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The Near Team

3 mins read

8 Most-Visited Museums and Monuments Honoring Black History

Museums and monuments play an important role in improving awareness of Black history. The National Register of Historic Places includes roughly 2,000 places of significance to U.S. history that reflect the enormous contributions of Black Americans. 

As the world’s largest source of data intelligence on people and places, Near understands the tremendous significance places can have in our lives and culture. This is especially true of our shared history. Near Research found the 8 most visited museums and monuments honoring Black history and culture in the United States:

1. National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photo by psinderbrand
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is located on the National Mall and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It was originally created in 2003, and opened its current location and permanent home in 2016 with a ceremony led by President Barack Obama.
Location: Washington, D.C
Visits: 1.1 million estimated visits in 2021.

2. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Photo by Chang’r
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in 2004 to honor the history of the Underground Railroad. The Center also recognizes all endeavors to “abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people.”
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Visits: 922,000 estimated visits in 2021.

3. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial honors Dr. King’s legacy and the movement for freedom, equality, and justice. The memorial is located at 1964 Independence Avenue, S.W., designating the year the Civil Rights Act Of 1964 became law. The memorial was officially dedicated on August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Visits: 656,000 estimated visits in 2021.

4. Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

Photo by Ron Cogswell
The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument was established in 2017 to preserve and commemorate the work of the Civil Rights Movement. It was established at the site of the A.G. Gaston Motel, where civil rights leaders met in the spring of 1963 to make the critical decisions that propelled the civil rights movement forward.
Location: Birmingham, AL
Visits: 604,000 estimated visits in 2021.

5. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

Photo by Wally Gobetz
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park includes several sites related to the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr.  The park includes the birthplace and boyhood home of Dr. King, the original Ebenezer Baptist Church, and The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (“The King Center”). The park was established in 1980, and named a National Historic Park in 2018.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Visits: 576,000 estimated visits in 2021.

6. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Photo by Steven Zucker

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice remembers the black victims of lynching in the United States. Opened in 2018, the memorial is dedicated to focusing on and acknowledging past racial terrorism in America, and advocating for social justice.
Location: Montgomery, AL
Visits: 302,000 estimated visits in 2021.

7. National Civil Rights Museum

Photo by Avalon Frost

The National Civil Rights Museum is a complex of buildings tracing the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present.  The museum includes the former Lorraine Motel, the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
Location: Memphis, TN
Visits: 277,000 estimated visits in 2021.

8. National Museum of African American Music

Opened in January 2021, The National Museum of African American Music showcases the many musical genres inspired, created, or influenced by African-Americans.

Want to visit a memorial or museum near you? has places of significance catalogued by geography. And if you want to learn more about how to celebrate and honor African-American culture, check out this list of ideas on how to be an ally to the Black Community.

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