Great Black History Sites to Visit in NYC
Celebrate Black History - Put These on Your List!
African Burial Ground National Monument
Indoor Museum operated by the National Park Service 290 Broadway. Outdoor burial site, SW corner of Duane and Elk Streets. The cemetery was active from the 1690’s until around 1794. An estimated 15,000 people were laid to rest here. The site was discovered in 1991 during an excavation to build an office building on the site. The museum includes exhibits that chronicle the history of slavery in NYC which was not outlawed until 1827.
Museum of Food and Drink at The Africa Center, 110th Street & Fifth Avenue,
African/American: Making the Nation's Table, exhibit runs from February 23d to June 19th. For over 400 years African Americans have inspired our country's food through their skill, creativity and entrepreneurship. Black foodways have shaped much of what we farm, what we cook, what we drink and where we eat. Visit this unique exhibition to learn how African American food is American Food.
Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture
Part of the NYC Public Library system, houses the world’s largest collection of print materials and artifacts related to the African diaspora. Features a research libray, exhibitions and public events. There the ashes of Langston Hughes, the historic poet laureate of Black life in America ashes are beneath the floor of a cosmogram artwork called “Rivers”. The current exhibit chronicles the Black Comic Book Festival.
Located in Corona, Queens. A wonderfully authentic experience, learn all about the life and music of “Satchmo” at the house where he lived with his wife Lucille from 1943, until his death in 1971. Born in New Orleans, growing up poor, he became one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. Despite his wealth, he lived in this modest house in a working-class neighborhood. He was known to be friendly with neighbors and interacted regularly with local children.
National Jazz Museum in Harlem
Preserves, promote and present jazz by inspiring knowledge, appreciation and the celebration of jazz locally, nationally and internationally. Activities includer Core Programs: Education; Jazz &… (Community Engagement & Performance); Exhibits & Collections; and Partnerships & Collaborations. Their programming and our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy represents the museum's commitment to showcasing jazz and jazz-adjacent voices and perspectives that characterize and welcome the most inclusive diversity of audiences.
Modest house is located in Flushing, Queens. Lewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928) was an African-American inventor, electrical pioneer, and a son of fugitive slaves. With no access to formal education, Latimer taught himself mechanical drawing while in the Union Navy, and eventually became a chief draftsman, patent expert, and inventor. Latimer worked with three of the greatest scientific inventors in American history, Alexander Graham Bell, Hiram S. Maxim, and Thomas Alva Edison. He played a critical role in the development of the telephone, and invented the carbon filament, a significant improvement in the production of the incandescent light bulb.
Weeksville Heritage Center is an historic site and cultural center in Central Brooklyn that uses education, arts and a social justice lens to preserve, document and inspire engagement with the history of Weeksville, one of the largest free Black communities in pre-Civil War America, and the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses.
Sandy Ground Historic Site - Staten Island
Originally known as Harrisville and later renamed Little Africa, Sandy Ground enjoys the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited free black community in the United States. There is a historic society, church, cemetery and older homes in this still active community.
Seneca Village Site - Central Park
A series of plaques can be found around the site. Located between 82nd and 87th Streets, just east of Central Park West, Seneca Village was first settled in the 1820's, just on the eve of emancipation in New York State. By the mid 1850's, the Village was a thriving community with a population of over 250 people. Approximately two thirds were of African descent, while the remainder were of European descent, mostly Irish. The Village was also the site of several institutions, including three churches, five cemeteries and a school. When the City government claimed the land under the right of eminent domain, evicted the residents, and razed their homes to create Central Park, Seneca Village disappeared for over a century until researched by historians at City College, Barnard and the NY Historical Society.