African American Landmarks

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African American Landmarks

Helen Houston














































Since the early days of exploration in America, people of African descent have played an integral role and made significant contributions in every facet of the nation’s development: cultural, economic, educational, scientific, and social. The experiences and contributions of African Americans are commemorated throughout the United States by historical landmarks: markers, plaques, buildings, museums, and trails. Sites have been established to commemorate the African American participation in the defense and building of this nation; quest for knowledge; the trail from slavery to freedom by way of the many markers noting stations along the Underground Railroad; and the achievements of African Americans in the arts and sciences or in pursuit of equal rights. Landmarks, unlike most textual documents, stand through time as public testaments to the strength and courage of African Americans.



Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
1530 Sixth Ave. at Sixteenth St., N.
Telephone: (205) 251-9402

Wallace A. Rayfield, a local African American architect, designed the present sanctuary, and in 1911 Windham Brothers Construction Company, a local African American contractor, constructed the building. The church has continued to serve as a center for activities in the community. The church received national attention during the middle of the racial unrest of the 1960s, when four African American children—Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, and Carol Robertson—were killed in a bomb explosion near the sanctuary on September 15, 1963. The tragedy spurred Birmingham to address its racial problems and led to greater racial unity nationwide. The building was declared a national historic landmark on September 17, 1980.


William Christopher Handy Birthplace, Museum, and Library
620 W. College St.
Telephone: (256) 760-6434

W. C. Handy, composer of “St. Louis Blues,” was born in 1873. The cabin in which he was born was moved from its original site to its current location in Florence, Alabama. The restored cabin, constructed circa 1845, contains his piano, trumpet, and other mementos.


Civil Rights Memorial
400 Washington Ave., corner of Hull St.

This black granite monument is presented as a wall with water cascading over the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” The names of 40 civil rights martyrs are inscribed on a circular stone that is also presented. The memorial, commissioned by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was designed by architect Maya Lin and dedicated in 1989.

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and Pastorium
Church, 454 Dexter Ave.; Pastorium, 309
S. Jackson St.
Telephone: (334) 263-3970
Web site:

The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, erected in 1878, was the church where Martin Luther King Jr. organized the 1955 boycott of Montgomery’s segregated bus system. Although the pastorium was damaged by a bomb on January 31, 1956, the boycott continued and spurred the 1956 Supreme Court ruling that bus segregation was illegal. It was this boycott that brought King into national prominence as a civil rights leader.

King pastored at the church from 1954 to 1959. The church houses a mural depicting scenes of the civil rights movement, as well as a library that includes personal mementoes of King and his family. The church was declared a national historic landmark on July 1, 1974.


Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and King Monument
410 Martin Luther King Jr. St.
Telephone: (334) 874-7897

The church is housed in an imposing red brick structure with twin towers. It was organized in 1866 and moved to its present site in 1908. Brown Chapel was closely allied with the civil rights movement of the 1960s; in 1965 it became the center for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) voting rights campaign. Early in 1965 the church served as headquarters for the SCLC, housed rallies for Martin Luther King Jr. and other SCLC leaders, and was the site for planning demonstrations including the ill-fated demonstration on March 7 known as “Bloody Sunday.” The voting campaign spurred the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A monument to King, which is located in front of the chapel, was dedicated in 1979. Brown Chapel was declared a national historic landmark on February 4, 1982.

Edmund Pettus Bridge
Broad St., U.S. 80

On Sunday, March 7, 1965, 300 civil rights demonstrators started out from Selma, Alabama, on what was to be a 55-mile march to Montgomery, Alabama, protesting the denial of voting rights to African Americans who had attempted to register in Selma. Reaching the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the marchers were met by state troopers—the orders to deploy the troopers had been issued by Governor George Wallace to enforce his executive order forbidding such demonstrations. The unarmed marchers were turned back by tear gas and night sticks resulting in numerous injuries.

On March 21, a second march started out, organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; this march concluded five days later on the steps of the state capitol building in Montgomery. The two demonstrations aroused national concern and hastened Congress to pass a new voting rights bill.

Built in 1940, the Pettus Bridge marks the site of an important era in African American history. It is part of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic trail. A marker depicting the struggle at the bridge is located near Broad Street.

Selma to Montgomery Historic Trail
State Highway 60
Web site:


Talladega College and Swayne Hall
627 W. Battle St.
Telephone: (256) 362-0206
Web site:

The first college for African Americans in Alabama, Talladega College was founded by the American Missionary Association in 1867 as a primary school. The school pursued a liberal arts program at a time when vocational education dominated African American institutions. Its Savery Library houses three fresco panels known as the celebrated Amistad Murals by Hale Woodruff, who studied in France under the renowned Henry Ossawa Tanner.

Swayne Hall, built in 1857, is the oldest building on the campus of Talladega College. The building was constructed by slave labor before the school was established and transferred to the college in 1867. It was declared a national historic landmark on December 2, 1974.


Tuskegee University
Telephone: (800) 622-6531
Web site:

Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), a world-renowned center for agricultural research and extension work, first opened on July 4, 1881, with a $2,000 appropriation from the Alabama state legislature. It consisted of a single shanty, a student body of thirty, and one teacher—Booker T. Washington. Tuskegee functioned originally as a normal school for the training of African American teachers, the first of its kind established in the United States. Eventually, it specialized in agricultural and manual training, areas which were to make both the school and Booker T. Washington famous.

In 1882, Washington moved the school to a 100-acre plantation and began a self-help program that enabled students to finance their education. Most of the early buildings were built with the aid of student labor.

Next to Washington, the most notable person to be associated with the institute was George Washington Carver, who became its director of agricultural research in 1896. Carver persuaded many Southern farmers to cultivate peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other crops instead of cotton, which was rapidly depleting the soil. Ultimately, Carver’s research programs helped develop 300 derivative products from peanuts and 118 from sweet potatoes. At one point, he even succeeded in making synthetic marble from wood pulp.

Today, Tuskegee covers nearly 5,000 acres and has more than 150 buildings. There are more than 27 landmarks associated with Washington and Carver. Places to visit include the Founder’s Marker (i.e., the site of Wash-ington’s original shanty), the Oaks (i.e., Washington’s home), the Booker T. Washington Monument, gravesites for Washington (and two of his wives) and Carver, and the George Washington Carver Museum, which houses the scientist’s plant, mineral, and bird collections and exhibits of various products that he developed. Tuskegee is also home to the George Washington Carver Foundation, a research center founded by Carver in 1940. Tuskegee was declared a national historic landmark on June 23, 1965.


Lowndes County Interpretive Center
North of US Highway 80

Opened in 2006, it commemorates the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march to protest inequities in voting rights The entrance has a curved ceiling that opens and reflects the Edmund Pettus Bridge which leads to the state capitol.



Mattie Crosby’s Home

One of the few African American pioneers of Alaska, Mattie Crosby first came to the territory in 1900 with a Maine family that adopted her. During this period, some African Americans came into the territory during the era of the Gold Rush, while others were occasionally seen on board ships that brought in supplies. However, for nearly 17 years, Mattie Crosby lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, without meeting another African American.



John Swain Grave Site
Boot Hill Cemetery, U.S. 80
Telephone: (602) 457-3311

Born a slave in 1845, John Swain went to Tomb-stone, Arizona, in 1879 as a cowhand in the employ of John Slaughter. Swain was an expert rider and one of several African Americans to work for Slaughter.

In 1884, Swain is said to have fought and lost a one-round boxing match with John L. Sullivan, then heavyweight champion of the world. He died just three months short of his 100th birthday and was buried with honors by the citizens of Tombstone. A special tablet stands on the grave site, commemorating the close ties between Swain and Slaughter.



Central High School
1500 Park St., corner of Fourteenth and Park Sts.
Telephone: (501) 374-1957
Web site:

In the fall of 1957, the first major confrontation over implementation of the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in outlawing racial segregation in public schools took place at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The school was built in 1927.

Upon their arrival for classes on September 23, 1957, African American students were turned away by the Arkansas National Guard on the order of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded to the crisis by issuing an executive order on September 24, which called for the use of federal troops to enforce the court’s order to desegregate public schools.

Because of the influx of visitors to the school, the Central High School Museum and Visitor Center opened in September 1997. It is located next to the high school at 2125 W. Fourteenth St.

Ish House
1600 Scott St.

Private residence, exterior viewing only.

The home of Jefferson Ish was constructed in 1880. Jefferson Ish worked to ensure high quality education for African Americans in the area. After his death, the Ish School was established in the city to honor him. One of his sons, G. W. Ish, became an innovative physician and provided health care for local residents, as well as students at Philander Smith College. G. W. Ish also introduced isoniazid and streptomycin to treat pulmonary tuberculosis. The Ish home was designated a national historic landmark on January 3, 1978. It is a private residence.

Philander-Smith College
812 W. 13th St.
Telephone: (501) 375-9845

In 1877 this institution was opened under the sponsorship of the African Methodist Episcopal Church as Walder College in Little Rock, Arkansas. After receiving a large donation that enabled the school to construct a permanent brick edifice, the college was renamed.

Alonzo Trent House
1301 N 9th Street

This is the childhood home of the 1920s–30s jazz musician Alonzo Trent. His band was one of the first African American groups to use the front entrances to clubs and venues rather than service entrances.


Orr School
831 Laurel

This is the school attended by Scott Joplin, known as the father of ragtime music. It is one of the few buildings which remains associated with Joplin and his hometown.



Allensworth Colony
Star Route 1, Box 148
Telephone: (661) 849-3433

Established as an all-African American community, the town of Allensworth was founded by Allen Allens-worth in 1910. Now a state park, this landmark serves as a memorial to its founder.

Allen Allensworth, a slave prior to the Civil War, was a well-known racing jockey in Louisville, Kentucky. With the beginning of the Civil War, Allensworth was allowed to enter the Navy, where he advanced to the rank of chief petty officer. Following the war, Allensworth studied for the ministry and returned to the military service as chaplain of the famed 24th U.S. Infantry. Around 1900 he migrated to California and dedicated himself to improving the status of African Americans.


Beckwourth Pass
Web site:

Beckwourth Pass, which runs through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Beckwourth, California, was discovered by Jim Beckwourth, one of a number of African American traders and trappers dubbed “mountain men” by chroniclers of American history. The log cabin that he built as his home in 1852 still stands near the Plumas County hamlet named for him.


Gold Mining Camp

This ghost town was the home of Moses Rodgers, a successful and affluent African American mine owner who was one of the finest engineers and metallurgists in the state. Rodgers was one of several African American miners who struck it rich in gold and quartz.


Cemetery Markers

The Julian, San Diego County, California, cemetery commemorates the African American pioneers integral to the mining of goal and its discovery by A. E. (Frederick) Coleman, rancher, miner, and entrepreneur with a plaque memorializing their accomplishments and new headstones.


Oak Hill Cemetery

This is the burial place of Aaron Coffey, the only black member of the Society of California Pioneers. Coffey, the descendant of an officer who fought under Jackson at New Orleans, came to California as a slave in 1849. By day, he worked for his master; by night, as a cobbler, he accumulated money toward his $1,000 emancipation fee. Betrayed by his owner, he was forced to return to Missouri, where he was again sold. Coffey pleaded with his new master to allow him to return to California and earn the necessary money to free himself and his family, which he had left behind as collateral. Upon accomplishing that mission, Coffey returned to Red Bluff, took up farming, and settled down to a contented family life.


St. Andrew’s African Methodist Episcopal Church
2131 Eighth St.
Telephone: (916) 448-1428
Web site:

St. Andrew’s was the first African Methodist Episcopal congregation in California. Organized in a private residence in 1850, within four years the congregation had founded a school for African, Asian, and Native American children in the church’s basement.


Leidesdorff St.

This street in San Francisco, California, is named for William Alexander Leidesdorff, a wealthy and influential California pioneer of African and Danish ancestry and a native of the Danish West Indies. A merchant, Leidesdorff operated the first steamer to pass through the Golden Gate Strait and opened and operated the first hotel, City Hotel at Kearny and Clay streets; Leidesdorff was later appointed U.S. vice-consul and ultimately became a civic and educational leader in San Francisco.

African American Museum & Library
659 14th St

Here is the history of African Americans and the Western Pacific Railroad; included is their involvement in the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a major force was C. V. Dellums, the uncle of former East Bay Rep. Ron Dellums.


The Buffalo Soldiers were stationed here in 1902 and 1903



“Aunt Clara” Brown’s Chair
Central City Opera House, 621 17th St.
Telephone: (303) 292-6500

“Aunt Clara” Brown, believed to have been the first African American resident of the Colorado Territory, was born a slave in Virginia. Brown moved to Missouri, where her husband and children were sold before she gained freedom through her master’s last will and testament. From Missouri, she headed for Kansas and then for the gold fields of Colorado, where she opened the territory’s first laundry. She soon began putting aside money from her earnings towards the purchase of her family’s freedom.

Even when the Emancipation Proclamation set her immediate family free, she nonetheless returned to Missouri and brought a group of 38 relatives back to Central City. She remained in the mining community for the rest of her life, nursing the sick and performing other charitable works.

Brown died in 1877 and was buried with honors by the Colorado Pioneers Association, of which she was a member. The Central City Opera House Association dedicated a chair to her in 1932.


Barney L. Ford Building
1514 Blake Street

Ford, a former Virginia slave, moved to Colorado and became businessman, civic leader, and politician. His initial business ventures housed in this building were restaurant, bar, barbershop, and hair salon.

Fort Lyons
Bent County

Fort Lyons founded in 1867 served variously as an Army fort,a Navy hospital, and a Veteran’s Administration Hospital. Several of the companies stationed here were African Americans, notable among them the Buffalo Soldiers.

Inter-Ocean Hotel
16th and Market Sts.

Built by Barney Ford, the Inter-Ocean Hotel in Denver, Colorado, was once a showplace for millionaires and presidents. Ford, an African American entrepreneur active during the Gold Rush days, joined the fight over the organization of the Colorado Territory and the question of statehood. Originally allowed to vote, Ford saw this privilege abrogated by the territorial constitution and, as a result, sought to delay statehood for the territory until African American voting rights were reinstated. Enlisting the aid of the famed Massachusetts abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner, Ford urged President Andrew Johnson to veto the bill for statehood.

After Ford retired, he spent the remainder of his life in Denver, where he died in 1902. He is buried alongside his wife, Julia, in Denver’s Riverside Cemetery.

Justina Ford House/Black American West Museum
3091 California St.
Telephone: (303) 292-2566
Web site:

Justina Ford was the first African American doctor in Denver. Upon her arrival in 1902 until 1952, she remained the city’s only African American woman doctor. Unable to practice in the local hospital at first, her home, built in 1890, became her office as well. Ford, a family doctor and general practitioner, attracted patients from various races. During her career of over 50 years, she delivered more than 7,000 babies and became known as “the baby doctor.” The Black American West Museum purchased the Ford home in 1986 to house the museum and to preserve the memory of Ford and her work. The museum includes photographs, memorabilia, and other documents on African American cowboys. The museum also shows how African Americans helped settle the West.


El Pueblo Museum
119 Central Plaza
Telephone: (719) 583-0453
Web site:

The El Pueblo Museum houses a replica of the Gantt-Blackwell Fort, which Jim Beckwourth, African American explorer, scout, and trader, claimed to have founded in 1842. The validity of the claim has not been established, as Beckwourth had something of a reputation as a teller of tall tales. As of 2002, the museum was closed for renovation.



Prince Goodin Homestead

This parcel of land in Canterbury was once the home of Prince Goodin, a free African American who fought with the British against the French in the French and Indian War. Goodin enlisted in 1757, after hearing a fiery speech by Canterbury’s Rev. James Cogswell that stressed the danger of encroachment against “properties, liberties, religion, and our lives.” While serving at Fort William Henry, he was captured during a French attack upon the fort and taken to Montreal, where he was sold into slavery. After three years of captivity, Goodin was freed when the British took the city in 1760.

Prudence Crandall House
Junction of Connecticut Rtes. 14 and 169
Telephone: (860) 546-9916

The Crandall House, built in 1805, became a school for Canterbury residents in 1831. The admittance of Sarah Harris, a black woman, caused local resentment. Subsequently, Prudence Crandall dismissed her white students and converted the school into a training facility for prospective black teachers. Twenty such students were in residence in 1833. Still in protest, local shopkeepers refused to sell goods to Crandall. The Connecticut General Assembly passed a black law in May 1833 restricting African Americans from outside instruction in private schools without town approval. Crandall ignored the law and, though she was jailed, her conviction was set aside due to technical errors. She closed the school in September 1834. The Crandall House was designated a national historic landmark on July 17, 1991. It is now home to the Prudence Crandall Museum.


Paul Robeson Residence “The Beeches”
1221 Enfield St., Rte. 5

Purchased by Paul Robeson and his wife in 1940, this residence served as their home until 1953. Robeson, a singer, actor, and civil rights activist, is best known for his roles in the film The Emperor Jones and the musical and film version of Show Boat.


First Church of Christ
75 Main St.
Telephone: (860) 677-2601

When in 1839 the mutinied Cuban slave ship Amistad landed off the coast of Connecticut, abolitionists in the area demanded protection for the Africans. The First Church of Christ in Farmington, Connecticut, served as the center of community life for the Amistad insurrectionists while they awaited trial. The church was designated a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976.


Jeff Liberty Grave Site, Judea Cemetery
Judea Cemetery Rd.

Here lies the grave of Jeff Liberty, an African American soldier who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. His grave marker, erected by the Sons of the American Revolution, states simply “in remembrance of Jeff Liberty and his colored patriots.” Liberty, a slave at the time of the rebellion, asked his owner to be allowed to serve in the struggle for independence. His request granted, he fought throughout the revolution with an all-black regiment and was granted freedman status at the end of the war.



Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church
Third and Walnut Sts.
Telephone: (302) 655-7060

The Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated in 1789 by the distinguished orator Bishop Francis Asbury. Tradition has it that on one occasion a number of the town’s leading citizens, many of whom were eager to hear Asbury preach, but considered Methodism socially beneath them, stayed outside within hearing distance of the sermon, refusing to enter the church. The listeners were impressed by the eloquence of the man they heard—but, as it turned out, the voice they heard was not that of the bishop, but of his African American servant Harry Hosier (also known as “Black Harry”) whose compelling testimony reached heir ears and inspired their admiration. In its early years, the church welcomed African American members. However, by 1805 African Americans had left this church, driven out by the decision of white worshippers to confine African American members to the gallery.


African American Civil War Memorial
Vermont Ave. and U St., NW
Web site:

The “Spirit of Freedom” statue was unveiled on July 18, 1998, in the Shaw neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C. It is the centerpiece of the African American Civil War Memorial. Designed by sculptor Ed Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, who won a nationwide competition to do the work, the monument is the first to honor and salute African American soldiers and their white officers who fought and died in the Civil War. The memorial, designed by Paul S. Devrouax and landscape architect Edward D. Dunson, is located in a pie-shaped site nearly one block long. The “Spirit of Freedom” is a nine-foot-high 3,000-pound bronze sculpture in a semi-circular arc and high relief. The exterior consists of three infantrymen and a sailor working together to fight for family and freedom. The “Spirit of Freedom,” depicted as a woman with eyes closed and hands crossed over her chest, is positioned above the men to guide and protect them. In addition to the statue, the granite walls of the memorial are inscribed with nearly 209,000 names of Civil War veterans.

The African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation Museum and Visitors Center, which opened in January 1999, is located two blocks west of the memorial at the corner of Vermont and U streets NW.

Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial
Lincoln Park

The Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial, unveiled in 1974, is the first monument to an African American or a woman to be erected on public land in the nation’s capital. Bethune, an educator, was concerned about the children of the laborers working on the Florida East

Coast Railroad. Thus, in 1904, she established the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for African American girls. In 1926, she merged the institute with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville to form the Bethune-Cookman College.

The monument, located in Lincoln Park, D.C., is inscribed with the following words:

I leave you love, I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you a thirst for education. I leave you respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity.

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House
1318 Vermont Ave., NW
Telephone: (202) 673-2402
Web site: frame.htm

The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House was opened in November 1979, and was granted national

historic site status in April 1982. It is home to the Bethune Museum and Archives, which is dedicated to documenting the contributions made by African American women to society and to enriching the lives of America’s children through educational materials, programs, and other services. The Council House was built circa 1885. It was Mary McLeod Bethune’s last official Washington, D.C., residence, and served as the first headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women.

Blanche K. Bruce House
909 M St., NW

Blanche K. Bruce, from Mississippi, was the first African American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. Born in Farmville, Virginia, Bruce learned the printer’s trade in Missouri. In 1861, prior to the Civil War, he escaped to Hannibal, Missouri, and set up a school for African Americans. He studied at Oberlin College in Ohio and, after moving to Mississippi, became a wealthy planter. A Republican, Bruce was elected by the Mississippi state legislature to the U.S. Senate in 1874. The Blanche K. Bruce House was designated a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975. It is a private residence.

Ralph Bunche House
1510 Jackson St., NE

Ralph Bunche had a long association with Howard University, where he served on the faculty and organized the political science department. While living in the District of Columbia, he commissioned local African American architect Holyard Robinson to design his residence. Later, Bunche was appointed undersecretary general of the United Nations. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. The house was designated a national historic landmark on September 30, 1993. In 2001, it was placed on the D.C. Preservation League’s Most Endangered Places list. It is a private residence.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary House
1421 W St., NW

Between 1881 and 1886, this three-story brick house, located in Washington, D.C., served as the residence of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the first African American woman to co-edit a newspaper The Provincial Freeman. In 1883, she became one of the first African American women to earn a law degree. Cary, a lecturer, writer, educator, lawyer, and abolitionist, appeared before audiences throughout the country, usually speaking on the topics of slavery and women’s suffrage. The house was designated a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976. It has since been demolished.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
1411 W St., SE
Telephone: (202) 426-5961
Web site:

Cedar Hill, the 20-room colonial mansion in which Frederick Douglass lived for the last 13 years of his life, has been preserved as a monument to the great nineteenth-century abolitionist. In 1988, it was declared a national historic site. Credit for the restoration and preservation of the home belongs largely to the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, which worked hand-in-hand with the Douglass Association.

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington Birthplace
2129 Ward Place NW

Born April 29, 1899, Duke Ellington was one of the world’s great jazz composers, pianists, and bandleaders. It has been said of him that “the man is the music, the music is the man.” The house where Ellington was born has been razed, but a plaque to commemorate the spot was installed on April 29, 1989.

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Emancipation Statue
Lincoln Park, E. Capitol St.

Former slaves were responsible for financing and erecting the oldest memorial to Abraham Lincoln in the Washington, D.C., area. Following Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, the first five dollars for the statue were donated by a Mrs. Charlotte Scott of Marietta, Ohio. Contributions were soon pouring in, whereupon Congress finally set aside grounds for Thomas Ball’s statue depicting Lincoln breaking slavery’s chains. The memorial was dedicated on April 14, 1876—the 11th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination.

Charlotte Forten Grimké House
1608 R St., NW

Charlotte Forten Grimké, born of wealthy free African American parents in Philadelphia, was among the first wave of Northerners engaged in educating African Americans in the occupied Union territories of the South. Her activities as an activist, writer, poet, and educator forged a path for other African American women. The house, built circa

1880, was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

General Oliver Otis Howard House (Howard Hall)
604 Howard Pl., Howard University

Howard University is named in honor of Union General Oliver Otis Howard, once head of the Freed-men’s Bureau, and his residence is one of four original university buildings still standing at this institution. The restored house—a brick residence with a mansard roof, dormer windows, and three and one-half-story tower—was privately built for General Howard between 1867 and 1869. It was declared a national historic landmark on February 12, 1974.

Howard University
2400 Sixth St., NW
Telephone: (202) 806-6100
Web site:

Howard University, founded in 1867, is the largest institution of higher learning established for African Americans immediately following the Civil War.

Covering more than 50 acres, the campus is situated on one of the highest elevations in the District of Columbia. Among the historic buildings are Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel (1895), Freedmen’s Hospital (1909), and the Founders Library. Founders Library contains more than 300,000 volumes and includes the Moorland-Spingarn Collection, one of the finest collections on African American life and history in the United States.

LeDroit Park Historic District
Boundary approximates Florida and Rhode Island Aves.,
2nd and Elm Sts., and Howard University.

A subdivision created in 1873, the land was part of that purchased as a site for Howard University and the excess was then sold to Amzi L. Barber, the school’s acting president and son-in-law of real estate brokers LeDroit Langdon and Andrew Langdon. Approximately 65 houses had been built in the park by 1887 and included various styles from Italianate villas to Gothic cottages. Originally an exclusive white community, in 1893 the area became racially integrated. Afterwards, many whites moved out, and it was almost totally occupied by African Americans. Among the African American residents were Judge Robert H. Terrell and his wife, Mary Church Terrell, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and much later Mayor Walter Washington. The park was declared a national historic landmark district on February 25, 1974.

Lincoln Memorial
Foot of Twenty-third St. NW, in W. Potomac Park on the Mall
Web site:

The Lincoln Memorial, dedicated in 1922, has been the site of several important events underscoring African Americans’ quest for dignity and struggle for equal opportunity. In 1939, when singer Marian Anderson was refused permission to appear at Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution, she performed an Easter Sunday concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd of 75,000. Her rendition of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” prompted NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White to foresee the advent of “a new affirmation of democracy.” Another such pivotal event involved the 1963 March on Washington, which was climaxed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The memorial was designated a national historic landmark on October 15, 1966.

Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church
1518 M St., NW

Completed in 1886, this Victorian, Gothic-style church was designed by architect George Dearing. The church had two forerunners: Israel Bethel A.M.E. (1821) and Union Bethel A.M.E. (1838). On July 6, 1838, Union Bethel was officially sanctioned by the Baltimore Conference, marking the founding of the Metropolitan AME Church. In 1872 the name was officially changed to Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. The new church building, which, according to the conference, had to be built “in close proximity” to the Capitol, was dedicated on May 30, 1886. Present at the ceremony were Bishop Daniel Payne, Frederick Douglass, and Francis Cardozo. The building has been the site of funeral services for many prominent African Americans, as well as the place for church service during the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. These services were an official part of the inaugural events, the first to be held at an African American church. It was declared a national historic landmark on July 26, 1973.

Miner Normal School
2565 Georgia Ave., NW

Myrtilla Miner’s School for Colored Girls was established in 1851 as a model teaching facility for young African American women. It was the district’s only school dedicated solely to teacher training. Although the Miner School, as it was known, operated for a time in different locations, in 1875 it was temporarily affiliated with Howard University’s Normal Department. The District of Columbia built a new Miner School—a semipublic school—in 1877 and ten years later it was incorporated into the local public school system. Congress expanded the school into a four-year degree-granting institution in 1929, known as Miner Teachers College. In 1955, the school merged with the local white teachers college to become the District of Columbia Teachers College. This operation ceased in 1977, when the college merged with two other institutions to become the University of the District of Columbia. The school was designated a national historic landmark on October 11, 1991.

M Street High School
128 M St., NW

The Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church was the birthplace of M Street High School in 1870. The school was originally known as the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth. It moved to several locations until Congress saw a need for an elite school for its African American population and appropriated money to construct a facility for this purpose. The building was completed in 1891 and was one of the first high schools in the nation built with public funds to serve African Americans. The faculty was well educated and the school offered business and college preparatory classes that were superior to lower level programs in many U.S. colleges and universities. Graduates who became distinguished leaders included Carter G. Woodson and Rayford Logan. Among the early principals were Robert Terrell, Anna Julia Cooper, and Mary Church Terrell. The new Dunbar High School, built in 1916, became the new high school for African Americans, while M Street took junior high school status. School integration in 1954 eliminated the need for a separate facility for African Americans. The school was designated a national historic landmark on October 23, 1986. The building is state-owned and presently vacant.

National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Ave., SW
Telephone: (202) 357-4600
Web site:

A part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of African Art maintains exhibitions, research components, and public programs on the art and culture of sub-Saharan Africa. The museum was established in 1964 and incorporated as a bureau of the Smithsonian in 1979.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
5th and Church Streets, NW

From 1879 until 1934, the pulpit of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was filled by Alexander Crummell, an African American scholar who became a leading spokesman for African and African American liberation. He was the founder of the American Negro Academy, established with the intention of forming a cadre of African American intellectuals and scholars. The church, located in Washington, D.C., was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976.

Mary Church Terrell House
326 T St., NW

Built in 1907, this house served as the residence of Mary Church Terrell, who achieved national prominence as an early educator, the first president of the National Association of Colored Women, and a civil rights and women’s rights activist. She spoke at the 60th anniversary of the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Her lecture in German delivered in 1903 at the International Congress of Women led her to the nationwide lecture circuit. The Terrell House was designated a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975. The building, which is badly deteriorated, is owned by Howard University and is not in use.

Tidal Basin Bridge

Designed and constructed by African American engineer Archie Alphonso Alexander, the Tidal Basin Bridge is one of Washington’s major tourist attractions. Alexander, born in Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1888, later became the first Republican governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1954.

Carter G. Woodson House and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History
1538 Ninth St., NW

Founded in 1915, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History was formed to study and preserve the historical record of African American culture. The pioneer behind the association was Carter G. Woodson, who operated the organization out of his home until his death in 1950.

A scholar and lecturer, Woodson began publication of the Journal of Negro History in 1916. Ten years later, Woodson initiated the observance of “Negro History Week,” to be celebrated in February as close as possible to the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, during which African American leaders would be appropriately honored. Negro History Week has grown into what is now Black History Month.

The Woodson house, built circa 1890, was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. Today, the organization is headquartered at 1401 14th Street, NW, and is known as the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. In 2001, the Woodson house was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of the most endangered places in the United States. The National Park Service is attempting to obtain national historic site designation.



Bethune-Cookman College
640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd.
Telephone: (386) 255-1401
Web site:

One of the leading institutions in the South for the training of African American teachers, Bethune-Cookman College was founded in 1904 by Mary McLeod Bethune on “faith and a dollar-and-a-half.” The school was first known as Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls.

Bethune served as advisor to Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman and directed the Division of Negro Affairs in Roosevelt’s National Youth Administration. She was one of the most influential women in the United States between the two world wars.

Mary McLeod Bethune House
Bethune-Cookman College
Telephone: (904) 255-1401

The two-story frame house belonging to the African American activist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune was built in 1920 on the campus of the school that she established in 1904. The house was proclaimed a national historic landmark on December 2, 1974. A virtual tour of the house is available through the college Web site at


Eatonville, Zora Neale Hurston Memorial Park and Marker
11 People St.

Incorporated in 1887, Eatonville claims to be one of the oldest all-African American communities in America. The fourth mayor of the town, John Hurston, a former slave, was the father of the town’s most celebrated resident, Zora Neale Hurston. She is highly recognized today as a folklorist, anthropologist, and noted writer of the Harlem Renaissance. Still virtually all-African American, Eatonville is the site of the Zora Neale Hurston festivals held each January to celebrate Hurston’s life and work. In addition, a marker has been placed in the Zora Neale Hurston Memorial Park.


Zora Neale Hurston House
1734 School Court St.

Zora Neale Hurston lived and worked in this one-story concrete house in Fort Pierce. Her gravesite in a segregated cemetery in Fort Pierce was unmarked until August 1973, when writer Alice Walker placed a stone at the approximate site of her burial. The home in which she lived from 1957, when she worked as reporter and journalist for a local African American weekly newspaper and continued to write until she died in 1960, was designated a national historic landmark on December 4, 1991. It is a private residence.


Fort Jefferson
Dry Tortugas National Park
Web site:

African American artisans and laborers worked in the construction of Fort Jefferson, a fort in Key West, Florida, which helped control the Florida straits. The largest all-masonry fortification in the western world, it served as a prison until 1873. Among the prisoners was Samuel A. Mudd, a physician who had set John Wilkes Boothe’s broken leg after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.


Kingsley Plantation
Telephone: (904) 251-3537

Zephaniah Kingsley, traded extensively in slaves, married a slave (Madgigine Jai who was freed in 1811), operated the property from 1813-1839 and the headquarters for his operation was on this plantation on Fort George Island. His wife was active in plantation management and became a successful business woman. The oldest known plantation in Florida, the Kingsley Plantation was established in 1763. The plantation, which has been restored as a museum, displays exhibits and furnishings that depict the plantation and island life during the period from 1763 to 1783. The site was added to the national park system on February 16, 1988, a part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. On September 29, 1970, it was designated a national historic landmark.


Fort Gadsen State Historic Site
Telephone: (904) 670-8988

In 1814, the British built the fort as a base for recruiting Seminole Indians and runaway slaves during the War of 1812. The British abandoned it to their allies in 1815, along with its artillery and military supplies. It became known as the Negro Fort and British Fort and served as a beacon for rebellious slaves and a threat to supply vessels on the river. On May 15, 1975, the British fort (only ruins remain) was named a national historic landmark.


Virginia Key Beach Park
Rickenbacker Causeway on the Island of Virginia Key,
4020 Virginia Beach Drive
Web site:

Virginia Key Beach Park, the “Colored Only” beach, was dedicated August 1, 1945. It was the only beach in Miami-Dade County, Florida, that was open to the African American community. It was closed in 1982 and remained closed for more than two decades. In August 2002 the site was placed on the U. S. National Park Service National Register of Historic Places and designated a Florida Heritage Site.


Olustee Battlefield Historic Memorial U.S. 90
Telephone: (904) 752-3866

This site commemorates the largest Civil War battle in Florida’s history. Also known as the Battle of Ocean Pond (1864), many African American troops fought bravely for the Union cause. The site was acquired by the state of Florida in 1909. The monument was built in 1912 and dedicated in 1913, just 49 years after the battle.


Fort Mose Historic State Park

Originally known as Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, north of St. Augustine, this is the site of the first free Black settlement legally sanctioned and chartered in 1738 by the Spanish governor of Florida; it became a haven for escaped slaves.



Andersonville Prison
GA Rte. 49
Telephone: (229) 924-0343
Web site:

Andersonville, the infamous Confederate prison in Andersonville, Georgia, where thousands of Union soldiers perished as a result of the brutal manner in which they were confined, is now a national monument. Corporal Henry Gooding of the black 54th Massachusetts regiment was imprisoned here, where he died on July 19, 1864. It was Corporal Gooding who had started a protest regarding the pay of African American soldiers, going over the heads of military brass to write President Lincoln. At that time the pay of African Americans was a flat $7 per month. For whites, it ranged from $9 to $30. Encouraged by Colonel Robert Shaw, the African American soldiers of the 54th refused to accept any remuneration unless it were equal to that of white comrades. This financial inequity was subsequently rectified, but Corporal Gooding died at Anderson-ville without ever having drawn a day’s pay.


Clark Atlanta University Center District
Telephone: (404) 880-8000
Web site:

Atlanta University was founded in 1865, holding its first classes for freed slaves in abandoned railway cars. Clark College was founded four years later. The two schools were incorporated in 1988. The Clark Atlanta University System includes the other traditionally African American colleges located in the immediate vicinity: Morris Brown (1881), Morehouse (1867), and Spelman (1881), and the Interdenominational Theological Seminary (1946).

Fountain Hall (formerly Stone Hall), built in 1882 and located on the Morris Brown campus, is the oldest building in the complex. It was named a national historic landmark on December 2, 1974.

Ebenezer Baptist Church
407 Auburn Ave., NE
Telephone: (404) 688-7263

A Gothic-revival building constructed in 1922, Ebenezer Baptist Church had as its associate pastor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It was from this church that King’s movement radiated outward to the rest of the South, organizing chapters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the civil rights coalition of which he served as president.

When King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, funeral services were held in this church. As millions watched on television, mourners lined up for miles behind the mule-drawn wagon that carried King from Ebenezer to Morehouse College, his alma mater. There, the eulogies were delivered, and more than 150,000 mourners paid their last respects.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic District
Auburn Ave.
Telephone: (404) 331-6922
Web site:

The district, which consists of several blocks of Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue and Boulevard, includes Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthplace—a two-story Queen Anne style house built in 1895—and grave site, and the church where King served as assistant pastor. The environs of his childhood are largely intact. Private efforts to create a living monument to King and his beliefs have been carried on primarily through the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Inc. The Martin Luther King Historic District was designated a national historic landmark on May 5, 1977. In 1980, the district was designated a National Historic Site and Preservation District, and thus became a unit of the national park system.

South View Cemetery

Martin Luther King Jr., was laid to rest in South View Cemetery, where a marble crypt was inscribed with the words he used to conclude his famous speech delivered on the occasion of the 1963 March on Washington—“Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I’m free at last.” In the early 1970s, Dr. King’s body was moved from the South View Cemetery to a site next to the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the King Center in Atlanta.

South View cemetery was founded in 1886 by African Americans who balked at a prevailing policy requiring that they be buried in the rear of the municipal cemetery.

Sweet Auburn Historic District
Auburn Ave.

Although only a remnant of its original one-mile expanse has survived, the Sweet Auburn district typified the rapid growth of African American enterprise in the post-Civil War period. Forced to adjust to segregated residential and commercial patterns, wealthy African Americans settled in the area once known as Wheat Street and the “richest Negro street in the world.” The district survives as a center of African American business and social activity. The district was designated a national historic landmark district on December 8, 1976. It is now included in the Martin Luther King National Historic Site and Preservation District.


Laney-Walker North Historic District
Bounded by D’Antignac; Seventh, Twiggs, Phillips, and Harrison Sts., Walton Way, and Laney-Walker Blvd.

Developed during the nineteenth century as a self-sufficient, working-class community, the Laney-Walker district includes good examples of such houses as the plantation plain, shotgun, double pen, Victorian cottage, and an indigenous Augusta house. Prominent African American residents of the area were novelist Frank Yerby, educator and Haines Normal and Industrial Institute-founder Lucy C. Laney, minister and church-founder Charles T. Walker, and numerous physicians, merchants, builders, and business people. Businesses in the district are important landmarks in Augusta’s African American community. Examples are the Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Company (1898) and the Penny Savings Bank (1910). The area was designated a national historic landmark district on September 5, 1985.


Colored Memorial School and Risley High School

The school opened in 1870 as the Freedmen’s School and was later named Risley in honor of Captain Douglas Gilbert Risley who raised funds for the building; the Colored Memorial High School was built and named to honor the African American veterans of World War I. These schools are hailed as landmark’s in Glynn County African-American education.


“Blind Tom” Marker
U.S. Rte. 27A

This marks the grave site of the famous African American pianist “Blind Tom” Wiggins. Born Thomas Green Bethune, son of a slave, he was a prodigy whose astonishing talent brought him into the salons of Europe, where royalty marveled at his virtuoso performances.

Gertrude Pridgett “Ma” Rainey House
805 5th Ave.

The Rainey House was the retirement residence of Ma Rainey, who was recognized as “Mother of the Blues.” She made her singing debut at age 14. In 1904, she married William “Pa” Rainey of the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and became known as “Ma.” The team performed with various minstrels until they separated.

Ma Rainey worked out of Chicago during the 1920s and early 1930s and continued to tour the South. She had already won a national following as a gospel and blues performer long before she made her first recording in 1924. Rainey retired in 1934. She returned to Columbus in 1935 and lived in the house that she had earlier purchased for her mother. She died in 1939 and was buried in the local Porterdale Cemetery. The Rainey House was declared a national historic landmark on November 18, 1992. In 2002, the house was undergoing renovation by the Friends of Ma Rainey Blues Museum Inc.

Bragg Smith Grave Site and Memorial
Porterdale Cemetery, Fourth St. and Seventh Ave.

This memorial, located in Porterdale Cemetery, was built in memory of Bragg Smith, who was killed while attempting to rescue a city engineer trapped in a caved-in structure. The marble memorial is believed to have been the first civic memorial in the country dedicated to an African American.


Dorchester Academy Boys’ Dormitory

The Academy, a primary school for African American boys, was founded by the American Missionary Association following the Civil War; the dormitory is the only remaining structure. The Academy is the primary training site of the SCLC’s Citizenship Education Program.


First Bryan Baptist Church
575 W. Bryan St.

The land on which Bryan Church was built is considered the oldest real estate in the country continuously owned by African Americans. Deeds for the land are dated September 4, 1793. Andrew Bryan formed the First African Baptist Church in Savannah on January 20, 1788, and pastored the congregation that became First Bryan Baptist Church in 1799. He remained there until his death in 1812.

Inside the First Bryan Baptist Church is a memorial dedicated to the Rev. George Liele, a former slave and the first African American Baptist missionary. His work took him up and down the Savannah River, from Augusta to Savannah, several times a year, where he preached to slaves. One of the slaves that he converted and baptized was Andrew Bryan, for whom the church was named.


Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge
North of Woodbury on Huel Brown Rd.

This 1840 structure is 412 feet long and was built by African American bridge builder Horace King, a former slave. King continued to work for his white master, John Goodwin, acontractor,afterhewasfreedin1848.Oneofthefewextant in the state, the bridge is believed to be the oldest structure of its type in Georgia and the longest wooden bridge span in the state. King built other bridges in west Georgia as well as the bridge across the Chattahoochee River in Columbus. The Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge was designated a national historic landmark on May 7, 1973.



USS Arizona Memorial

The monument to those who died in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. African Americans played a major role in this war, among those commemorated is Dorie Miller. He was the first African American World War II hero, recognized by F. D. Roosevelt, and he received the Navy Cross in 1942 (the first African American to receive this honor).



Robert S. Abbott House
4742 Martin Luther King Dr.

This house was occupied by Robert Stengstacke Abbott from 1926 until his death in 1940. Under Abbott, the Chicago Defender, a newspaper targeted to African American readers, encouraged African Americans in the South to migrate northward, particularly to Chicago. Probably more than any other publication, the Defender was responsible for the large northward migration of African Americans during the first half of the twentieth century. The house was named a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976. It is a private residence.

Black Metropolis—Bronzeville Historic District
39th Street, State Street, Pershing Road, and King Drive

Among the remaining structures of note are Eighth Regiment Armory, the first armory in the United States built for an African-American military regiment; the Chicago Defender Building, home from 1920 to 1960 of the Chicago Defender; the Supreme Life Building, the headquarters of the first African American owned and operated insurance company in the northern United States;and the Victory Monument, erected to honor the Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, an African-American unit that served in France as part of the 370th U. S. Infantry in World War I.

Chicago Bee Building
3647–3655 S. State St.

The Chicago Bee Building was the last major structure built in Chicago’s Black Metropolis, near State and 35th streets on the Near South Side. African American entrepreneur Anthony Overton had the structure built to house his newspaper, the Chicago Bee. Opened in 1931, the building also housed his Overton Hygenic Manufacturing Company. It was the first building designed in the late 1920s Art Deco style and was one of the most picturesque structures in the metropolis. The building was designated a national historic landmark on April 30, 1986. It was purchased by the city of Chicago and it now houses a Chicago Public Library branch.

Oscar Stanton DePriest House
4536–4538 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

This house served as the residence of the first African American elected to the House of Representatives from a northern state. Oscar DePriest was born in Florence, Alabama, but moved with his family to Kansas and later to Chicago. While in Chicago, he worked as a real estate broker and, in 1928, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served three terms. Following his tenure, he returned to the real estate business, but remained politically active in Chicago—including serving as vice-chairman of the Cook County Republican Committee. The DePriest house was designated a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975. It is a private residence.

Milton L. Olive Park
Lake Shore Dr.

Milton L. Olive Park was dedicated by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in honor of the first African American soldier to be awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Olive died in action after exhibiting extraordinary heroism, having saved the lives of several other soldiers exposed to a live grenade.

Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite
401 N. Michigan Ave.

Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable, born in Haiti to a French mariner father and a black mother, immigrated to French Louisiana and became a fur trapper. He established trading posts on the sites of the present cities of Michigan City, Indiana; Peoria, Illinois; and Port Huron, Michigan—but the most important post was on the site of Chicago, Illinois. This site, where he constructed a log home for his wife and family, is recognized as the first settlement in the Chicago area. In 1796, Du Sable sold his Chicago home and went to live with his son in St. Charles, where he died in 1814.

The homesite was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. The site of Du Sable’s home is marked by a plaque on the northeast approach to the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Two other plaques recognizing Du Sable exist—one in the Chicago Historical Society, the other in the lobby of Du Sable High School, at 49th and State Streets.

Provident Hospital and Training School
500 E. 51st St. and Vincennes Ave.
Web site:

The original Provident Hospital and Training School was established as the first training school for African American nurses in the United States. It was founded by Daniel Hale Williams, the renowned surgeon who performed one of the first successful operations on the human heart in 1893. The current hospital was opened in 1933.

Quinn Chapel of the AME Church
2401 S. Wabash Ave.
Web site:

Quinn Chapel is the oldest African American congregation in Chicago. Its history dates to 1844, when several local African Americans organized a weekly, non-sectarian prayer group that met in a member’s home. The group was organized in 1847 as a congregation of the AME Church and was named for William Paul Quinn, bishop, circuit rider, and key figure in the western advance of the church. The church would serve as a focal point for the social and humanitarian life of Chicago’s elite African Americans. Erected in 1892, the church structure was declared a national historic landmark on September 4, 1979.

Underground Railroad Marker
9955 S. Beverly Ave.

This marks one of many transit points used by slaves escaping from the South to Canada.

Victory Monument
35th St. and King Dr.

Sculpted by Leonard Crunelle, Victory Monument honors the African American soldiers of Illinois who served in World War I. The monument and tomb of Stephen A. Douglas, once the owner of much of the land in the area, is also located near 35th Street. The Victory Monument was designated a Chicago landmark on September 9, 1998.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett House
3624 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

This house was the home of the 1890s fiery journalist, civil rights advocate, and crusader for African American women, Ida Wells-Barnett. Wells-Barnett was exiled from the South after writing scathing articles about lynchings and race relations in Memphis, Tennessee, where her career in journalism began. She organized women’s clubs in New England and Chicago and the Alpha Suffrage Club in Chicago. Wells-Barnett was a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Wells-Barnett House was designated a national historic landmark on May 30, 1974. It is a private residence.

Daniel Hale Williams House
445 E. 42nd St.

This house was the home of one of America’s first African American surgeons, whose accomplishments include performing one of the first successful heart operations in 1893 and establishing quality medical facilities for African Americans. Daniel Hale Williams was born in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. He had managed a barber shop prior to apprenticing under Henry Palmer, who was surgeon-general of Wisconsin. Williams received his medical degree from Chicago Medical College in 1883 and later opened an office in Chicago; he was the first African American to win a fellowship from the American College of Surgeons. The Williams house was designated a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975. In 1993, the house was severely damaged by fire. It is a private residence.


Father Augustine Tolton Grave Site
St. Peter’s Cemetery, Broadway and 32nd St.

The Father Augustine Tolton grave site marks the resting place of the first African American to be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. Ordained in 1886, Father Tolton opened a school for African American children, was pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Quincy, and later served as pastor at St. Monica’s Church in Chicago. He died in 1897.



Underground Railroad Marker
U.S. Rte. 41

This marks one of several points once used to assist fugitive slaves seeking freedom and safety into Canada. One such slave, William Trail, liked Indiana so much he decided to stay and go into farming. His efforts were successful, and he became one of many prosperous farmers active in Union County, Indiana.


Levi Coffin House
113 U.S. 27, N.
Telephone: (765) 847-2432
Web site:

Born in North Carolina in 1798, Levi Coffin, a Quaker abolitionist who was also known as “The President of the Underground Railroad,” used his own home in Fountain City as a way station for runaway slaves. Between 1827 and 1847, Coffin hid more than 300 slaves heading for Illinois, Michigan, or Canada. The home was built in 1839, altered in 1910, then restored to its former design.

Coffin left Fountain City for Ohio, where he continued his activities, eventually helping over 3,000 slaves escape from the South—he was still engaged in the resettlement of former slaves long after the Civil War had ended. Coffin died in Avondale, Ohio, in 1877.


Madame C. J. Walker Building
617 Indiana Ave.
Telephone: (317) 236-2099
Web site:

The Walker Building was constructed in 1927, the headquarters for the prosperous firm of Madame C. J. Walker (1867–1919). The Art Deco structure was architecturally significant and incorporated African, Egyptian, and Moorish motifs in its design. It housed a number of businesses, including a theater, pharmacy, ballroom, and the Walker Beauty College, where thousands of Walker’s successful beauty agents were trained.

Walker’s firm manufactured 75 beauty products, as well as training programs, beauty schools, and shops nationwide. Her hair care business catapulted her into fame and wealth, and many called her the nation’s first African American woman millionaire. She also gave generously to various charities. The Walker Building was designated a national historic landmark on July 17, 1991. It now houses the Madame Walker Theatre Center.



Underground Railroad Marker
Sixth and S. Second Sts.

Before the Lafayette Hotel was built, the small house that once stood at this location had been a point of

shelter and sustenance for fugitive slaves escaping from Missouri (Iowa was a free territory by virtue of both the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the Missouri Compromise of 1820). Many Quakers, who had come to the state before the Civil War, took great pains to maintain an efficient and effective Underground Railroad network.


Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Training School
Southwest Ninth St.
Web site:

Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Camp was opened on June 15, 1917, for the purpose of training talented African American soldiers for officer’s rank. On October 14, 1917, 639 African American soldiers were commissioned as second lieutenants and assigned to the American Expeditionary Forces being sent to France to fight in World War I. African American units, led by men trained at the school, were assembled in France as the 92nd Division. The camp was abandoned at the end of the war, and the site was designated a national historic landmark on May 30, 1974.


Pearl Street

Sioux City was a refuge for many slaves escaping from Missouri. Pearl Street, once the city’s main thoroughfare, was named for an African American who had arrived in the town by boat more than a century earlier and achieved widespread popularity as a cook.



George Washington Carver Homestead Monument

Along Route K–96 in Ness County lies the plot of land once homesteaded by George Washington Carver, the famed African American agricultural scientist. He spent two years here before attending college in Iowa. The homestead was designated a national historic landmark on November 23, 1977, and is indicated by a stone marker and bronze plaque.


Nicodemus Historic District
U.S. 24 (Site approximates North St., E. Bend Rd., South St., and Seventh St.)

Located two miles west of the Rooks-Graham county line, the Nicodemus Historic District is the last of three now virtually deserted colonies that were founded by the Exodusters—a group of African American homesteaders that migrated from the South to Kansas during the 1870s. A principal leader of the mass migration was Tennessee’s former slave Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, who established 11 colonies in Kansas between 1873 and 1880. The name “Nicodemus” was derived from a slave who, according to legend, foretold the coming of the Civil War.

Arriving in 1877, the first settlers lived in dugouts and burrows during the cold weather. From the outset, they were plagued by crop failures. Although never more than 500 in number, they managed nonetheless to establish a community with teachers, ministers, and civil servants. The state of Kansas has commemorated this site with a historical marker located in a roadside park in Nicodemus. The district was designated a national historic landmark on January 7, 1976.


John Brown Memorial State Park
Tenth and Main Sts.
Telephone: (913) 755-4384

This state park, named in honor of insurrectionist John Brown, contains the cabin in which he lived and engaged in abolitionist activities during his brief sojourn in Kansas. The cabin, built in 1854 on a site about one mile west of town, was dismantled, moved, and reconstructed in the park in 1912. In 1928 it was covered with a stone pergola. The park was designated a national historic landmark on March 24, 1971.


Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas National Historic Site
330 Western Ave.
Telephone: (785) 354-4273
Web site:

The historic area includes Sumner and Monroe elementary schools, both associated with the landmark Supreme Court case. In 1951, Linda Brown, who at first traveled a considerable distance to study at the all-African American Monroe Elementary School, was refused enrollment in Sumner Elementary School because she was African American. What followed was the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Upon hearing the case, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that “separate education facilities are inherently unequal,” striking down the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision and giving the legal basis for desegregation in public schools. Sumner was designated a national historic landmark on May 4, 1987, and Monroe was included in 1991. The combined area was designated a national historic site on October 26, 1992, and thus became part of the national park system.



Lincoln Hall
Berea College
Telephone: (859) 985-3000
Web site:

Opened in 1855, Berea College was the first college established in the United States for the specific purpose of educating blacks and whites together. The school’s Lincoln Hall, built in 1887, was designated as a national historic landmark on December 2, 1974.


Monument to Kentucky’s African American Civil War Soldiers
Old State Arsenal, East Main Street


Historic African American Health Center Polk-Dalton Infirmary
148 Deweese


Kentucky Derby Museum
Churchill Downs, 704 Central Ave.
Telephone: (502) 637-7097
Web site:

Materials relating to early African American jockeys, who played an important part in racing history, are in the museum. Isaac Murphy, the first jockey to ride three Kentucky Derby horses to victory, is among those represented.

Louisville Free Public Library, Western Colored Branch
604 S. 10th St.
Web site:

The library, established in 1905, was the first public library in the nation built exclusively for African Americans. It was financed by Andrew Carnegie and played an important role in advancing African American culture in Louisville. Thomas F. Blue, the first librarian, opened a library education program at the facility in 1908 to prepare African Americans for positions in the library. The building was declared a national historic landmark on December 6, 1975.


Lincoln Institute Complex
Off U.S. Rte. 60
Telephone: (502) 722-8862

Lincoln Institute was Kentucky’s leading center for the education of African American students in secondary school between 1908 and 1938. Whitney M. Young Sr. directed the school. When a state law in 1904 ordered Berea College to close its doors to biracial education, the college founded the Lincoln Institute. Kentucky’s schools were integrated in the 1950s and the institute became obsolete; it closed in 1965. On December 12, 1988, the complex was designated a national historic landmark. It currently is home to the Whitney M. Young Jr. Job Corps Center.

Whitney M. Young Jr. Birthplace
Off U.S. Rte. 60
Telephone: (502) 585-4733

Whitney M. Young Jr. was born in a simple, two-story frame building near Simpsonville. He grew up on the campus of the Lincoln Institute. Later, Young worked with the Urban League in Minnesota and Omaha, then became dean of social work at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta). In 1961, Young was appointed executive director of the National Urban League, a position he held until 1971, when he died in Lagos, Nigeria. On April 27, 1984, the house in which he was born and lived was declared a national historic landmark.



African American Museum (Arna Wendell Bontemps House)
1327 3rd St.
Telephone: (318) 473-4692
Web site:

Arna Wendell Bontemps was born in this modest Queen Anne Revival style cottage in 1906 and remained there until his family relocated to California. Bontemps relocated to New York City in 1923 and became active as a Harlem Renaissance writer. Later he taught in Huntsville, Alabama, and in Chicago. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1943, to become head librarian at Fisk University and remained there until he retired in 1965. He was then professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle, as it was known then, and curator of the James Weldon Johnson Collection at Yale University. He returned to Fisk as writer-in-residence, the position that he held when he died on June 4, 1973. In his lifetime he wrote numerous books, poems, and articles. His birthplace, now a museum, was designated a national historic landmark on September 13, 1993.


Melrose Plantation
Rte. 119
Telephone: (318) 379-0055
Web site:

The Yucca Plantation, known after 1875 as Melrose Plantation, was established in 1794 by Marie Therese Coincoin, a former slave and wealthy businesswoman. The African House located on the plantation, a unique structure with an umbrella-like roof, is believed to be of direct African derivation. Melrose is also associated with Clementine Hunter, one of its African American workers, whose paintings of the plantation and its activities made her a famous folk painter. The site and its various buildings were declared a national historic landmark on April 16, 1984. It is a private residence.


James H. Dillard House
571 Audubon St.

This house served as the home of James Dillard from 1894 to 1913. Dillard played an important role in African American education in the nineteenth century, strengthening vocational and teacher training programs. Dillard’s home was designated a national historic landmark on December 2, 1975. Dillard University, founded in 1869, was named for this educator.

Flint-Goodridge Hospital of Dillard University
Intersection of Louisiana Ave. and LaSalle St.

The hospital was founded in 1911 and became the medical unit of Dillard University in 1932. In the 1930s the hospital was the only institution in the state that offered internships to African American students preparing to become doctors. Flint-Goodrich was also the city’s sole health care facility that admitted African Americans. It was significant for its contributions to tuberculosis testing and treatment, infant and maternal care, and syphilis treatment. The hospital closed in 1983 and was designated a national historic landmark on January 13, 1989.


Port Hudson Siege Marker

Located near the Mississippi River some 25 miles north of Baton Rouge, Port Hudson was the scene of many heroic acts by African American soldiers during the Civil War including Louisiana’s celebrated regiment of African Americans, the Native Guards.



Abyssinian Meeting House

A vernacular wood-frame building, constructed between 1828 and 1831, has a history of both social and religious action, serves as a significant source for the study of social practices in 19th century Maine.

John B. Russwurm House
238 Ocean Ave.

Russwurm, the second African American to receive a college degree, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1826. He co-edited the nation’s first African American newspaper Freedom’s Journal, then emigrated to Liberia. The historic house where he lived from 1812 to 1827, the only surviving structure closely tied to Russwurm, was designated a national historic landmark on July 21, 1983. It is a private residence.



Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin St.
Telephone: (410) 974-2893

This museum, located in the city’s historic district, is dedicated to the African American surveyor and inventor Benjamin Banneker and the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, both born in Maryland.

Matthew Henson Plaque
Maryland State House

The Matthew Henson Plaque, located inside the Maryland State House, honors the memory of the only man to accompany Admiral Robert E. Peary on all of his polar expeditions. On April 6, 1909, Henson became the first man actually to reach the North Pole. Peary himself, barely able to walk, arrived after Henson had taken a reading of his position and proudly planted the U.S. flag.

Thurgood Marshall Statue
North of Statehouse Circle

A seven-foot bronze statue of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was unveiled in Annapolis in November 1996. It is the state’s first memorial dedicated to an African American.


Benjamin Banneker Marker
Westchester Ave. at Westchester School

This marker is a tribute to Benjamin Banneker, the black mathematician, astronomer, and inventor who, in 1792, produced an almanac regarded as among the most reliable. His scientific knowledge led to his assignment as a member of the surveying and planning team that helped lay out the nation’s capital.

Beulah M. Davis Collection
Soper Library, Morgan State University
Telephone: (443) 885-3458
Web site:

Morgan State University houses an interesting collection of artifacts on Benjamin Banneker, noted astronomer, compiler of almanacs, and—together with Pierre-Charles L’Enfant—surveyor of the District of Columbia. It also houses a number of artifacts on Frederick Douglass and Matthew Henson.

Frederick Douglass Monument
Morgan State University

On the campus of Morgan State University is the Frederick Douglass memorial statue created by the noted African American sculptor James Lewis. The work, completed in 1956, stands 12 feet tall with pedestal. Its simple inscription reads “Frederick Douglass 1817– 1895 Humanitarian, Statesman.”


Oblate Sisters of Mount Providence
701 Gun Rd.

Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange was the founder and superior of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first religious order for African-American women. She established the nation’s first Catholic school for African-American children.


Uncle Tom’s Cabin

This is the site of the log cabin believed to have been the birthplace of Josiah Henson, the escaped slave immortalized as Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous abolitionist work of fiction.

Born in 1789, Henson was sold at auction at an early age and transferred among many masters until he managed

to escape in 1830. After setting up a community for fugitive slaves in Dawn, Canada, Henson frequently returned to the South to liberate others. Meeting with Stowe, Henson outlined his slave experiences, which later formed the bases for her celebrated story—in the introduction to Henson’s autobiography, published some years later, she acknowledged his story as the source of her own tale.



Abiel Smith School and Museum of Afro-American History
46 Joy St.
Telephone: (617) 725-0022
Web site:

Now housing the Museum of Afro-American History, this building, built in 1834, was the site of the city’s first school for African American children.

African Meeting House
8 Smith Court
Telephone: (617) 725-0022
Web site:

This is the site of the first black church in Boston and oldest surviving black church building in the United States. It was designated a national historic site on May 30, 1974, and is a part of the Boston African American National Historic Site.

Boston African American National Historic Site
14 Beacon St.
Telephone: (617) 742-5415
Web site:

This site includes the Black Heritage Trail and contains the largest concentration of pre-Civil War African American history sites anywhere in the United States. Among them are the African Meeting House (the oldest extant African American church building in New England), the Smith Court residences (typical of African American families and built between 1799 and 1853), the Abiel Smith School (built in 1834), and the home of Lewis Hayden (the most documented of Boston’s Underground Railroad stations). Hayden was an escaped slave from Kentucky who helped recruit the all-black 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Congress authorized the African American National Historic Site on October 10, 1980. The National Park Services coordinates its components; the site is federally-owned.

Bunker Hill Monument
Telephone: (617) 242-5641
Web site:

Standing in the Charlestown district of Boston, Massachusetts, the Bunker Hill Monument commemorates the famous Revolutionary War battle which—contrary to popular belief—was actually fought on Breed’s Hill on June 17, 1775. A number of African Americans fought alongside the colonists during the battle including Peter Salem, Salem Poor, Titus Coburn, Cato Howe, Alexander Ames, Seymour Burr, Pomp Fiske, and Prince Hall, founder of the Negro Masonic order.

Crispus Attucks Monument

The Crispus Attucks Monument, located in the Boston Common, was dedicated in 1888 to the five victims of the Boston Massacre—Crispus Attucks, Samuel Maverick, James Caldwell, Samuel Gray, and Patrick Carr. The site of the massacre is marked by a plaque on State Street, near the Old State House.

Attucks is believed by many historians to have been the same man who, in 1750, was advertised as a runaway black slave from Framingham, Massachusetts. Although a stranger to Boston, he led a group that converged on a British garrison, which was quartered in King Street to help enforce the Townshend Acts. One of the soldiers of the garrison panicked and fired, and Attucks was the first to fall. Gray and Caldwell were also killed on the same spot; Maverick and Carr died later of wounds sustained during the clash. The British soldiers were later tried for murder but acquitted. The five men are buried a few blocks away in Granary Burying Ground, together with such famous Revolutionary figures as John Adams and John Hancock, as well as Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony.

William C. Nell House
3 Smith Court

From the 1830s to the end of the Civil War, William C. Nell was one of the leading African American abolitionists. Born in Boston, he studied law in the office of William I. Bowditch. Nell refused to take an oath to be admitted to the bar because he did not want to support the Constitution of the United States, which compromised on the issue of slavery. He then began organizing meetings and lecturing in support of the anti-slavery movement. The Nell house was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Monument
Beacon and Park Sts.
Web site:

Executed by the famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Shaw monument depicts Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, an African American regiment that served in the Union Army during the Civil War. The regiment particularly distinguished itself in the battle for Fort Wagner, July 18, 1863, during which Colonel Shaw was killed. Sergeant William H. Carney’s valiant exploits during this battle later earned him the Medal of Honor.


Maria Baldwin House
196 Prospect and H Sts.

This house was the permanent address of Maria Baldwin from 1892 until her death in 1922. Baldwin served as principal and later as “master” of the Agassiz School in Cambridge, as a leader in such organizations as the League for Community Service, as a gifted and popular speaker on the lecture circuit, and as a sponsor of charitable activities such as establishing the first kindergarten in Atlanta, Georgia. Baldwin exemplified the achievements that were attainable by an African American in a predominantly white society. The house was designated as a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

Phillis Wheatley Folio
Harvard University

During her celebrated trip to England in 1773, Phillis Wheatley was presented with a folio edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which now is housed in the library of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Wheatley, who came to America in 1761 as a child aged seven or eight, made rapid strides in mastering the English language and, by the time she was 14, had already completed her first poem. Always in delicate health, she died in Boston on December 5, 1784.


Paul Cuffe Memorial

Paul Cuffe, son of a freedman, was born in 1759 and became a prosperous merchant seaman. Cuffe resolved to use his wealth and position to campaign for the extension of civil rights to African Americans. On one occasion, he refused to pay his personal property tax on the grounds that he was being denied full citizenship rights. A court of law eventually upheld his action, whereupon he was granted the same privileges and immunities enjoyed by white citizens of the state. In 1815, Cuffe transported 38 African Americans to Sierra Leone in what was intended to launch a systematic attempt to repatriate the African American inhabitants of the United States. However, with the growth of abolitionist sentiment, the repatriation movement lost favor.


William Monroe Trotter House
97 Sawyer Ave.

Built in the late 1880s or 1890s, this balloon-frame rectangular-plan house was the primary home of William Monroe Trotter, journalist, civil rights activist, insurance agent, and mortgage broker. He was a bitter opponent of Booker T. Washington and had a confrontation with Washington in Boston on July 3, 1903, that came to be known as the “Boston riot.” Trotter formed the Boston Suffrage League and, in 1901, cofounded and became editor and publisher of the crusading newspaper The Guardian. His home was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.


W. E. B. DuBois Homesite
Rte. 23

This location served as the boyhood home of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois from 1868 to 1873. Du Bois, the prominent African American sociologist and writer, was a major figure in the civil rights movement during the first half of the twentieth century. Du Bois fought discrimination against African Americans through his writing, as a college professor, and as a lecturer. The Du Bois homesite was designated on May 11, 1976, as a national historic landmark. The ruins of the original house are located two miles west of Great Barrington on the north side of Route 23.


Jan Ernst Matzeliger Statue
Pine Grove Cemetery

The Matzeliger Statue is one of the few extant memorials to this African American inventor, whose shoe-lace machine revolutionized the industry and made mass-produced shoes a reality in the United States. A native of Dutch Guiana, Matzeliger came to the United States in 1876, learned the cobbler’s trade, and set out to design a machine that would simplify shoe manufacturing. Always sickly, he died at an early age, unable to capitalize on his successful patent, which was purchased by the United Shoe Machinery Company of Boston. After his death, Matzeliger was awarded a gold medal at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.


Florence Higginbotham House
25 York Street

This is an 18th century house built by Seneca Boston, father of Absalom Boston, whaling captain, which is does not reflect the traditional perception of pre-Revolutionary African Americans. It was owned by the family from 1774 to 1919 and purchased by Florence Higginbotham, an African American, in 1920.


New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill
Telephone: (508) 997-0046

The museum maintains a treasury of whaling artifacts and information including the names and histories of African Americans who participated in the whaling industry. The museum also houses versions of the toggle harpoon—invented by Lewis Temple, an African American metalsmith—which revolutionized the whaling industry.


Paul Cuffe Farm and Memorial
1504 Drift Rd.

Paul Cuffe was a self-educated African American who became a prosperous merchant. He was a pioneer in the struggle for minority rights in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and was active in the movement for black resettlement in Africa. The Paul Cuffe Farm was designated a national historic landmark on May 30, 1974. It is a private residence.



Sojourner Truth Grave Site
Oakhill Cemetery

This site in the Oak Hill Cemetery marks the resting place of one of the most powerful abolitionists and lecturers of the nineteenth century, Sojourner Truth. Sojourner settled in Battle Creek after the Civil War, but continued to travel on lecture tours until a few years before her death on November 26, 1883.

Sojourner Truth Institute, Sojourner Truth Monument Park


Underground Railroad Marker
Rte. M–60

This marks one of many rest places used by slaves escaping from the South to Canada. The marker is located approximately two miles east of Cassopolis.


Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 East Warren Avenue

Douglass-Brown Marker
William Webb House, E. Congress St.

The Douglass-Brown Marker indicates the site of the William Webb House, where fellow abolitionists Frederick Douglass and John Brown met in March of 1859 to map out the strategy for the raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Douglass was strongly opposed to this course of action. Nevertheless, on October 16, 1859, Brown’s forces seized the fort, only to be overtaken by federal troops two days later.

Ralph Bunche Birthplace
5685 W. Fort St.

A plaque marks the site of the birthplace of the undersecretary general of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Ralph Bunche, who was born in 1927. Bunche, the first African American to receive this

honor, was awarded the prize in 1950 for his work as a United Nations mediator following the Arab-Israeli war of 1948.

Dunbar Hospital
580 Frederick St.
Web site:

The hospital is a landmark in the East Ferry Historic District. In 1918, the townhouse structure became the city’s first nonprofit hospital for African Americans, who had inadequate access to mainstream hospitals in Detroit. African American physicians established the Allied Medical Society (later known as the Detroit Medical Society) and raised funds to establish a medical facility, Dunbar

Hospital. In 1928, the hospital moved to Brush and Illinois streets and operated as Parkside Hospital until it was lost to urban renewal in 1960. Built in 1892 as a private residence, in 1928 the old Dunbar building served as the home of Charles C. Diggs Sr. and housed his undertaking business. Later his son, Charles Jr., made the home his residence. The building was designated a national historic landmark on June 19, 1979. The Detroit Medical Society recently renovated the building. It is now used as their headquarters. A museum is also on site, which is open to the public.

Elmwood Cemetery
1200 Elmwood Ave.
Telephone: (313) 567-3453

Elmwood Cemetery contains the grave sites of 14 members of the 102nd U.S. Colored Regiment.

Elijah McCoy Home Site
5730 Lincoln

A plaque marks the site of one of Elijah McCoy’s residences. McCoy, born in Ontario, Canada, settled in the Detroit area, opening a manufacturing company in 1870. McCoy is best known for his self lubricating device for locomotives and engines.

Motown Museum
2648 W. Grand Blvd.
Telephone: (313) 875-2264

This location served as the early headquarters of Motown Records, founded in 1958 by songwriter and independent record producer Berry Gordy Jr. Performers including the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, the Jackson Five, Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, the Supremes, the Temptations, Mary Wells, and Stevie Wonder all played an important part in the early success of Motown. In 1972, the company moved its headquarters from Detroit to Los Angeles, California, but a museum containing restored sound studios and mementos is maintained at this site.

National Museum of the Tuskegee Airmen
Historic Fort Wayne, 6325 W. Jefferson Ave.
Telephone: (313) 843-8849

The museum houses memorabilia of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-African American unit of fighter pilots active during World War II. The airmen, who were trained at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute (as it was known then), played an important role in the fight against racial discrimination in the armed forces.

Underground Railroad Marker
Second Baptist Church, 441 Monroe

One of many stops along the Underground Railroad, the basement of the Second Baptist Church was used to hide runaway slaves. The church, founded in 1836, is one of the oldest African American congregations in the Midwest.


Crosswhite Boulder
Michigan Ave. and Mansion St.

The Crosswhite Boulder marks the site of two confrontations that occurred in 1846 in defense of Adam Crosswhite, a fugitive slave who had fled from Kentucky. The Crosswhite case is said to have been instrumental in the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.



Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial
First St and Second Ave E

This monument is in memory and honor of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie, three African American circus workers who were wrongfully accused, dragged by a mob to this spot, and lynched.


Fort Snelling State Park
1 Post Rd.
Telephone: (612) 725-2389

Fort Snelling was the outpost in the Wisconsin Territory to which the slave later to become known as Dred Scott was transported from Illinois in 1836. Scott met and married his wife Harriet at the fort and saw his first child born there. Later taken to Missouri by his master, he filed suit for his freedom and became a national figure as his case was tried from 1847 to 1857 before numerous tribunals en route to the U.S. Supreme Court. Scott argued that he should be considered free by virtue of his having previously resided in Illinois and at Fort Snelling.



Emmett Till Historic Intrepid Center

The museum, in a converted cotton gin, in memory of Till, a fourteen year old who was accused of whistling at a white shopkeeper and was brutally murdered, also provides space for Sonny Boy Williamson, a native of Glendora and a legendary blues harmonica player.


Farish Street Neighborhood Historic District
Approximate boundary Amite, Mill, Fortification, and Lamar Sts.
Web site:

The district, comprising 695 buildings on 125 acres in downtown Jackson, is the state’s largest African American community. A segregated area for African American residents in the 1890s, it soon became known for professionals of local or national prominence. The district gives excellent examples of the vernacular buildings of the period 1860 through the 1940s, although most of the buildings were erected between 1890 and 1930. The district was designated a national historic landmark site on March 13, 1980. After that, the boundary increased to include Amite, Lamar, Mill, and Fortification streets and embraced structures built by local African American contractors. The expanded site was designated a national historic landmark on September 18, 1980.


Alcorn State University Historic District
Alcorn State University campus
Telephone: (601) 877-6100
Web site:

Alcorn State University, founded in 1871, is the oldest African American land grant college in the United States. Land grant status was designated in 1878, and the legislature changed the college’s name to Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College. The state selected for its first president Hiram R. Revels, a distinguished leader during Reconstruction and the first African American to serve in the U.S. Congress. Buildings in the historic district include Lanier Hall, the Administration Building, and Harmon Hall. The Alcorn district was designated a national historic landmark site on May 20, 1983.

Oakland Chapel on the Alcorn University campus was built in 1838 as one of the first buildings of Oakland College, a white institution. In 1871 the state purchased the school to educate African Americans. The chapel was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976.


Isiah Thornton Montgomery House
W. Main St.

This location served as the home of Isiah Thornton Montgomery, who in 1887 founded Mound Bayou—a place where African Americans could obtain social, political, and economic rights in a white supremacist South. The house, a two-story red brick structure built in 1910, was declared a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.


Natchez National Cemetery
41 Cemetery Rd.
Telephone: (601) 445-4981

This cemetery, established in 1840, is the final resting place of many African American war dead including landsman Wilson Brown, a Medal of Honor recipient during the Civil War. Brown and seaman John Lawson received their medals for courage in action while serving aboard the U.S.S. Hartford in the Mobile Bay engagement of August 5, 1864.


Piney Woods Country Life School
5096 MS49, 20 miles south of Jackson
Telephone: (601) 845-2214
Web site:

Lawrence Clifton Jones established the school in 1909 to provide education for African Americans in Mississippi’s back woods. The curriculum combined industrial education and academics. In the early 1920s the junior college program prepared future teachers. Jones gained nationwide attention in the 1950s as “The Little Professor of Piney Woods,” when he was featured on the television program This Is Your Life. Today, enrolled students originate from both Mississippi and distant states as well.


Statue of James Meredith
University of Mississippi

This life-sized statue honors Meredith, the first African American to enroll in the University of Mississippi, is a part of a larger civil rights monument at the University.



George Washington Carver Birthplace and National Monument
U.S. Rte. 71
Telephone: (417) 325-4151
Web site:

Located in a park in Diamond, Missouri, Carver National Monument commemorates the place where the great African American scientist George Washington Carver was born and spent his early childhood. The cabin of his birth no longer exists.

Kidnapped when he was just six weeks old, Carver was eventually ransomed for a horse valued at $300. Raised in Missouri by the family of Moses Carver, his owner, he made his way through Minnesota, Kansas, and Iowa before being “discovered” by Booker T. Washington in 1896. That same year, Carver joined the faculty of Tuskegee Institute, where he conducted most of the research for which he is now famous.

The monument, one of the first created in honor of an African American, consists of a statue of Carver as a boy and encloses several trails leading to places of which he was particularly fond. The park also houses a visitors’ center and a museum displaying many of his discoveries and personal belongings. The monument was added to the national park system on October 15, 1966.


American Jazz Museum
18th St. and Vine Ave.
Web site:

The museum opened in September 1998 as a monument to the music of the city that flourished between the 1920s and 1940s, as well as to spur redevelopment of the abandoned neighborhood where it is located.

Mutual Musicians Association Building
1823 Highland Ave.
Telephone: (816) 471-5212

This building served as the home of the American Federation of Musicians Local 627 from the 1920s to the 1940s. Its members created the Kansas City style of jazz and included such greats as Count Basie, Hershel Evens, Lester Young, and Charlie Parker.

Lincoln University
Telephone: (800) 521-5052
Web site:

The more than $6,000 raised by the 62nd and 65th U.S. Colored infantries constituted the initial endowment for a 22-square-foot room in which classes were held in 1866 at what is now Lincoln University. Known then as the Lincoln Institute, the school began receiving state aid to expand its teacher training program in 1870. It became a state institution nine years later, and instituted college-level courses in 1887. It has been known as Lincoln University since 1921 and has offered graduate programs since 1940.


Scott Joplin House
2685 Delmar Blvd.; office, 2754 Bacon St.
Telephone: (800) 334-6946
Web site:

A composer known as “king of ragtime,” Scott Joplin was born in Texarkana, Texas, but he left home to earn a living when he was 14 years of age. In his music he combined Midwestern folk and African American traditions within Western and European forms and provided an important foundation for modern American music. Joplin played piano in the St. Louis and Sedalia, Missouri area, and this house built in the 1890s is the last surviving residence of Joplin. The house, a two-story row house separated into flats, was declared a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976.

Old Courthouse
Broadway and Market Sts.
Web site:

It was in the Old Courthouse in 1847 that Dred Scott first filed suit to gain his freedom; for the next ten years, the Dred Scott case was a burning political and social issue throughout America. In 1857, the case reached the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Roger Taney handed down the decision that slaves could not become free by escaping or by being taken into free territory nor could they be considered American citizens. Ironically, a few weeks after the decision was rendered, Scott was set free by his new owner. He died a year later. The site was designated a national historic landmark on May 27, 1987.

Homer G. Phillips Hospital
26101 Whittier St.

Built between 1932 and 1936, the hospital provided for the health care of local African Americans. It was also one of the few well-equipped facilities for African Americans from across the country where medical technicians, doctors, and nurses could be trained. The hospital was named for the attorney who was successful in the fight to establish the facility. Inadequate municipal support resulting in budgetary problems forced the hospital to close as an acute care facility on August 17, 1979. The building was designated a national historic landmark on September 23, 1982.



Fort Manuel Marker

Captain William Clark and his party, which included a slave named York, camped at this site on July 26, 1806, a year before Manuel Lisa established Montana’s first trading post. This site also was chosen by Major Andrew Henry as the Rocky Mountain Fur Company’s first trading post; the leader of that expedition was Edward Rose, another of the famed African American mountain men and explorers active in the territory.



Mayhew Cabin and Historical Village Foundation
2012 4th Corso St

Formerly John Brown’s cave; it is the only National Parks Underground Railroad Network to Freedom in Nebraska. The 1850s cabin still stands and was restored in 2005 to the original condition.



Beckwourth Trail
Web site:

In the early days of pioneer settlement, the barren stretch of trail between Reno and the California line was the last obstacle before passing through to the West Coast. The original trail was laid out by an African American explorer, Jim Beckwourth, one of the legendary mountain men.



Amos Fortune Grave Site

This grave site marks the resting place of the eighteenth-century African slave Amos Fortune, who purchased his freedom in 1770 at the age of 60 and went on to become one of the leading citizens of Jaffrey, his adopted hometown. Nine years after purchasing his freedom, Fortune was able to buy freedom for his wife, Violet Baldwin, and his adopted daughter, Celyndia. In 1781, he moved to Jaffrey and worked as a tanner, employing both black and white apprentices. In 1795, six years before his death, Fortune founded the Jaffrey Social Library and, in his will, directed that money be left to the church and to the local school district. (The school fund begun by Fortune is still in existence.)

The Fortune house and barn still stand intact, and both Fortune and his wife lie in the meeting house burial ground. Fortune’s freedom papers and several receipt slips for the sale of his leather are on file at the Jaffrey Public Library.


Bethlehem African American Episcopal Church

This is one of the oldest churches in New Jersey. In the cemetery beside it are a few of the graves of the state’s soldiers in the African American Union Army and Navy Civil War. In 1833, Rev. Jeremiah H. Pierce legally challenged forced segregation of his four children into the Burlington’s all-black elementary schools and won.

Oliver Cromwell House
114 E. Union Street

The last home of Cromwell, an African American soldier in the Revolutionary War, who crossed the Delaware and fought with George Washington. Washington personally signed his discharge papers and decorated him for serving in the entire war.


Site of Free Haven

Located just east of the city of Camden, New Jersey, is the town of Lawnside, originally known as Free Haven. The town served as a major stop on the Underground Railroad, and following the Civil War attracted a large population of freed slaves from the South.


T. Thomas Fortune House
94 W. Bergen Pl.

From 1901 to 1915, this location was the home of African American journalist T. Thomas Fortune. Born a slave in Marianna, Florida, Fortune was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. He received training as a printer and founded the New York Age newspaper. The Fortune House, built between 1860 and 1885, was designated a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976. It is a private residence.



Old Court House
Telephone: (505) 653-4372

During the Lincoln County Cattle War of 1877– 1878, Billy the Kid, the notorious outlaw, was held in custody at the Old Court House in Lincoln, New Mexico, now a frontier museum. African American cowhands were involved on both sides of this struggle and, on one occasion, a group of African American cavalry men is said to have surrounded Billy the Kid during a particularly bloody battle.


Buffalo Soldier Hill
State Route 114


Fort Selden State Monument
1280 Fort Seldon Rd

Fort established in 1865, Buffalo Soldiers were stationed her, and from 1884-1886, Douglas MacArthur lived here.


Zuni Pueblo
Telephone: (505) 782-4481

Zuni Pueblo was discovered in 1539 by Estevanico, a Moorish slave, who was one of the original party of Spanish explorers to land in Tampa Bay in 1528.

Having heard of the legend of the Seven Cities of Gold, reputed to be located in the Southwest, Estevanico signed on as an advance scout for an expedition led by a Father Marco. Often traveling ahead of the main party, Estevanico sent most of his messages back via friendly Indians. His last message—a giant cross emblematic of a major discovery—led the expedition to the Zuni Pueblo, which Estevanico apparently thought formed part of the legendary Seven Cities. By the time the expedition arrived, however, the suspicious Zuni had already put Estevanico to death. Today, Estevanico is credited with the European discovery of the territory comprising the states of Arizona and New Mexico.



Emancipation Proclamation
New York State Library
Telephone: (518) 474-5355
Web site:

The New York State Library houses President Abraham Lincoln’s original draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued in September 1862. The draft was purchased by Gerritt Smith, a wealthy abolitionist and patron of the famed revolutionary John Brown. The January 1, 1863, version of the proclamation resides in the National Archives of Washington, D.C.


Harriet Tubman House
180–182 South St.
Telephone: (315) 252-2081
Web site:

Born a slave in Maryland, Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery at the age of 25, only to return to the South at least 19 times to lead others to freedom. Rewards of up to $40,000 were offered for her capture, but she was never arrested nor did she ever lose one of her “passengers” in transit.

During the Civil War, she served as a spy for Union forces. At the close of the war, Tubman settled in this house in Red Bank, New Jersey, years after it had outlived its original function as a major way station on the northbound freedom route of fugitive slaves. In 1953, the house was restored at a cost of $21,000. The house now stands as a monument to the woman believed to have led some 300 slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. The house was designated a national historic landmark on May 30, 1974.


Ronald McNair Monument
Ronald McNair Park

A nine-foot granite monument of Ronald McNair, African American astronaut who lost his life in the space shuttle Challenger accident in 1986, was unveiled in a dedication ceremony in McNair Park in 1994. Created by Brooklyn artist Ogundipe Fayomi, the monument consists of three bronze plaques showing images from his life and achievements. McNair’s quote is engraved on one side: “My wish is that we would allow this planet to be the beautiful oasis that she is, and allow ourselves to live more in the peace she generates.”

Historic Weeksville
1698-1708 Bergen Street
Web site:

This was once a thriving African American community. In 1970, the four remaining buildings were registered as National Historic Landmarks. This site contains the four restored buildings and the Weeksville African American Museum.


The Reverend J. Edward Nash, Sr. House
Erie County


Abyssinian Baptist Church
132 Odell Clark Place
Telephone: (212) 862-7474
Web site:

The Abyssinian Baptist Church is one of the oldest and largest African American Baptist congregations in the United States. The church building was completed in 1923, under the leadership of the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Sr. In 1937, Powell retired and was succeeded by his son Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1960.

The African Burial Ground National Monument
Corner of Duane and Elk Streets, Lower Manhattan

Amsterdam News
Founding Place
2293 Seventh Ave.

The Amsterdam News was founded on December 4, 1909, in the home of James H. Anderson on 132 West 65th Street in New York City. At that time one of only 50 African American “news sheets” in the country, the Amsterdam News had a staff of ten, consisted of six printed pages, and sold for two cents a copy. Since then, the paper has been printed at several Harlem addresses. This building was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976.

Apollo Theater
253 W. 125th St.
Telephone: (212) 749-5838

The Apollo Theater in Harlem, once an entertainment mecca for all races, is one of the last great vaudeville houses in the United States. Erected in 1914, the building was designated a national historic landmark on November 17, 1983.

Louis Armstrong House
3456 107th St., Corona, Queens
Telephone: (718) 997-3670
Web site:

For years this was the home of Louis Armstrong, the famous jazz musician whose talents entertained millions throughout the world. Whenever Armstrong was at his Corona home in Queens, New York, on a break from his concert dates, he was a favorite with neighborhood youngsters, often entertaining them in his home and on the street. The house was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976.

Ralph Bunche House
115–125 Grosvenor Rd., Kew Gardens, Queens

The house served as the home of Ralph Bunche, the distinguished African American diplomat and undersecretary general to the United Nations. In 1950, Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to peace in the Middle East. The house was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

Will Marion Cook Residence
221 W. 138th St.

This residence in New York City served as the home of the early twentieth century African American composer Will Marion Cook, whom Duke Ellington called “the master of all masters of our people.” Cook was born in Washington, D.C. He began studying violin at 13 years of age and, at 15, won a scholarship to study with Joseph Joachim at the Berlin Conservatory. Syncopated ragtime music was introduced to theatergoers in New York City for the first time with Cook’s operetta Clorinda. The residence was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

Duke Ellington Statue
Fifth Ave. and 110th St.

A 25-foot high cast bronze monument featuring an eight-foot high statue of Duke Ellington was unveiled on July 1, 1997, on the northeast corner of Central Park. Designed by sculptor Robert Graham, it is the first public monument in the country honoring the jazz legend and composer. Bobby Short, cabaret performer who led the drive to erect the memorial, said that the location is “a bridge between Duke Ellington’s two worlds: The sophisticated world of the Upper East Side and the street world of Harlem.”

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington Residence
935 St. Nicholas Ave., Apt. 4A

When Duke Ellington recorded “Take the A Train” to Harlem, he meant just that, because the A train express stops on St. Nicholas Avenue and was the quickest way for Ellington to get home. This St. Nicholas Avenue address was the long-term residence of Ellington, who has been regarded by critics as the most creative African American composer of the twentieth century. The residence was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

Fraunces Tavern
Broad and Pearl Sts.
Telephone: (212) 425-1778
Web site:

One of the most famous landmarks in New York City, Fraunces Tavern was bought in 1762 from a wealthy Huguenot by Samuel Fraunces, a West Indian of black and French extraction. Known as the Queen’s Head Tavern, it served as a meeting place for numerous patriots.

On April 24, 1774, the Sons of Liberty and the Vigilance Committee met at the tavern to map out much of the strategy later used during the war. George Washington himself was a frequenter of the tavern, as were many of his senior officers. Washington’s association with Fraunces continued for a number of years, with Fraunces eventually coming to be known as Washing-ton’s “Steward of the Household” in New York City. It was at Fraunces Tavern, in fact, that Washington took leave of his trusted officers in 1783 before retiring to Mount Vernon.

Much of the tavern’s original furnishings and decor are still intact. The third floor, now a museum, contains several Revolutionary War artifacts, while the fourth floor holds a historical library featuring paintings by John Ward Dunsmore. A restaurant is maintained on the ground floor.

Freedom National Bank
275 W. 125th St.

Freedom National Bank, Harlem’s first African American-chartered and -run commercial bank, was founded in 1965. The bank is no longer in business, having closed in 1990.

Harlem Historic District
Approximating the northern tip of Manhattan

Once the political and cultural hub of black America in the twentieth century, Harlem is primarily known as the major site of the literary and artistic “renaissance” of the 1920s and 1930s. Following the migration of blacks from the South and Caribbean to Harlem in the initial decade of the twentieth century, the city became a nurturing ground for pioneering black intellectual (i.e, literature, art, and black nationalism) and popular (i.e, dance and jazz) movements, as well as a vibrant nightlife centered around such nightclubs as the Cotton Club, Smalls Paradise, and the Savoy Ballroom.

Matthew Henson Residence
Dunbar Apartments, 246 W. 150th St.

This residence served as the home of Matthew Henson, the African American explorer who was an assistant to Robert E. Peary. Henson’s best known achievement came in 1909, when he became the first man to reach the North Pole. The residence was designated a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975. It is a private residence.

Hotel Theresa
2090 Seventh Ave. at 125th St.

Built in 1913, the Hotel Theresa was once a luxury hotel serving white clientele from lower Manhattan and accommodating “white only” dinner patrons in its luxurious Skyline Room. In 1936, a corporation headed by Love B. Woods tried to take over the hotel and transform it into an African American business establishment. This move failed when Seidenberg Estates, the realtor, set a price beyond the reach of the group. Woods, however, was eventually able to purchase the hotel, which now serves as an office building.

James Weldon Johnson Residence
187 W. 135th St.

From 1925 to 1938, this was the New York City residence of James Weldon Johnson, the versatile African American composer of popular songs as well as poet, writer, general secretary of the NAACP, and civil rights activist. Johnson is best known for composing the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which has been called the Negro National Anthem. Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and studied at Columbia University. The residence was named a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

Maiden Lane—The First Slave Revolt in New York

In 1712, on Maiden Lane and William Street, the first organized slave revolt in New York City occurred. Approximately 30 slaves joined and attempted to fight their way to freedom. Many people were injured in the melee that ensued as the slaves escaped to the woods with the militia close behind. Surrounded in the woods, several slaves committed suicide. The rest were captured and subsequently executed.

Malcolm X Residence
23–11 97th St., East Elmhurst, Queens

African American Muslim leader Malcolm X resided at this location with his family from 1954 until his death in 1965. The house, which was owned by the Nation of Islam while he and his family lived there, was the scene of a fire bombing on February 13, 1965. Malcolm X and his family escaped without injury.

Claude McKay Residence
180 W. 135th St.
Telephone: (212) 281-4100

From 1941 to 1946, this residence in New York City was the home of the African American poet and writer Claude McKay, who has often been called the father of the Harlem Renaissance. McKay was born in Jamaica, British West Indies, and was in Kingston’s constabulary prior to coming to the United States. His residence was named a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976. The building currently houses the Harlem YMCA.

Florence Mills Residence
220 W. 135th St.

This residence was the home of the popular African American singer who in the 1920s achieved stardom both on Broadway and in Europe. The Florence Mills’ residence was designated a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976. It is a private residence.

Paul Robeson Residence
555 Edgecomb Ave.

This residence in New York City was the home of the famous African American actor and singer Paul Robeson. In the 1940s and the 1950s, Robeson suffered public condemnation for his socialist political sympathies, even while he was widely acclaimed for his artistic talents. The residence was named a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976. It is a private residence.

John Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson House
5224 Tilden St., Brooklyn

This house served as the home of Jackie Robinson, the baseball player who in 1947 became the first African American to play in the major leagues in the twentieth century. His baseball contract broke down the color barrier to African American participation in professional sports. While a Brooklyn Dodger, Robinson lived for many years in the same borough of New York City where he played baseball. The residence was designated a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

St. George’s Episcopal Church
Third Ave. and First St.

Located in New York City, this was the church home of Harry Thacker Burleigh, the African American composer, arranger, and singer who helped establish the black spiritual as an integral part of American culture. The church was designated a national historical landmark on December 8, 1976.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Blvd.
Telephone: (212) 491-2200
Web site:

Part of the New York Public Library System, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is devoted to documenting the black experience around the world. The collection is built around the private library of Arthur A. Schomburg, a Puerto Rican of African descent. It contains books, pamphlets, manuscripts, photographs, art objects, and recordings that cover virtually every aspect of black life—from ancient Africa to present-day United States. The building was designated a national historic landmark on September 21, 1978.

Sugar Hill, Harlem

Sugar Hill is a handsome residential section in uptown Harlem, New York. It is bordered on the west by Amsterdam Avenue, on the north by 160th Street, on the east by Colonial Park, and on the south by 145th Street. An area of tall apartment buildings and private homes, it is peopled largely by middle-class African Americans, sometimes referred to as the “black bourgeoisie.” Its only counterparts in the area of central Harlem are Riverton and Lenox Terrace.

Booker T. Washington Plaque
New York University

Booker T. Washington, educator and founder of Tuskegee Institute, is the only African American honored by a plaque in the Hall of Fame at New York University.

Roy Wilkins House
147–15 Village Rd., Jamaica, Queens

This location served as the home of civil rights leader and former NAACP executive secretary Roy Wilkins from 1952 until his death in 1981. Wilkins had served as executive secretary of the NAACP for 22 years before retiring in 1977. It is a private residence.


Villa Lewaro

Designed by the noted African American architect Vertner Woodson Tandy for Madame C. J. Walker, the successful cosmetics manufacturer, Villa Lewaro illustrates the achievements of African Americans in both architecture and business. The Villa Lewaro, built in 1918, was declared a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. The Building was sold in 1998 and will be used as a tourist attraction.


John Brown Farm and Grave Site
Telephone: (518) 523-3900
Web site:

Just six miles south of Lake Placid on Route 86A is the farm Brown purchased after he had left Ohio, now the location of his grave. The farm was part of 100,000 acres set aside for both freedmen and slaves by Gerritt Smith, a wealthy abolitionist. Smith hoped to build an independent community peopled by former slaves who had learned farming and other trades. Brown joined Smith in the venture, but the idea failed to take hold and was eventually abandoned. Brown lived there until he joined the free-soil fight in Kansas.


Frederick Douglass Monument
Central Ave. and Paul St.
Telephone: (716) 546-3960

New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt dedicated the Frederick Douglass Monument in 1899, four years after Douglass’ death. In Rochester, Douglass edited his newspaper The North Star. Douglass was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, not far from the memorial.

Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center Foundation
300 Main St.

Opened to the general public in April 1999, this museum pays tribute to one of Rochester’s most esteemed citizens of the eighteenth century. Among the artifacts contained in the museum are pews from the church in which Douglass was memorialized following his death in 1895.


Lemuel Haynes House
Parker Hill Rd., off Rte. 149

This house, located in South Granville, Washington County, New York, was built in 1793. It served as the home of Lemuel Haynes from 1822 to 1833, the first African American ordained minister in the United States. Haynes was also the first African American to minister to a white congregation. The South Granville home site was declared a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975.



George Moses Horton Residence Hall
University of North Carolina

George Moses Horton, first African American southern slave to publish a collection of poetry and the first African American professional poet, is remembered with a dormitory, three plaques with his biography, and two of his poems in the lobby.


North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
114–116 W. Parish St.

This Parish Street address is the home office of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, an African American-managed enterprise that was founded in 1898 and achieved financial success in an age of Jim Crow. The business was first located in the Mechanics and Farmers Bank, a six-story structure that symbolized the city’s affluent African Americans. Among the outstanding leaders associated with the firm were John Merrick, Charles Clinton Spaulding, and Asa T. Spaulding. The site was declared a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975.


F. W. Woolworth Building
132 South Elm St
Web site:

A historical marker outside the building marks the sit-ins begun by four North Carolina A & T students (Ezell Blair, Jr., Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, and David Richmond) at the Woolworth lunch counter in 1960. A section of the lunch counter is preserved at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

February One Monument
North Carolina A&T State University

Bronze statue of the four A&T Freshmen who carried out the lunch counter sit-ins in downtown Greensboro beginning February 1, 1960.


The Yellow Tavern
Main St., between Lee St. and Farmer’s Alley

For more than 30 years, the Yellow Tavern (also known as Union Tavern and the Thomas Day House) was the workshop of Tom Day, one of the great African American artisans and furniture makers of the Deep South prior to the Civil War. Day began making hand-wrought mahogany furniture in 1818 and, within five years, accumulated enough money to convert the old Yellow Tavern into a miniature factory. Both white apprentices and black slaves were taught this skilled trade under his tutelage. Day’s artistry was so revered by the citizens of Milton that they went to great pains to secure a special dispensation from a North Carolina law that made it illegal for any free black or mulatto to migrate into the state. The Yellow Tavern, built circa 1910, was declared a national historic landmark by the Department of the Interior on May 15, 1975. Examples of Day’s furniture can be seen in the North Carolina State Museum and at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro.


John Chavis Memorial Park E. Lenoir and Worth Sts.
Telephone: (919) 831-6989

This park is named after John Chavis, an African American educator and preacher who founded an inter-racial school in Raleigh, which later numbered among its graduates several important public figures including senators, congressmen, and governors. As a result of the abortive Nat Turner slave rebellion in 1831, however, African Americans were barred from preaching in North Carolina, obliging Chavis to retire from the pulpit. He died in 1838.


Palmer Memorial Institute Historic District
6135 Burlington Rd., near Rock Creek Dairy Rd.

Charlotte Hawkins Brown, a North Carolina native, founded a school at this site on October 10, 1902, and named it for her friend and benefactor, Alice Freeman Palmer Institute. The school stressed academics, industrial, and vocational education. The school was incorporated on November 23, 1907. By 1916 the school had four buildings and had begun to make its presence felt nationwide. By 1922 it was one of the nation’s leading preparatory schools for African American students. The school changed its focus in the 1930s, after the public school system for African Americans improved, and Palmer closed its elementary department and functioned largely as a finishing and college preparatory school. The school closed in 1971. In 1987 the state purchased the site to develop it as a commemorative for African American education. Canary College, the former residence of the school’s founder, is the focal point of the site. The site was declared a national historic landmark on October 24, 1988.


George Black House and Brickyard

George H. Black, son of a former slave, was a well known African American bricklayer, sometimes called “The Last Bricklayer in America.” He lived and worked in Winston Salem from 1934 until 1980. He built his own business, built a brickyard near his home, and had both national and international recognition for work of both quality and durability. When he was in his 90s, he was asked to go to Africa and share his knowledge.



John Brown Monument

The John Brown Monument was built in honor of the abolitionist whose ill-fated Harpers Ferry revolt led to his conviction for treason and execution by hanging in 1859.


Clermont County Underground Railroad Freedom Trail
The trail contains 33 sites that are outlined in a brochure.


Harriet Beecher Stowe House
2950 Gilbert Ave.
Telephone: (513) 632-5120

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House has been preserved as a memorial to the internationally known author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The house served as the Beecher family residence from 1832 to 1836.

National Underground Freedom Center
50 East Freedom Way

This commemorates the courage, cooperation and perseverance of African American’s flight and struggle for freedom. It also offers lessons and a shed which had served as a slave “pen” in Mason County, KY.


African American Museum
1765 Crawford Road


Paul Laurence Dunbar House
219 N. Dunbar St.
Telephone: (800) 860-0148

Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African American poet after Phillis Wheatley to gain anything approaching a national reputation in the United States, was also the first to concentrate on dialect poetry and exclusively African American themes. His first collection of poetry Oak and Ivy was published before he was 20 years old. By 1896, his book Majors and Minors had won critical favor in a Harper’s Weekly review. The Dunbar House was built circa 1890, but Dunbar bought it for his mother in 1903 and lived in it with her until only three years before his death. Dunbar contracted tuberculosis in 1899, and his health continued to fail until his death on February 9, 1906. The house was designated a national historic landmark on June 30, 1980.


Benjamin Lundy House
Union and Third Sts


John Mercer Langston House
207 E. College St.

Elected township clerk in 1855, John Mercer Lang-ston is believed to have been the first African American to be elected to public office. Langston later served for the Freedman’s Bureau, became the first dean of the Howard University Law School, and served as a U.S. Minister Resident to Haiti. The Langston House, which served as Langston’s home from 1856 to 1867, was designated a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975. It is currently occupied by the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association.

Monument to the Followers of John Brown
Martin Luther King Park, East Vine

Oberlin College
Telephone: (800) 622-6243
Web site:

Before the Civil War, Oberlin was one of the centers of underground abolitionist planning. The college was one of the first institutions to graduate African Americans and women; three of John Brown’s raiding party at Harpers Ferry were identified as African Americans from Oberlin.

After the war, Oberlin was able to devote more time to its stated mission: providing quality education to all regardless of race. Among the distinguished alumni of Oberlin was Blanche K. Bruce, who served a full term in the U.S. Senate (1875–1881).


John Rankin House and Museum
Off U.S. 62, west of Ripley
Telephone: (513) 392-1627

An Underground Railroad station prior to the Civil War, the John Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio, is believed to have been the haven of the fugitive slave on whose story the novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe based the flight incident in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The house was built in 1828.


Colonel Charles Young House
Rte. 42 between Clifton and Stevenson Rds.

This address was the residence of the highest ranking African American officer in World War I and the first African American military attache. Colonel Charles Young was the son of former slaves and was born in Mays Lick, Kentucky. The Army had declared Young unfit physically because of high blood pressure; to prove that he was physically fit, he rode horseback 500 miles from Wilberforce to Washington, D.C., in 16 days. The Army, however, still stuck by its ruling. The house was declared a national historic landmark on May 30, 1974. It is a private residence.

Wilberforce University
Telephone: (937) 376-2911
Web site:

Established by the Methodist Church in 1856, Wilberforce University is named for William Wilberforce, an

English abolitionist. In 1863, the school was purchased by the African Methodist Episcopal Church; in 1981, the institution was sold to the state of Ohio. Wilberforce is the site of the National Afro-American Museum.



Boley Historic District
Approximating Seward Avenue, Walnut and

Cedar streets, and the southern city limits This is the largest of the all-African American towns established in Oklahoma to provide African Americans with the opportunity for self-government in an era of white supremacy and segregation. The town was established in 1903 and named for a white official of the Fort Smith and Western Railway, who encouraged a development for the African American railway workers. Residents migrated from Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The Boley Historic District was designated a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975.


101 Ranch

During the latter part of the nineteenth century, the 101 Ranch was one of the largest and most famous in the West. The ranch was established in 1879 and, in its prime, it employed several African American cowhands, the most celebrated of whom was Bill Pickett.

The originator of the art of bulldogging or steer wrestling, Pickett also perfected a unique style unlike any used by contemporary rodeo participants. In March 1932, though then in his seventies, Pickett was still active—the last of the original 101 hands. He died on April 21, 1932, after being kicked by a horse, and was buried on a knoll near the White Eagle Monument. The ranch was declared a national historic landmark on May 15, 1975.



Harry T. Burleigh Birthplace

A friend of famed Czech composer Antonín Dvořák and a composer/arranger in his own right, Harry T. Burleigh was born in 1866 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Bur-leigh set to music many of the stirring poems of Walt Whitman and arranged such unforgettable spirituals as Deep River. He died in 1949.


Thaddeus Stevens Grave Site
Schreiner’s Cemetery, W. Chestnut and N. Mulberry Sts.

Senator Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, a white abolitionist and civil rights activist, was one of the chief architects of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Upon his death in 1868, five black and three white pallbearers escorted the body to Washington, D.C. Stevens’s body lay in state on the same catafalque that had borne the body of Lincoln and was guarded by African American soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Two days later the body was returned to Lancaster, where over 10,000 African Americans attended the funeral. Stevens was buried in Schreiner’s Cemetery, a cemetery for African Americans—in his will, he had rejected burial in a white cemetery because of segregationist policy.


James A. Bland Grave Site
Merion Cemetery

In the Merion Cemetery in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, lies the grave of African American composer James A. Bland, who wrote “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,” now the state song of Virginia. Bland was one of the most popular African American minstrels of the nineteenth century.


African American Museum in Philadelphia

The museum is “committed to telling the story og African Americans in all its permutations” in Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Americas.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper House
1006 Bainbridge St.

This was the home of the African American writer and social activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, who participated in the nineteenth-century abolition, woman’s suffrage, and temperance movements. Harper occupied the residence from 1870 to 1911. The house was named a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976.

Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
419 Sixth St.
Telephone: (215) 925-0616

The current building was erected in 1859; it is the fourth church to be erected on the site where Richard Allen and Absalom Jones founded the Free African Society in 1787. This organization later grew into the African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the largest African American religious denominations in the United States.

Allen, the first African American bishop, was born a slave and became a minister and circuit rider after winning his freedom. In 1814, he and James Forten organized a force of 2,500 free African Americans to defend Philadelphia against the British. Sixteen years later, Allen organized the first African American convention in Philadelphia and was instrumental in getting the group to adopt a strong platform denouncing slavery and encouraging abolitionist activities. Allen died in 1831 and was buried in the church crypt.

As for Forten, he had been born free in 1766 and, despite his youth, served aboard a Philadelphia privateer during the Revolutionary War. In 1800, he was one of the signers of a petition requesting Congress to alter the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. Opposed to the idea of resettling slaves in Africa, Forten chaired an 1817 meeting held at Bethel to protest existing colonization schemes. In 1833, he put up the funds that William Lloyd Garrison needed to found The Liberator. After his death, Forten’s work was continued by his successors, who remained active in the abolitionist cause throughout the Civil War and fought for African American rights during Reconstruction. The Forten home served as a meeting place for many of the leading figures in the movement. The church was named a national historic landmark on May 30, 1974.

Negro Soldiers Monument
West Fairmount Park, Lansdowne Dr.

The Negro Soldiers Monument was erected by the state of Pennsylvania in 1934 to pay tribute to its fallen African American soldiers.

Henry O. Tanner House
2903 W. Diamond St.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1859, Henry Ossawa Tanner was the first African American to be elected to the National Academy of Design. He became an internationally recognized painter of the nineteenth Century. The Diamond Street residence was the artist’s boyhood home. The site is important also to commemorate the work of Tanner’s father, Benjamin Tucker Tanner, bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and editor of the A.M.E. Church Review. The homesite, a three-story structure, became Tanner’s residence about 1872. The house was designated a historical landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.

Bessie Smith Residence
7003 S. Twelfth St.

This location served as home to blues singer Bessie Smith from about 1926 until her death in 1937. It is a private residence.



Battle of Rhode Island Historical Site
Junction of Routes 114 & 24

Portsmouth served as the site of the only American Revolutionary battle in which an all-African American unit participated in 1778. The Monument commemorates the First Rhode Island Regiment.



Robert Smalls House
511 Prince St.

Robert Smalls, a former slave, served in both the state legislature and the U.S. Congress. While in office, Smalls was an advocate for the rights of African Americans. He had lived in Beaufort, South Carolina, both as a slave and as a free man. The Smalls house, a large frame two-story structure built in 1843, was designated a national historic landmark on May 30, 1973. It is a private residence.


Avery Normal Institute
125 Bull St.
Telephone: (843) 953-7609

Founded by the American Missionary Association in 1865, the institute moved to Bull Street and provided college preparatory education and teacher training for Charleston’s African American community. Francis Cardozo developed it into a prestigious private school. The school closed in 1954, due to financial difficulties. Today the historic building houses the Avery Research Center for African American History, founded in 1985.

Dubose Hayward House
76 Church St.

Dubose Hayward, the author of Porgy, the book upon which George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess was based, lived here from 1919 to 1924. It was designated a national historic landmark on November 11, 1971.

Old Slave Mart
6 Chalmers St.

The mart was built in 1853 to be used for the auction of slaves and other goods. Originally the mart included two additional lots and three buildings. The buildings were holding points for slaves who were to be sold. The structure that remains is the only known extant facility used as a slave auction gallery in the state. It now houses an African American museum and a gift shop. The building was designated a national historic landmark on May 2, 1975. In 2002, the city-owned structure was closed for renovations.


African American History Monument
South Carolina State House Grounds

The Monument is modeled on an African Village in the round and “is designed to recapture the rich history of the African Americans [a map shows the original homelands of the slaves and their arrival in Charleston] and their contributions to the state of South Carolina.”

Denmark Vesey House
56 Bull St.

This was the residence of Denmark Vesey, a free black Charleston carpenter whose hard work earned him substantial wealth and respect among Charleston’s African American community. He planned a slave insurrection, carefully selecting leaders and participants who were believed to be his supporters. His plot for July 14, 1822, was uncovered and Vesey was sentenced to death 12 days before the scheduled coup. The Denmark Vesey House was declared a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976.


Chapelle Administration Building, Allen University
1530 Harden St.
Telephone: (800) 254-4165

The Chapelle Administration Building is located at Allen University, a school founded in 1881. Named for Bishop Richard Allen, the school was established primarily to educate clergy for the African Methodist Episcopal church. The Chapelle building is one of the finest works of John Anderson Lankford, a pioneer African American architect who helped gain recognition for African American architects among the architectural community. The building was named a national historic landmark on December 8, 1976.


Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates Statue

Recognizes “Peg Leg” Bates who lost a leg, but overcame it to become a famous dancer; his signature work was the imitation of a jet plane.


Penn Center Historic District
Rte. 37

Penn School was founded in 1862 and supported by northern missionaries and abolitionists. Ellen Murray of the Pennsylvania Freemen’s Relief Association and her friend, Laura Towne, opened the school in Murray’s house. As enrollment expanded, the school relocated to Brick Church, then to a site adjacent to the church. The new school was named Penn School. The school provided exceptional education to local African American residents who were denied admission to the white schools. The school also addressed health, agricultural, and financial needs of the African American residents of St. Helena. It collected and preserved the artifacts, musical recordings, oral history, and heritage of the residents. The school closed in 1948, but its buildings still serve the community. The traditions of the facilities are carried on by Penn Community Services, Inc. On December 2, 1974, the area was designated a national historic landmark district.

Modjeska Monteith Sinkins House
2025 Marion Street

The home of the founding member of and secretary of the South Carolina Conference of NAACP chapters and the state’s only full-time African-American public health worker. A social activist, she was a leader of African American public health reform, social reform, and civil rights.


Joseph H. Rainey House
909 Prince St.

Joseph Hayne Rainey (1832–1887), a former slave, was the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. His election, along with the election of Hiram R. Revels, the first African American citizen to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 1870, marked the beginning of African American participation in the federal legislative process. The house, built circa 1760, was designated a national historic landmark on April 20, 1984. Rainey lived in the facility from 1832 to 1887. It is now a private residence.


Stono River Slave Rebellion Historic Site

This was the site of a 1739 slave insurrection, during which some 100 slaves escaped. The site, located in Rantowles, South Carolina, was named a national historic landmark on July 4, 1974.


Port of Fort Moultrie National Monument
1214 Middle Street
Web site:

This northeast corner of Charleston Harbor was the first reception location for slaves from West Africa and the West Indies brought to North America between 1700 and the Revolution.



Adams Museum and House
Corner of Sherman and Deadwood Sts.
Web site:

Founded by W.E. Adams to honor the pioneers who settled the Black Hills of South Dakota, including one of the claimants to the legendary title, “Deadwood Dick.” Nat Love, an African American, can back up his assertion, however, with a colorful autobiography that takes the reader through his childhood in slavery, his early bronco-busting efforts, and his fabled life as a range rider and fighter in the old West. Love claimed he won the title “Deadwood Dick” during a public competition held in Deadwood on July 4, 1876. The presence of other African American cowboys, gambling house operators, and escort soldiers in the area during those years, as well as the convincing style of Love’s narrative, lend a high degree of credibility to his adventurous tales—although, like Jim Beckwourth, he may have been given to moments of wanton exaggeration.



Clinton High School Museum

The Museum, housed in a former all-Black elementary school, opened to honor the “Clinton 12.” Clinton High School, the first public high school to desegregate in the Old South, was bombed in 1958, graduated the first African American from a state supported public integrated high school in the South in 1957, and graduated the first African American female from a public integrated high school in 1958.


Alex Haley House
Haley Ave. at S. Church St.
Telephone: (901) 738-2240

Best known for the television adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Roots, author Alex Haley has awakened both black and white Americans to the

richness of African and African American history and culture. The house, built in 1918 by Haley’s grandfather, served as his home from 1921 to 1929 and was where he heard many of the stories that inspired him to write Roots. Today the house serves as a museum.


Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum
Web site:

On Chester Street in Jackson, Tennessee, is found the Casey Jones Railroad Museum, which is filled with memorabilia of a bygone era. Jones was immortalized through the song about Casey Jones’ legendary train ride. The song, which became popularized in vaudeville and music halls, was written by Wallace Saunders, an African American fireman aboard Jones’ locomotive. The Railroad Museum serves to remind us of the enormous unsung contributions of African Americans to the railroad industry in the United States.


Beale Street Historic District
Beale St. from Second to Fourth Sts.
Web site:

The “blues,” a unique black contribution to American music, was born on a Beale Street lined with saloons, gambling halls, and theaters. The street was immortalized by William Christopher Handy, who composed “Beale Street Blues.” Beale Street, located in Memphis, Tennessee, was designated a national historic landmark on October 15, 1966.

William Christopher Handy Park

The city of Memphis, Tennessee, pays tribute to famed blues composer William Christopher Handy in the form of a park and a heroic bronze statue overlooking the very same Beale Street that he immortalized in the tune “Beale Street Blues.” The statue, showing Handy standing with horn poised, was executed by Leone Tomassi of Italy and was dedicated in 1960, at the close of a memorial campaign instituted by the city shortly after Handy’s death in 1958.

Tom Lee Memorial
Riverside Dr., south of Beale St.

The 30-foot high Tom Lee granite memorial was erected in 1954 to honor an African American who, on May 8, 1925, saved the lives of 32 passengers aboard the M. E. Norman, an excursion boat that had capsized some 20 miles below Memphis near Cow Island. Alerted to the disaster, Lee pulled 32 people from the water onto his skiff. He was honored for his feat by the Memphis Engineers Club, which provided him with money for the duration of his life. A fund was also raised to purchase him a home. After his death in 1952, a committee raised the money needed to erect the memorial.

Lorraine Hotel
406 Mulberry St.
Telephone: (901) 521-9699
Web site:

It was on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, while emerging from a second-floor room in the presence of a pair of his trusted advisers, Ralph Abernathy and Jesse Jackson. King died in the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Hospital on April 4, 1968. The Lorraine closed for business in 1988. It is now operated as the National Civil Rights Museum.


Fisk University Historic District
Telephone: (615) 329-8500
Web site:

Opened on January 9, 1866, and incorporated on August 22, 1867, Fisk University was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, following the Civil War, by the American Missionary Association to provide a liberal arts education for children of former slaves. Fisk School, as it was known then, began operation in former Union army barracks. In 1873, the campus was moved to a new site, the old Fort Gillem. In 1978, the 40-acre campus was designated a national historic landmark district. Among the historic buildings on campus are the residences once occupied by Arna Bontemps, Elmer S. Imes, Robert Hayden, and John W. Work. Several are Victorian design.

A bronze statue of illustrious Fisk graduate W. E. B. Du Bois, standing with book in hand, is located on the campus.

Jubilee Hall, a Victorian Gothic structure, is the South’s first permanent structure built to educate African American students. The Fisk Jubilee Singers set out from Nashville in 1871 to raise money for their school, and in their concerts they introduced the Negro spiritual to the world. The singers raised enough money to save the school and to erect Jubilee Hall, which was dedicated on January 1, 1876. The hall was named a national historic landmark on December 9, 1971.

James Weldon Johnson House
911 D. B. Todd Blvd.

Writer and civil rights leader James Weldon Johnson resided at this location from about 1930 until his death in 1938, teaching literature and writing at Fisk University. Johnson was born in 1871 in Jacksonville, Florida. Johnson, in collaboration with his brother J. Rosamond Johnson, was responsible for creating the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Johnson’s death mask is in the Fisk University Library, Special Collection. This is a private residence.

Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society
Tennessee State University

Founded at Tennessee A & I State College in 1937 to recognize Negro scholars.

William Edmondson Park
17th Avenue North and Charlotte

In recognition of William Edmondson, a renowned primitive sculptor, who was the first African American to have a one-man show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Hadley Park
1032 28th Ave N

This is the first public park set aside exclusively for the use of African Americans in the United States.

Ted Rhodes Golf Course
1901 Ed Temple Boulevard

Ted Rhodes is the first African American professional golfer to compete on the PGA tour.



Ploeger-Kerr White House
806 Marion

Robert Kerr, legislator, political and civic leader was the first African American legislator from Bastrop and one of the first African Americans to hold office following Reconstruction.


The African American Museum
3536 Grand Avenue


Freedmen’s Town Historic District
Approximate boundaries: I-45, Dallas Ave, Taft and W. Gray Sts.

This historic district, also known as the Fourth Ward, is the oldest existing post-Civil War African American community in the United States. Between 1910 and 1930, the area was the economic center for Houston’s African American population. Many of the buildings in the district no longer exist, having fallen prey to developers and decay. In the interest of preserving some of the area’s history, the Freedmen’s Town home of Rutherford B. H. Yates, the first African American printer in Houston, is being renovated. It will serve as the Rutherford B. H. Yates Museum.

Buffalo Soldiers National Monument & Heritage Center



Bruin’s Slave Jail
1707 Duke Street

This building is not open to the public but was used as a jail by Joseph Bruin, a slave dealer, to hold slaves awaiting sale.

Franklin and Armfield Office
1315 Duke St.

From 1828 to 1836, the office of the Franklin and Armfield slave trading company in Alexandria, Virginia, was the South’s largest slave-trading firm. (During the company’s operation, Alexandria was part of the District of Columbia.) The building was designated a national historic landmark on June 2, 1978.

Colonial National Historical Park
Telephone: (757) 898-2410
Web site:

Jamestown Island, located in Colonial National Historical Park, is where the first African American slaves arrived in the American colonies in 1619. In addition, the park served as the site of the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, a struggle in which three African Americans held combat positions in patriot militia units and worked for the Hessian forces as musicians and servants.


Benjamin Banneker SW9 Intermediate Boundary Stone
18th and Van Buren Sts.

The boundary stone in Arlington, Virginia, commemorates the accomplishments of Benjamin Banneker, who helped survey the city of Washington, D.C., and who was perhaps the most well-known African American in colonial America. Banneker, a mathematician and scientist, was born in Ellicott Mills, Maryland, and received his early schooling with the aid of a Quaker family. Banneker was a national hero for African Americans, and many schools have been named after him. The boundary stone was declared a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976.

Charles Richard Drew House
2505 First St., S.

Located in Arlington, Virginia, this house served as the home of Charles Richard Drew from 1920 to 1939. Drew, a noted African American physician and teacher, is best remembered for his pioneer work in discovering means to preserve blood plasma. The house was named a national historic landmark on May 11, 1976. It is a private residence.


Pittsylvania County Courthouse
U.S. Business Rte. 29

The Pittsylvania County Courthouse in Chatham, Virginia, was closely associated with the 1878 case Ex parte Virginia. This case, held upon the issue of African American participation on juries, stemmed from a clear attempt by a state official to deny citizens the equal protection of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The courthouse was designated a national historic landmark on May 4, 1987.


Holly Knoll House

From 1935 to 1959, this house served as the retirement home of Robert R. Moton. Moton, who succeeded Booker T. Washington as head of Tuskegee Institute in 1915, guided the school’s growth until 1930. He was an influential educator and active in many African American causes. The house now serves as the central building of the Moton Conference Center.


Virginia Randolph Home Economics Cottage
2200 Mountain Rd.
Telephone: (757) 727-5000

As the first supervisor of the Jeanes Fund, set up by a wealthy Philadelphia Quaker to aid African American education, Virginia Randolph worked to upgrade African American vocational training. The cottage in Glen Allen, Virginia, was named a national historic landmark on December 2, 1974. It houses a museum, which is open to the public.


Hampton University
Telephone: (757) 727-5000
Web site:

Founded in 1868 as Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute, this was one of the earliest institutions of higher learning for African Americans in the United States. Samuel Chapman Armstrong, an agent of the Freedmen’s Bureau, persuaded the American Missionary Association to purchase land for the school. Booker T. Washington was one of its graduates who later founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, modeling it after the Hampton tradition. Washington also taught for a time at Hampton. The Hampton area and several of its buildings were designated a national historic landmark district on May 30, 1974.

Hampton University Museum

It is located on the campus of Hampton University and the oldest African-American Museums in the United States.


Booker T. Washington National Monument
Telephone: (540) 721-2094
Web site:

The Burroughs plantation, on which educator and scholar Booker T. Washington was born, can be found in a 200-acre park located 22 miles southeast of Roanoke, Virginia. Born a slave, Washington lived here until the end of the Civil War, when he and his mother moved to Malden, West Virginia.


Anne Spencer House
1313 Pierce St.
Telephone: (804) 845-1313

Anne Spencer, poet and librarian, was friend and confidante of many Harlem Renaissance luminaries.

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Her poetry was published largely in the 1920s, when the Harlem Renaissance was in full blossom. She maintained her relationship with the African American cultural leaders of Harlem, and they visited her in the garden that she provided for them. The Spencer home was designated a national historic landmark on December 6, 1976.


Black Civil War Veterans’ Memorial
Elmwood Cemetery, Princess Anne Rd.

In a section of Norfolk’s Elmwood Cemetery marked by a granite monument lie the grave sites of several African American soldiers who served during the Civil War.


Arthur Ashe Statue
Monument Ave.

A 12-foot bronze statue of tennis legend Arthur Ashe was unveiled in his hometown in July 1996. The statue depicts Ashe in a warm-up suit holding books over his head in one hand and a tennis racket in the other. The inscription, taken from a Bible verse, is the opening passage of his autobiography Days of Grace: “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Jackson Ward Historic District

Bounded by Fourth, Marshall, and Smith Streets and the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, this was the foremost African American community of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and an early center for ethnic social organizations and protective banking institutions. The district was named a national historic landmark on June 2, 1978.

Maggie Lena Walker National Historic Site
110–A E. Leigh St.
Telephone: (804) 771-2017
Web site:

In 1903, Maggie Lena Walker, an African American woman, founded the successful Saint Luke Penny Savings Bank and became the first woman to establish and head a bank. In addition to being the first woman president of a bank, she was editor of a newspaper considered to be one of the best journals of its class in America. The house is located in the Jackson Ward Historic District of Richmond; it was declared a national historic landmark on May 12, 1975, and it became a part of the national park system on November 10, 1978.

St. Luke Building
900 St. James St.

The Edwardian building, completed in 1903, is national headquarters for the Independent Order of St. Luke, an African American benevolent society founded in Baltimore by Mary Prout, a former slave. The organization helped to ease the transition from slavery to freedom, providing financial aid and guidance to newly freed slaves. The oldest African American-affiliated office building in the city, it houses the Maggie Lena Walker office now preserved as a memorial. The structure was remodeled and enlarged between 1915 and 1920. It was designated a national historic landmark on September 16, 1982.



George Washington Park

This park is named after a liberated slave who escaped from slavery in Virginia when he was adopted by a white couple and taken to Missouri. He then left Missouri with a wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest, settling on a homestead along the Chehalis River. Once the location was reached by the Northern Pacific Railroad, Washington laid out a town, setting aside acreage for parks, a cemetery, and churches. Soon over 2,000 lots were in the hands of a thriving population that formed the nucleus of Centerville.



Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
Telephone: (304) 535-6298
Web site:

Harpers Ferry derives its historical fame from the much publicized anti-slavery raid conducted by John Brown and a party of 18 men, including five African Americans, from October 16th to 18th, 1859. Brown hoped to set up a fortress and refuge for slaves that he could transform into an important way station for black fugitives en route to Pennsylvania.

Brown lost two of his sons in the battle and was himself seriously wounded. Later tried and convicted of treason, he was hanged at Charles Town on December 2, 1859.


Booker T. Washington Monument
U.S. Rte. 60

This monument, erected in 1963, marks the site where Booker T. Washington labored for several years in the salt works. At the time, Washington credited his employer, Mrs. Violla Ruffner, with having encouraged him to pursue a higher education at Hampton Institute.



Milton House and Museum
18 S. Jamesville St.
Telephone: (608) 868-7772
Web site:

The Milton House, the first structure made of poured concrete in the United States, was once used as a hideaway for fugitive slaves escaping by means of the Underground Railroad.


Ansel Clark Grave Site
Silver Lake Cemetery

Ansel Clark, “born a slave, died a respected citizen,” settled in Wisconsin after the Civil War, in which he served as an impressed laborer in the Confederate cause before escaping. Brought to Portage by a man to whom he had tended in a Union hospital, Clark served as town constable and deputy sheriff. For 30 years he worked in law enforcement, standing up to the town’s rough characters and keeping them in line with his “firmness and dignity.”

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African American Landmarks

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African American Landmarks