The African American Museum in Philadelphia
Celebrating and interpreting African American history and culture
With a diverse collection of fine and folk art, photographs, memorabilia and costumes, this museum in Philadelphia’s historic district traces the experiences and contributions of African-Americans from the kingdoms of Africa through to the present. The museum’s exhibits tell the story of African American life, focusing on topics such as family life, the visual arts, entertainment, politics, and sports.
The museum currently houses four galleries and an auditorium, each anchored by one of three dominant themes: the African Diaspora, the Philadelphia Story, and the Contemporary Narrative.
As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum often links its exhibits to national and international trends. The museum’s gift shop is stocked with a wide selection of books and videos, African textiles, and African American jewelry and prints.
The African American Museum in Philadelphia was among the museums to open during the 1976 Bicentennial celebration and is notable as the first museum funded and built by a city to help preserve African American culture. 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.
Open Tue – Sun
The exhibit on the integration of Girard College, Philadelphia’s most prominent Civil Rights issue, shows how one city weathered the 1960s storm.
Some Kids’ Stuff
Kids will especially like perusing singer Pearl Bailey’s theatrical items and seeing how the stars of the Negro Leagues compared with those in the “white” majors.
In the neighborhood
12th and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19107
- The Independent Hotel Philadelphia
- Hilton Garden Inn Center City
- Sleep Inn Center City
- Residence Inn Philadelphia Center City
- Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District
- Holiday Inn Express Midtown
- Holiday Inn Express
- Rodeway Inn Center City
- Four Points by Sheraton
Philadelphia City Center
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Museums & Attractions
10th and Arch Streets Philadelphia, PA 19107
- National Archives and Records Administration Mid-Atlantic Region
- Masonic Temple
- PSFS Building
- St. Stephen’s Protestant Episcopal Church
- Asian Arts Initiative
- Arch Street United Methodist Church
- Mural Arts Program
- The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
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