The George Washington Carver National Monument in Missouri is the birthplace and childhood home of the famed scientist, educator and humanitarian. Established in 1943, it is the first site in the national park system to be dedicated to an African American. The monument is home to the Carver Trail, which connects the historic Carver House, the cemetery where the Carver family is buried and 140 acres of restored tallgrass prairie.
Before the first African American military combat pilots could escort bombers over Germany during World War II, they first needed to pass their flight training. At Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama, you can relive their flying adventure and see where the “Red Tails” developed their skills to go on and become one of the most revered fighter groups in American history.
Growing up in the time of segregation, Martin Luther King Jr. was moved by destiny to become a leader in the Civil Rights movement. At the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia you can learn about his story, visit the home of his birth and hear his voice in the church where he moved hearts and minds.
Credited with establishing Negro History Week (forerunner to Black History Month) in 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson spent most of his life gathering an accurate written history of the African experience in America, and his home was the headquarters for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Today, the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site in Washington, D.C., serves as testament to his efforts to inform the public on the role of African Americans in history. Currently closed for renovation, check the park website for more.
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Florida is one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic coast. It also tells the story of 6,000 years of human history in the area. In the 18th and 19th century, the site was home to the Kingsley Plantation, where visitors can learn about the enslaved people who were forcibly brought to America and worked to provide wealth to the people who owned them.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas is a powerful reminder of the turbulent struggle over school desegregation. In 1957, nine African American students fought to attend the all white high school and became a prominent test case for the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. Today, Central High School is preserved and interpreted by the National Park Service and provides a historically accurate window into a critical moment of the Civil Rights movement.
Pullman National Monument shares the story of an experiment for equal economic opportunity for all. Founded on utopian ideas, the town of Pullman, Illinois provided workers with a safe community, a better standard of living and an environment free of limitations by race, gender or economic status. These egalitarian values aided in the formation of the first legally recognized African American labor union.
Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton and Charles “Buddy” Bolden all got their start in what is today, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park in Louisiana. Visitors walk in the footsteps and stand in the concert halls where some of our country’s most cherished musicians performed. Locations within the Park Service’s jurisdiction include Canal Street, Lafayette Square and Storyville. Today, visitors can attend a jazz concert or ranger performance at the new performance venue in the Old U.S. Mint.
In the 1870s, freed slaves left Kentucky in organized colonies to experience freedom in the “promised land” of Kansas. Nicodemus National Historic Site highlights the involvement of African Americans in the westward expansion and settlement of the Great Plains. One of the oldest and only remaining Black settlements west of the Mississippi River, Nicodemus contains five historic buildings representing the collective strength and desire for freedom of early African American pioneers.
Part of the Boston African American National Historic Site, the African Meeting House served as the religious, cultural and political center of the free black community in antebellum Boston. Church services, classes and celebrations were held here. It is part of the Black Heritage Trail -- 14 sites that tell the story of the African American community in Boston. The remarkable people of this community were leaders in the Abolition Movement, the Underground Railroad and the early struggle for equal rights and education.