February 21, 2014

Five Historic Places Where Legends of Black History Left Their Mark

  • By: National Trust for Historic Preservation
By Andy Grabel, Manager, Public Affairs

The 3/4-mile Carver Nature Trail reflect young Carver's enthusiasm for the outdoors. Credit: Missouri Division of Tourism
The 3/4-mile Carver Nature Trail reflect young George Washington Carver's enthusiasm for the outdoors.

It can be found on trails and plantations, in meeting houses and modest homes. Black history pervades the senses at historic sites across the country where exhibits, collections, buildings, and the environment illuminate the lives of celebrated figures and provoke spirited conversation and debate. These places serve as an eternal flame to the memory of artists, abolitionists, scientists, and other visionaries who made their mark on history.

Want to see the historic sites where celebrated figures of black history walked, talked, and made their mark on the nation? A few sites to consider visiting include:

The Paul Lawrence Dunbar House in Dayton, Ohio, showcases not only treasured books and original family furniture in the restored early 20th century home, but also a bicycle built for Dunbar by fellow Dayton residents Orville and Wilbur Wright.

George Washington Carver National Monument in southwest Missouri offers visitors a glimpse into his childhood with a walk on the ¾ mile Carver Nature Trail past gravestones of his family and the home where he visited his family as a student.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was baptized and later became co-pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Sweet Auburn, Ga. Credit: Counse, Flickr
Martin Luther King, Jr. was baptized and later became co-pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Sweet Auburn, Ga.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Ga., showcases the civil rights leader’s early life at the house where he was born, captures his message from the pulpit at the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached, and features his final resting place.

The John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, N.Y., is the residence where the jazz legend composed his landmark album A Love Supreme. Friends of the John Coltrane Home are raising funds to open the home as a museum and gaining support from celebrities Carlos Santana, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West.

The African Meeting House in Boston is the oldest African Meeting House in the United States and offers visitors to opportunities to hear speakers, experience performances, and debate contemporary and historical issues in the same room where William Lloyd Garrison founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832 and Frederick Douglas gave an anti-slavery speech in 1860.

Join us for PastForward Online 2022, the historic preservation event of the year, November 1-4, 2022.

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