The museum is in the former Hitsville U.S.A. recording studio, where Motown founder Berry Gordy established the legendary record label in 1959. This is a must-visit for any fan of Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and the Jackson Five.

Kansas City, Missouri

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is dedicated to historical preservation of African-American baseball. The museum also offers a research center for those interested in learning more about the history of African-American baseball players.

This museum is not just about sports, it is about the greatness of players like Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby who broke barriers and what it meant for future players, and the progression of American society. With the memorabilia and historical facts, you can easily spend 2 to 3 hours here.

Harlem, New York

The Apollo Theater is one of the most important music halls in the United States. The theater has supported the black music culture and host performances by Prince, James Brown, The Temptations, and Michael Jackson. 

Cincinnati, Ohio

Located on the banks of the Ohio River, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is the first national museum dedicated to the study and interpretation of the Underground Railroad.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a living tribute to the brave men and women who risked their lives to help others achieve freedom. The museum provides a powerful reminder of the importance of always fighting for what is right, even when it seems impossible.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa was nationally recognized for its prosperous African American community known as the Greenwood District. This thriving business district and surrounding residential neighborhood were dubbed “Black Wall Street.”

Today, Tulsa is a diverse city that acknowledges and endeavors to atone for the past. The community has strengthened and celebrates black culture annually at hosted festivals. Other points of interest include the Mabel B Little Heritage House and the Greenwood Cultural Center.

Memphis, Tennessee

The National Civil Rights Museum is at the historic Lorraine Motel and is an important destination for anyone interested in learning about African American history. It gives visitors a better understanding of the struggle for equality in America. Even after 50 years, seeing the motel is somber.  

The museum features a collection of artifacts, photographs, films, and interactive displays that tell the story of the American Civil Rights Movement. The museum features a collection of artifacts, photographs, films, and interactive displays that paint the story of the American Civil Rights Movement. The museum houses a replica of the room where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech in 1963.

Final Thoughts on Destinations for Learning African American Culture

There are many travel destinations in the US where you can learn about black culture and history.

By exploring the destinations mentioned above, or others like them, you can deepen your understanding and appreciation of this important aspect of American history and culture without leaving the country.

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