Park Sites

History comes alive in places like the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, and the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. Yet, there is a distinct absence of African American families visiting these historic places that hold special relevance to them. AAEF was established to address this lack of engagement by raising awareness of African American history preserved in the national parks. By visiting these sites, future generations will be able to experience some of America's most magnificent cultural treasures and learn about our diverse American history.

African American National Civil War Memorial
Washington, D.C.
The African American Civil War Memorial commemorates the service of over 200,000 African-American soldiers and sailors who fought for the Union in the United States Civil War. The memorial features a 9-foot bronze statue by Ed Hamilton, The Spirit of Freedom, as well as walls inscribed with the names of the men who served in the war. Learn more »

African Burial Ground National Monument
New York, New York
From the 1690s until the 1790s, both free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6 acre burial ground outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam, now lower Manhattan. Lost to history because of development, the cemetery was rediscovered in 1991 and now memorializes the African slaves who helped to establish the financial capital of the world! Learn more »

Booker T. Washington National Monument
Hardy, Virginia
Born a slave in 1856 on the 207-acre farm of James Burroughs, Washington became founder and first principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School, later known as Tuskeegee Institute.  As an educator, adviser, author and orator, his past would influence his philosophies as the most influential African American of his era. Step back in time and experience firsthand the life and landscape of Booker T. Washington. Learn more »

Boston African American National Historic Site
Boston, Massachusetts
Located in the heart of Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, the site includes 15 pre-Civil War structures relating to the history of Boston's 19th century African American community, including: Abiel Smith School, the first public school for African Americans and the African Meeting House, the oldest standing African American church in the United States. The sites are linked by the 1.6 mile (2.5 km) Black Heritage Trail. Augustus Saint-Gaudens' memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the African American Massachusetts 54th Regiment stands on the trail. Learn more »

Brown V Board of Education National Historic Site
Topeka, Kansas
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that separate educational facilities are "inherently unequal" and, as such, violate the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees all citizens "equal protection of the laws." The former Monroe Elementary School houses a state-of-the-art interactive visitor center that tells the complex story of the landmark case and the decades of legal strategy that led to it. Learn more »

Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Located within the Cane River National Heritage Area in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, the Park includes 44.16 acres of Oakland Plantation and 18.75 acres of Magnolia Plantation. The two park sites include a total of 67 historic structures dating back 200 years and provides extensive insight into plantation life and the institution of slavery. Learn more »

Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site
Washington, D.C.
The son of former slaves, Dr. Woodson earned his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 1912, the second black American to do so (after W. E. B. DuBois).  A historian, author, journalist and the founder of Black History Month, Dr. Woodson is commonly referred to as the Father of African American History. Learn more »

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
Wilberforce, OH
The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument honors Col. Charles Young (1864–1922) , a distinguished officer in the United States Army, was the third African American to graduate from West Point and the first to achieve the rank of colonel. He was also the first African American to serve as a superintendent of a national park. Learn more »

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Washington, D.C.
From 1877 to 1895, this was the home of Frederick Douglass, world famous abolitionist and the nation's leading 19th-century African American spokesman. Visitors to the site will learn more about his efforts to abolish slavery and his struggle for human rights, equal rights, and civil rights for all oppressed people.
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George Washington Carver National Monument
Diamond, Missouri
Known as one of the nation's greatest educators and agricultural researchers, George Washington Carver’s fame was based on his research and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. Carver's boyhood home is the first national monument honoring an African American.  Rolling hills, woodlands, and prairies of the 210-acre park offer a 3/4-mile nature trail, museum and an interactive exhibit area for students. Learn more »

Gullah/Geechee National Cultural Heritage Corridor
Charleston, South Carolina
Designated by Congress in 2006, the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor extends from Wilmington, North Carolina in the north to Jacksonville, Florida in the south. It is home to one of America's most unique cultures, a tradition first shaped by captive Africans brought to the southern United States from West Africa and continued in later generations by their descendents. Learn more »

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Little Rock, Arkansas
On the morning of September 23, 1957, nine African-American high school students faced an angry mob of over 1,000 whites protesting integration in front of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Come to the visitor center and be inspired by the courage, determination and faith of the “Little Rock Nine.” Learn more »

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
Richmond, Virginia
The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site commemorates the life of a progressive and talented African American woman. Despite many adversities, she achieved success in the world of business and finance as the first woman in the United States to charter and serve as president of a bank. The site includes her residence of thirty years and a visitor center detailing her life and the Jackson Ward community in which she lived and worked. The house is restored to its 1930s appearance with original Walker family pieces. Learn more »

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Atlanta, Georgia
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site preserves King's birthplace and gravesite, along with other homes, a fire station, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King worshipped as a child and later served as co-pastor with his father, Martin Luther King, Sr. Visitors can stroll through the residential neighborhood where King grew up, seeing much of it just as it looked when he and his family lived at 501 Auburn Avenue. Learn more »

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Washington, D.C.
The Memorial honors Dr. King, the freedom movement he led, and his message of freedom, equality, justice and love. Through his powerful gift of speech and eloquent writings, Dr. King's inspiring words broke the boundaries of intolerance and solidified his place in history as the paramount civil rights figurehead. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is the first on the National Mall devoted, not to a United States President or war hero, but a citizen activist for civil rights and peace. Learn more »

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
Washington, D.C.
The Bethune Council House was Mary McLeod Bethune's last official Washington, DC residence and the first headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women. Mary McLeod Bethune founded Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida and served as an advisor on African American affairs to four presidents, the first African American woman to hold such asenior position in the federal government. The three-story Victorian townhouse was also her Washington, DC residence and includes a carriage house where the National Archives for Black Women's History
is located. Learn more »

Mary McLeod Bethune National Memorial
Washington, D.C.
The Mary McLeod Bethune National Memorial sits at the West end of Lincoln Park, within National Capital Parks-East. The statue was the first monument to honor an African American woman in a public park in the District of Columbia. The inscription on the pedestal of the monument "let her works praise her" speaks of Mrs. Bethune's many accomplishments as an educator, politician, presidential advisor and civil rights activist. Learn more »

Natchez National Historical Park
Natchez, Mississippi
Among the preserved antebellum properties at the Natchez National Historic Park is the home of William Johnson, "The Barber of Natchez," a prominent free black business man. His two-thousand-page diary provides a vivid picture of life in Natchez before the Civil War and is still a reference for scholars of the period. Learn more »

National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
The Underground Railroad was neither "underground" nor a "railroad," but was a loose network of aid and assistance to fugitives from bondage. Perhaps as many as one hundred thousand enslaved persons may have escaped in the years between the American Revolution and the Civil War. The Network to Freedom is an ever-expanding collection of over 200 National Underground Railroad sites throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Learn more »

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans Jazz NHP preserves the origins and early development of jazz in the city that is widely-recognized as its birthplace through programs that educate, entertain and provide information and resources about the quintessential American music. Learn more »

Nicodemus National Historic Site
Nicodemus, Kansas
This area preserves, protects, and interprets the only remaining Western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War. Learn more »

Paul Laurence Dunbar House
Dayton, Ohio
The home of one of America's most beloved poets, the home appears today much as it did at the time of his death in 1906. A partner site, located within Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, the site is owned and managed by the Ohio Historical Society.
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Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
San Franciso, California
On the night of July 17, 1944, residents in the San Francisco area were jolted awake by a massive explosion that lit up the sky. At Port Chicago Naval Magazine 40 miles east of San Francisco, 320 men were instantly killed when the munition ships they were loading with ammunition and bombs for the Pacific Rim troops mysteriously blew up. Over 200 of the deaths were young African-American enlisted sailors working for a segregated military. The explosion and its aftermath led to the largest Naval mutiny trial and was one of the catalysts to persuade the U.S. Armed Services to desegregate following the war.
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Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail
Spread over three counties, the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail commemorates the events, people, and route of the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery and “Bloody Sunday” that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Learn more »

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
Tuskegee, Alabama
The outstanding performance of the over 15,000 men and women who shared the "Tuskegee Experience," from 1942-1946, is immortalized at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. Learn more »

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
Tuskegee, Alabama
Today, the legacy of Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and many others who established this small “trade school” that is now a world-class university lives on throughout the campus where many of the original buildings were constructed by students, from bricks made in the Institute brickyard, still stand.
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