IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to an issue with the heating and cooling system, the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center will be closed until further notice. We apologize for this interruption.
The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center near Dayton aims to educate the public about African American history and culture from African origins to the present through a variety of programs, including museum exhibits, research and publications, visiting scholars, oral and visual history and adult and children's educational activities.
A Civil War exhibit was due to open in June at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center. Due to the untimely death of the Interim Director, the exhibit has been postponed indefinitely. The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center and the Ohio Historical Society share deepest condolences with the community on the loss of Ms. Diggs.
The museum's permanent exhibition, From Victory To Freedom: Afro-American Life in the Fifties, explores African American experiences in America's history from 1945 with the ending of World War II, to 1965 with passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1964. This exhibition chronicles the trends, struggles and social changes that occurred within this crucial period in American history through a variety of photographs and artifacts, but also through life-sized scenes and settings depicting "typical" lifestyles and activities in the fifties. Examples of this typical fifties lifestyle include a barber shop, a beauty salon, and a church interior complete with pews, pulpit and choir stand. These exhibits are made real to the visitor through the accompaniment of recorded speaking voices and gospel music.
Interspersed between these settings are display cases containing clothes, jewelry, consumer products, sports equipment and other artifacts from the fifties. Located in the center of the exhibition is a small theater, which shows the award-winning Music As a Metaphor, a 27-minute video tracing the origins of African American music from its roots in Africa to period music of the fifties. Gospel, jazz, bebop, classical, and protest music are all explored, as are artists such as Paul Robeson, Fats Domino, Dizzy Gillespie and others.
The gallery housing the fifties exhibition is surrounded by a 22-foot-high photomural depicting various aspects of American life of the era. The compelling photomontage mural is arranged in sections corresponding to the different settings in the museum (i.e., family life, education, community and social interactions, entertainment and sports), and provides an impressive backdrop for the remainder of the exhibit. Outside the doors of the museum's permanent collection, visitors will discover changing exhibits, including dolls, books, clothing, musical instruments and other artifacts which reveal the depth and influence of African American history and culture.
On view at the National Afro-American Museum is Wilberforce: A Community of Leadership and Learning. This popular and informative exhibition documents the story of the small Southwest Ohio village that’s been central to so much significant African American history. Since well before statehood, Wilberforce provided a home for Blacks seeking freedom.
Wilberforce details the stories of the historic village wherein seven Underground Railroad stations assisted thousands of enslaved individuals in their effort to escape the cruelty of Southern slavery. Wilberforce: A Community of Leadership and Learning includes an informative and entertaining video. The exhibition is available for lease and is on display now.
The National Afro-American Museum is located at 1350 Brush Row Rd, 1/2 mile west of Route 42, adjacent to Central State University. Please contact the National Afro-American Museum at 937-376-4944 or 1-800-752-2603 x 114 for more information.
Hours: Due to an issue with the heating and cooling system, the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center will be closed until further notice. We apologize for this interruption.
TEMPORARY HVAC ISSUE - NATIONAL AFRO-AMERICAN MUSEUM
||CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
||$4.00 ($3.60 for seniors)
|Youth 6 - 18 & College Students
(with student ID)
|Children 5 & under
||$25.00 per bus
(weekdays only by advance reservation)
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The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center is located in historic Wilberforce, on Brush Row Road, one-half mile north of U.S. 42 and adjacent to Central State University.
The National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center
P. O. Box 578
1350 Brush Row Road
Wilberforce, OH 45384
1 (800) 752-2603 (toll free)
Ohio Historical Society strives to meet ADA requirements. However, historic structures and outdoor areas provide challenges that make it difficult to provide complete access to all visitors. Please call the site with specific questions and concerns.