of African American History is New England’s largest museum
dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions
of African Americans. In Boston and Nantucket, the Museum has preserved
four historic sites and two Black Heritage Trails® that tell the story
of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th
Exhibits, programs, and
education activities at the
Museum showcase the powerful stories of black families who worshipped,
educated their children, debated the issues of the day, produced great
art, organized politically and advanced the cause of freedom.
Meeting House is
the first of its kind in America and the oldest black church building in the country.
The adjacent Abiel
Smith School is the oldest building in the nation
constructed for the sole purpose of housing a black public school. Today,
the Abiel Smith School galleries feature rotating
and a Museum Store open year around.
On the Island
of Nantucket, the Florence
Higginbotham House sits next door to the pristinely restored
African Meeting House. Visitors
will find the African Meeting House
for scheduled hours during
July and August and open by appointment other times of the year.
discover the stories of courageous Americans on a guided walking tour
of the Museum’s Black Heritage Trails®. There
are two trails highlighting black heritage and community on
Beacon Hill and on the Island of Nantucket.
The Museum's Mission
The mission of the Museum of African American History is to preserve and interpret the
contributions of people of African descent and those who have found common cause with them
in the struggle for liberty and justice for all Americans.
- Collect and exhibit artifacts of distinction in this field and acquire and maintain
physical structures and sites throughout the end of the 19th century;
- Educate the public about the importance of the African American historical legacy in
general, and its Boston and New England heritages in particular;
- Celebrate the enduring vitality of African American culture and;
- Advance our own, and in collaboration with others, an appreciation of the lessons of the
past for the benefit of the custodians of the future.
The Museum of African American History is a not-for-profit history
institution that began its first exhibitions and public gatherings in 1963.
It is nationally and internationally known for its collection
of historic sites in Boston and Nantucket.
The history of these buildings and sites is national in scope and significance.
The Museum treasures its resources and tells remarkable and vivid historical
accounts about the lives of free African Americans and white abolitionists
whose efforts changed a nation.