Did you know that Black History Month was founded by an African American man from Virginia? Carter G. Woodson , the “Father of Black History Month,” was born in Buckingham County, VA. When he created what was first called Negro History Week, he knew it was important for blacks to know the breadth and depth of the history of Africans in America.
Many museums in Richmond continue to tell the untold stories of struggle, sacrifice, achievement, and triumph that have been created over the 400-year history since the first Africans touched American soil. These stories shape who we are today and serve as inspiration for our future. Museums tell these stories every day, to everyone. Below is a list of Richmond museums and cultural institutions that tell that history not only during Black History Month, but all year to engage, reflect, and be inspired!
American Civil War Museum – The museum consists of three distinct attractions in three locations that were recently merged that together tell of a complicated and dramatic aspect of American history – Historic Tredegar, White House and Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Museum – Appomattox. Children 5 and under are free. (Richmond)
Black History Museum & Cultural Center – The Museum seeks to become a permanent repository for visual, oral and written records and artifacts commemorating the lives and accomplishments of Blacks in Virginia. Our goal is to become a statewide resource on the many facets of Black history through exhibitions, discussions and celebrations. (Richmond)
Elegba Folklore Society. A resource for African World cultural arts. Together, let’s explore the richness of Mother Africa’s gifts to us through interactive artistic, cultural experiences. Her influences are many. Come with your family. Admission is $5-$6. (Richmond)
Maggie Walker National Historical Museum – Devoted to the life of a woman committed to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress. Today, Walker’s home is preserved as a tribute to her enduring legacy of vision, courage, and determination. Free admission. (Richmond)
Maymont – A historical Guided Age mansion, nature conservatory and botanical garden with events like concerts. The lower floor unflinchingly describes the life of the hired help and the actual labor that went into supporting such a luxurious household. Children can enjoy the Farm Barn and play with the chickens, goats, and other animals or watch the fox and bear roam around and play. Visit the indoor nature center or hike the trails around the park and see birds, butterflies and more. It’s FREE! Some fees for mansion tours or other special events. (Richmond)
University of Richmond Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art at the Modlin Center for the Arts. Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond: A Community Remembers – a new exhibition organized by University of Richmond Museums, pairs oral histories with photographic portraits of 30 Richmond residents whose lives were altered by their experiences as children and youth during the civil rights movement. Through May 10, 2019 (Richmond)
Valentine History Museum – The museum’s permanent and changing exhibitions are dedicated to the history of Richmond. Founded by Mann S. Valentine II 1898, it was the first museum in the city. The lower floor unflinchingly describes the life of the hired help and the actual labor that went into supporting such a luxurious household. Military with ID FREE for up to 5 family members. Children 6 and under are free. (Richmond)
Virginia Museum of History & Culture. The signature exhibition, The Story of Virginia, features more than 500 artifacts and covers 16,000 years of Virginia history from prehistoric times to the present. Current rotating temporary exhibition FRESH PAINT: Murals Inspired By The Story of Virginia, during your visit. (Richmond)
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – Collections include European, American and Decorative art with notable traveling exhibitions. General admission is FREE (some special events may require a fee). As year-round participant of Blue Star Museums, VMFA provides free admission to special exhibitions for all active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel and their immediate families. Lots of great contemporary African American artists shown. Current traveling exhibit focuses on masks of Congo. (Richmond)
Virginia Union University Museum and Galleries – Collection include artifacts from Papua New Guinea, masks and sculptures from West and Central Africa, Coptic crosses from Ethiopia and an extensive collection of African American Folk art. (Richmond)