The African American Museum
Celebrating and interpreting African-American history and culture
The African American Museum in Philadelphia, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans.
The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core permanent exhibit Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776 – 1876, allowing Octavius Cato, Richard Allen and other trailblazers to tell their stories via technology, photographs, videos and artifacts on display.
The museum’s upper galleries host a rotating schedule of special exhibitions which explore African-American history, social issues and the African Diaspora through fine art, multimedia displays, historic artifacts and informative panels.
The African American Museum in Philadelphia, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, was among the museums to open during the 1976 Bicentennial celebration in Philadelphia.
Located just a few blocks away from the Liberty Bell, the museum’s modernistic public sculptures, “The Whispering Bells” and “Nisaka”, are distinctive landmarks in the downtown historic district.
i found god in myself: the 40 anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls Exhibition
This fall and winter, the lasting impact and legacy of the work of playwright and poet Ntozake Shange will help celebrate the 40th anniversary of The African American Museum in Philadelphia — the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans.
Named after one of the lines in Shange’s poetry, i found god in myself: the 40 anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls showcases 20 commissioned artworks as well as archived material detailing the evolution of for colored girls, from its original text written as a poem in 1974 to text of the 1976 Broadway play.
The museum features a rotating calendar of programs and events, from lectures and film screenings to concerts, book signings, workshops and more.
For a full list of events, click the button below.
Don’t miss monthly Macy’s Family FunDay, when the museum offers a full suite of fun family activities included with the price of admission.
For more information on the African American Museum in Philadelphia, click the button below.
In the neighborhood
Museums & Attractions
Broad Street and Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
- PIFA Street Fair
- PSFS Building
- National Archives and Records Administration Mid-Atlantic Region
- Center for Architecture
- Asian Arts Initiative
- Arch Street United Methodist Church
- Mural Arts Philadelphia
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining