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Black Museums

Updated on December 29, 2013

History and Culture of People of African Heritage

This lens celebrates museums documenting the lives of people of African heritage all over the world. It includes museums in Africa and the United States, as well as information about exhibitions and events.

This list is by no means exhaustive. It will continue to be updated.

Black Museums - Preserving the History and Culture of African People

House of the Slaves, Dakar, Senegal
House of the Slaves, Dakar, Senegal

This lens lists museums about people of African heritage and culture in the United States and all over the world.

Preserving our cultural heritage is particularly important for those of us from the African Diaspora, as our heritage was stolen from us. Recording and preserving our artefacts is an important part of the process of reclaiming our identity, our ancestral heritage and our sense of self.

It is essential that we see ourselves within the context of the international community of African people.

This lens is very much a work in progress. Keep coming back, as I will keep adding more.

Elmina Castle, Ghana

Elmina Castle, Ghana
Elmina Castle, Ghana

Elmina Castle, on the West Coast of Ghana, is a surviving example of the "slave castles", or dungeons, that once lined the coast to serve the Transatlantic trade in African people.

Each of the dungeon rooms held up to 200 people in cramped conditions. People stood in their own excrement until such time as they were taken from the dungeon.

Once they passed through the "door of no return", they were loaded onto ships to be transported across the Atlantic to slavery in the Americas. They never saw their homes again.

Elmina Castle came under the control of the British, who shut it down after Transatlantic slavery was abolished in 1834.

See below for more details.

Nigerian Relief Carving

Nigerian Relief Carving
Nigerian Relief Carving

Nigerian relief carving in the African Art National Museum of Nigeria. Beautiful, intricate work.

Museums in Africa

Many of the museums in Africa were built by the colonizers and celebrate the exploits of those who invaded and settled in Africa. The museums often reflect the interests and concerns of the colonizers. This lens seeks to focus on museums that preserve the history and culture of African people.

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

The DuSable Museum in Chicago, IL commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. See below for details.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History

President Obama at the Groundbreaking
President Obama at the Groundbreaking

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was created in 2003 by an Act of Congress, establishing it as part of the Smithsonian Institution. President Obama spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.

United States - Black Museums in the United States

Documenting and celebrating the history and culture of African American people. These museums are listed in alphabetical order by State.

This year, many Black museums are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Marcus Garvey Museum Video

Black History Studies visits the Marcus Garvey Museum in Kingston, Jamaica

Featured Lenses - Featured Lenses on Black History and Culture

Black History International
This lens contains four polls and two Black history quizzes. Click here to listen to audio interviews with Zhana. Click here for loads of books about Blac...

London Black History Walks
London Black History Walks have been chosen by the Guardian as one of the Ten Best Guided Walks in London. For more info, see the Resources section below. L...

Kwanzaa - Celebrating Traditional African Values
Videos explaining Kwanzaa and much more. Kwanzaa is observed by people of African heritage all over the world from December 26 through January 1. This is an...

If you have visited a Black museum, please share your experiences.

Have You Visited a Black Museum? - Please share your experiences of Black museums.

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    • Zhana21 profile image
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      Zhana 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much for sharing this lens! I really appreciate it. You might also be interested in the FB page for America's Black Holocaust Museum.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Very informative lens, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Shared this with a friend on Facebook. Also posted it to my Pinterest board for Mother Africa. http://pinterest.com/pin/183943966001413165/

    • Zhana21 profile image
      Author

      Zhana 6 years ago

      @dellgirl: Thank you so much for your comment, Dellgirl. I wish you a brilliant weekend, too.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 6 years ago

      I love your lens. Its very inspiring, thanks for sharing.

      Im just stopping in to say Hi and to wish you a wonderful Weekend