Skip to main content

17 important destinations for Black history and culture

Unseen histories

October is Black History Month in the UK and Europe, while in the US and Canada, it’s observed during February. And while acknowledging the (not too distant) past is paramount, here at six-two we echo a point recently made by The Black Curriculum – a UK charity teaching Black British History to young people all year round. Relegating the history of Black people across the world to one month just further continues to marginalise this long overlooked and misunderstood part of history. That’s why we’ve rounded up some the most important places to visit for Black history and culture all year round.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Black Curriculum (@theblackcurriculum) on

Africa

Museum of Black Civilizations, Dakar, Senegal

Changing the landscape of downtown Dakar, The Museum of Black Civilizations opened in 2018. The museum’s director, Hamady Bocoum, is a respected archaeologist and has curated works that focus on the contributions of Black culture around the world, including reclaimed African artefacts plundered during the colonial period.

Feeling inspired?

Black popular culture and resources to help you self-educate

Black popular culture and resources to help you self-educate

Read more

“We should not forget that Africa existed before [the slave trade] and how Africa has contributed to the globalization of blackness.” – Hamady Bocoum, director general of the Museum of Black Civilisations.

Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Zanzibar

The oldest part of Zanzibar City, Stone Town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was once the centre of the spice trade and the slave trade, and its architecture has a mix of Arab, Persian and European influence.

Stone Town

Image source:Javi Lorbada / Unsplash

Banana Hill Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya

Dedicated to lifting local Kenyan artists, Banana Hill gallery in Nairobi has become a leading space for African art, showcasing the continent’s incredible culture and landscapes. Check out the fortnightly exhibitions.

 

Zeitz Mocaa, Cape Town, South Africa

Zeitz Mocaa is the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world. The not-for-profit gallery holds work from artists like Kudzanai Chiurai, Kehinde Wiley, Chris Ofili and Julie Mehretu. Cape Town also offers local township tours to see and learn the impacts of Apartheid in the city.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Zeitz MOCAA (@zeitzmocaa) on

USA & Canada

US Civil Rights Trail

This national trail is made up of 100 locations across 15 states, educating visitors about the ongoing struggle of Black people to achieve equal rights.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by US Civil Rights Trail (@uscivilrightstrail) on

National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, D.C., USA

The National Musem of African American History & Culture is the only national museum dedicated exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It’s home to 36,000 artefacts.

“The African-American experience is the lens through which we understand what it is to be an American.” – Lonnie G. Bunch III, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Feeling inspired?

Black Lives Matter murals you need to see around the world

Black Lives Matter murals you need to see around the world

Read more
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Celebrate the history of African-American baseball at this museum in Kansas City. From Satchel Paige to Josh Gibson and Cool Papa Bell, this space is dedicated to so many of the greats of the game.

 

Museum of African-American History, Boston, USA

This museum brings together the authentic stories of New Englanders of African descent. The initiative has also preserved two historic sites and two Black Heritage Trails in Boston and Nantucket that tell the stories of black communities from the Colonial Period through to the 19th century.

 

Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, California, USA

Documenting the history, art, and culture of the African diaspora, this museum in San Fran focuses on the migration of Africans across history – from the diaspora at the origin of human existence through to contemporary times.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Museum of the African Diaspora (@moadsf) on

Beale Street Historic District, Memphis, USA

Declared ‘The Home of Blues’ by Congress, this National Historic Landmark has a rich history of legendary performers (hi Louis Armstrong, Memphis Minnie and B.B. King). Memphis was also home to the first black millionaire and historical icons such as Ida B. Wells – a journalist and early leader in the civil rights movement.

Beale Street

Image source:Heidi Kaden / Unsplash

Birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta, USA

The great leader’s birthplace is now a national historical park. You can go to hear his story, visit his home, where he played as a child and even hear his voice in the church where he regularly spoke. 

 

Motown Museum, Detroit, USA

Established in 1959 by Berry Gordy, Motown Records sparked the legacy of Hitsville USA. The museum tells the story of how one man’s vision turned into one of the most successful record companies of all town and how the Motown Sound captured the hearts of millions of people across the globe.

 

BME Freedom Park, Chatham-Kent, Canada

Located in the site of the first British Methodist Episcopal church in Canada, this church played host to important meetings including the fight to end segregation in local schools. Look for the statue of Mary Ann Shadd Cary – a feminist and activist who lived in Chatham in the 1800s.

Europe

Café Tournon, Paris, France

This Parisian café hosted notable African-American writers and creatives across the decades include novelist Richard Wright who wrote Native Son and Black Boy, and painter Beauford Delaney known for his colourful Modernist pieces. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Cafe Tournon (@le_tournon_) on

Quinta do Mocho, Sacavém, Portugal

Quina do Mocho is a predominantly Black neighbourhood just outside of Lisbon. It was formerly known as one of the poorest estates, but has recently gained notoriety as an ‘open air gallery,’ thanks to the incredible emergence of street art. Skilled artists have embellished buildings with everything from beautiful portraits to modern artworks depicting the lives of the local people and their ancestors. 

On the other side of Lisbon, Contiki has teamed up an initiative called ‘Cascais Through Art’, also championing local street artists and benefiting the local neighbourhood.

A couple exploring Cascais through art, admiring a vibrant mural in front of a car.

Image source:Contiki

Black Cultural Archives, London, UK

This iconic museum in Brixton, London is the only national heritage centre dedicated to preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. The founders, including educationalist and community activist Len Garrison, saw the need for a space where members of the community, especially young people, could find positive representations of themselves in history and culture. The result was this incredible ‘archive museum’.

 

Black History Walks, London, UK

Talks, films, bus tours and river cruises – whatever your chosen medium, Black History Walks offer 12 different trails across London, enabling visitors to learn about each area’s Black history. 

Feeling inspired?

This Lisbon neighbourhood has been revitalised with street art

This Lisbon neighbourhood has been revitalised with street art

Read more

Online experiences

US Civil Rights Trail

While travel is on hold, you can explore the online map of the trail and take in the history from home here

 

David Olusoga in Conversation: Black History Matters

Join the British-Nigerian historian as he gives his personal perspective on how we memorialise, teach and write about racism and why black British history has and always will matter. The event is hosted by the British Library, check it out here.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Creative Access (@_creativeaccess) on

Feeling inspired?

Artist Débora Silva has created 3D scans of Black Lives Matters protestors

Artist Débora Silva has created 3D scans of Black Lives Matters protestors

Read more

Up next

Stop dreaming and make sh*t happen!

New York to Miami

1 country, 10 days

New York to Miami

View trip
European Encounter

9 countries, 16 days

European Encounter

View trip