If you love to travel, why not celebrate Black History Month by taking a trip to a place that helped shape the culture? We’ve come up with five destinations that have a story to be told and a lot to be learned:
National Civil Rights Museum
Where: Memphis, Tennessee
In the 1960s, the civil rights movement was in full swing trying to end racial segregation and discrimination against African-Americans. This museum in Memphis is centered around the Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while giving his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. It also includes exhibits on the sit-in movement, slavery, the Freedom Riders, and more.
Charleston, South Carolina
If you want a good dose of history in a small area, head to the city of Charleston. You’ll find 43 different locations that are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Cigar Factory (a 19th-century cotton mill that was turned into a cigar factory), Emanuel AME (the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the South), and the Old Slave Mart (the only known surviving building used for slave auctions).
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Where: Detroit, Michigan
Founded in 1965, this museum is home to the largest permanent exhibit on African-American culture, “And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African-American History and Culture.” In addition, the museum holds regular events like dancing, films, workouts, and more and showcases more than 30,000 materials and artifacts.
Harlem, New York City
In this city, you’ll find several different areas that played a role in black history. The home of Langston Hughes, the Apollo Theater, and the Dark Tower are just a few iconic sites that were important during the Harlem Renaissance. In addition, you’ll find the Studio Museum, which displays works created by African-American artists and Striver’s Row, a historic district that sparked a controversy.
The Underground Railroad Heritage Trail
Where: Rochester, New York
During the Civil War, New York was a popular destination for freedom-seeking African-Americans. The New York Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation created a collection of recognized sites called the Underground Railroad Heritage Trail. This route follows the route taken by many slaves and includes museums, historic sites, and research centers.