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Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: January/February 2014
20 Unforgettable African-American Heritage Sites/Venues

As Black Meetings & Tourism embarks on its year-long 20 th Anniversary Celebration, we thought it only appropriate to highlight attractions, destinations, venues and organizations of significance to the more than $56 billon market segment that we serve.  In keeping with the "20-year" theme, in future issues we will showcase everything from "20 Fun Festivals" and "20 Unique Places as Meeting Spaces," to "20 Great Convention Hotels" and "20 Wonderful Walking Cities."  Since Black History Month is upon us, this issue will feature "20 African-American Heritage Sites."


1. REGINALD F. LEWIS MUSEUM OF MARYLAND AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE

The museum's mission is to be the premier experience and best resource for information and inspiration about the lives of African-American Marylanders.  Located at 830 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD, the museum seeks to realize its mission by collecting, preserving, interpreting, documenting and exhibiting the rich contributions of African-American Marylanders from the state's earliest history to the present and the future.

For more information visit http://www.rflewismuseum.org.

2. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.  MEMORIAL

Martin Luther King's leadership in the drive for the freedoms and liberties of all U.S. citizens, without regard to race, color, or creed is what fueled the creation of the Memorial.  The monument serves a symbol, recognized worldwide, of the quest for civil rights of the citizens of the world.  Located at Ohio Dr SW Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C., King is the first African-American to be honored with a monument on the National Mall.

For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/mlkm/index.htm.

3. NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER

Opened on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati in 2004, the mission of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is to reveal stories of freedom's heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring everyone to take courageous steps of freedom today. Located at 50 E Freedom Way at Rosa Parks St, Cincinnati, OH the museum hosts more than 100,000 visitors annually.

For more information visit http://freedomcenter.org.

4. AFRICAN-AMERICAN FIREFIGHTER MUSEUM

The AAFFM stands as the first and so far the only free standing African American Firefighter Museum in the United States. The first floor contains vintage fire apparatus, stories and pictures of pioneering African-American Los Angeles Firefighters. The Museum gallery is located on the second floor with pictures, artifacts and other memorabilia of African-American Firefighters, Captains, Chief Officers and historical women fire service professionals from around the country.

For more information visit http://www.aaffmuseum.org.

5. BLACK AMERICAN WEST MUSEUM

The BAWM is dedicated to collecting, preserving and disseminating the contributions of Blacks in the Old West. While famous for telling the story of Black cowboys, the museum is broader than this with interests in the stories of all those early Blacks who came west and performed as miners, soldiers, homesteaders, ranchers, blacksmiths, schoolteachers, lawmen, and every other profession needed to build up the West.

To learn more about the museum, located at 3091 California St, Denver, CO, visit http://www.blackamericanwestmuseum.org.

6. MUHAMMAD ALI CENTER

The Muhammad Ali Center is a multicultural center with an award-winning museum dedicated to the life of Muhammad Ali. The Center museum captures the inspiration derived from the story of Muhammad Ali's incredible life and the six core principles that have fueled his journey.

To learn more about the Center, located at 144 N 6th St W. River Rd., Louisville, KY, visit http://alicenter.org.

7. NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM

Founded in 1990, the Museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of African-American Baseball.  Experience a tour of multi-media displays, museum store, hundreds of photographs, and artifacts dating from the late 1800s through the 1960s.  The museum, which shares the new 18th & Vine museum complex with the American Jazz Museum, is located at1616 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO.

For more information visit http://www.nlbm.com.

8. CHARLES H. WRIGHT MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY

The world's largest institution dedicated to the African-American experience, this museum provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African-Americans and their African origins. The 125,000-sq. ft. facility is located in the heart of Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center at 315 E Warren Ave.

For more information visit http://thewright.org.

9. AFRICAN-AMERICAN RESEARCH LIBRARY AND CULTURAL CENTER

AARLCC, which opened its doors in 2002, is a library by and about African-Americans for the Broward community and the world at large. Not just any library, but a state-of-the-art facility for research, life-long learning, community gatherings, cultural events and technology training.

For more information about the library, located at 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL, visit https://www.broward.org/Library/LocationsHours/Branches/Pages/AA.aspx.

10. THE NATIONAL GREAT BLACKS IN WAX MUSEUM

The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum is among the nations most dynamic cultural and educational institutions. Because it is a wax museum committed solely to the study and preservation of African American history, it is also among the most unique. Primarily, the presentation of life-size, life-like wax figures highlighting historical and contemporary personalities of African ancestry defines its uniqueness.

For more information n the museum, located at 1601-03 East North Ave, Baltimore, MD, visit http://www.greatblacksinwax.org.

11. NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM

The Museum is the site of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.  Located at 450 Mulberry St at E Butler Ave. in the historic downtown art district, the Museum exists to assist the public in understanding the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact and influence on human rights movements worldwide, through its collections, exhibitions, research and educational programs.

For more information visit http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org.

12. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site includes a number of facilities that are operated in partnership with the National Park Service, Ebenezer Baptist Church and The King Center. Within these facilities the visitor can learn about Dr. King's life and his influence on others.

For more information on the site, located at 450 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, visit http://www.nps.gov/malu/index.htm.

13. DEXTER AVENUE KING MEMORIAL

The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church & Parsonage in Montgomery, AL is the church where Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr. pastored from 1954-1960 and began his quest for civil rights. Guided tours of the church and parsonage are available. This church, located at 454 Dexter Avenue, was a center point of the Montgomery bus boycott. A large mural in the church depicts King's civil rights crusade from Montgomery to Memphis.

For more information visit http://www.dexterkingmemorial.org.

14. AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM & LIBRARY AT OAKLAND

Dedicated to the discovery, preservation, interpretation and sharing of historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West for present and future generations, AAMLO's archival collection is a unique resource on the history of African-Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area.

For more information on AAMLO, located at 659 14th St, Oakland, CA, visit http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/locations/african-american-museum-library-oakland.

15. CALIFORNIA AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM

The mission of CAAM is to research, collect, preserve, and interpret for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African-Americans with an emphasis on California and the Western United States.  The museum, located at 600 State St, Los Angeles, CA, occupies a 44,0009-sq. ft. facility that includes three full-size exhibition galleries and a theater gallery.

For more information visit http://www.caamuseum.org/.

16. APOLLO THEATER

The world famous Apollo Theater is so much more than a historic landmark - it is a source of pride and a symbol of the brilliance of American artistic accomplishment. With its rich history and continued significance, the Apollo Theater, considered the bastion of African-American culture and achievement, is one of the most fascinating chronicles in American history.

For more information on the Apollo Theater, located at 253 W 125th St, New York, NY, visit https://www.apollotheater.org.

17. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, located in Harlem, New York, is a research unit of The New York Public Library system. It is recognized as one of the leading institutions focusing exclusively on African-American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.  Located at 515 Malcolm X Blvd at W 135th St., New York, NY, the Schomburg collects, preserves, and provides access to materials documenting Black life - in America and worldwide.

For more information visit http://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg.

18. INTERNATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS CENTER AND MUSEUM

Located at 134 S. Elm Street in the heart of downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum is an archival center, collecting museum and teaching facility devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights. The Museum celebrates the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement.

For more information, visit http://www.sitinmovement.org.

19. FREDERICK DOUGLASS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site preserves the home and legacy of Frederick Douglass, a runaway slave, abolitionist, civil rights advocate, author and statesmen.  The house, located at 1411 W St SE, Washington, D.C, was built between 1855 and 1859, and includes Frederick Douglass' library with books on almost every imaginable subject filling the many bookcases. A visit to the site is a wonderful way to experience Douglass' ideas.

For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/frdo/index.htm.

20. AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND NATIONAL MONUMENT

From about the 1690s until 1794, both free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6-acre burial ground in Lower Manhattan, outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam, later known as New York. Lost to history due to landfill and development, the grounds were rediscovered in 1991 as a consequence of the planned construction of a Federal office building. The African Burial Ground National Monument Visitor Center is located on the first floor of the Ted Weiss Federal Building located at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, while the memorial is found behind the building on  Duane Street

For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/afbg/index.htm.
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