New York City, NY

Five Places to Learn About Black History in New York City

Jessica Ufuoma

Photo by BBC

New York City has been instrumental in the fight for racial justice and equality for all. From the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural revival that took place in the city of Harlem, between the 1920s and 1930s, also called the New Negro Movement, a lot of revolutionary and historical happenings have happened in New York City.

This historical significance is evident in the historical sites all around the city and if you're looking to learn more about Black history, then check out the list below.

1.) The Langston Hughes House

This house was occupied by notable African American poet and author, Langston Hughes who occupied the top floor as his workroom. If you don't know who Langston is, well, I'll tell you. He wore many hats as an American poet, social activist and columnist. He was also a leader of the Harlem Renaissance mentioned above. In this house was where he spent the last 20 years of his life. This makes this house incredibly special and is now a historical site in New York City. His brownstone house is one of the 22 sites that received a National Trust for Historic Preservation grant which is pretty incredible as part of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund aimed at uncovering the stories of African Americans. It's great to know that these sites are being backed with funding for their preservation.

Location: 20 E. 127th St., New York, New York

Photo by Curbed NY

2.) The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

This place is a part of the New York Public Library. This research center specializes in Black culture and anyone who has the pleasure of visiting, even virtually, has a lot to learn from this place. The great thing about the center is that you do not have to go there to learn about Black history, with its robust digital library, including its Black Liberation Reading List, anyone now has access to learning more about Black History - New York and beyond!

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, one of The New York Public Library’s renowned research libraries, is a world-leading cultural institution devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.

Location: 515 Malcolm X Boulevard (135th St and Malcolm X Blvd) New York, NY 10037

Photo by the New York Public Library (NYPL)

3.) Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally, and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by Black culture. It is a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society.

This is the first museum dedicated to the contemporary African American artists in the entire country. The institution now offers programs for senior and children through its Target Free Sundays. The promote arts education, have art exhibitions and you can support African American artists and preserve the culture. Definitely one of its kind in the entire country and worth visiting once it is safe to do so again.

Location: 429 West 127th St, New York, NY 10027

Photo by Studio Museum

4.) Weeksville Heritage Center

Weeksville is one of America's first free Black communities in the 19th century and the Weeksville Heritage Center is a historic site located on Buffalo Avenue, New York City and dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Weeksville. What they do in a nutshell is Document. Preserve. Interpret.

In previous times before the pandemic, there were regular $8 tours to this place to learn about its history. That is currently on hold at the moment but definitely one to look out for in the future.

Location: 158 Buffalo Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Photo by Weeksville Society

5.) Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial, Educational And Cultural Center

It's almost impossible to talk about Black history and the civil rights movement without a mention of activists such as Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz and now, there's a center that focuses on the advancement of human rights and social justice. Once the Audubon Ballroom, this place morphed into one of the most powerful historical centers in New York City. It is noteworthy to mention that the civil rights leader, Malcolm X was assassinated at this place while giving a speech in 1965 so this is a very historical place to visit in New York City.

Location: 3940 Broadway, New York, NY 10032

Photo by The Shabazz Center

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I write about lifestyle and travel experiences in the United States. I'm also passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and that reflects in some of the pieces I write. My topics range from culture, travel, uplifting marginalized voices and much more. If you're interested in these topics, feel free to hit the subscribe button.


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