National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center

Enjoy our exhibits and programs to learn about Ohio's and our nation's African American history, art, culture, and social movements.

National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center

1350 Brush Row Road, Wilberforce, OH, USA
Open Hours
Wednesday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Archive Hours:
By Appointment Only. Please email [email protected] for more information.

Administrative Office Hours:
Monday through Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

The museum, archive, and administrative offices are closed on these holidays:
​Memorial Day: May 29, 2023
Independence Day: July 1, 2023
Labor Day: Sept. 4, 2023
Veterans' Day: Nov. 10, 2023
Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 23, 2023
Christmas: Dec. 23-26, 2023
New Year’s Day Jan. 1, 2023
Adult - $6.00 Senior - $5.00 Youth (6–17) - $3.00 Children (5 and younger) - $0.00 OHC Member - $0.00 Central State University or Wilberforce University students - $0.00

Regular Museum Hours-We are open Wed – Sat from 9 am – 4 pm. NAAMCC will present a combination of live and online programming through our Historically Speaking Lecture Series. Register for these free programs to explore African American historical figures and events through presentations from historians, educators and community leaders.

Average visit time: Allow 1+ hours.

Learn more about the nation’s African American history on display in Wilberforce!

Currently On Exhibit:

African Art: Form, Function, and Fraught Histories

Now through 2024

Although often misunderstood by the West, African art had an enormous impact on the world. While Africans created objects for culturally specific functions, their aesthetics challenged Western society and shaped its perceptions. This exhibit presents the relationship between the aesthetic and cultural functions of African art objects and the historical context of their global influence. The exhibition addresses modern questions of cultural appropriation, representation, and repatriation in presenting this updated interpretation. Using the museum’s extensive African Art collection, Wright State University Graduate Students in Public History assisted the NAAMCC curatorial staff with its creation.

African Americans Fighting for a Double Victory

Now through 2025
Explore the many ways that African Americans served our country in the military and on the home front during World War II, through this exhibit of World War II materials from National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center collections. Discover the art of Charles Alston, commissioned by the Office of War Information to promote the war effort among African Americans, explore stories of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Red Ball Express, the Triple Nickels and Wilberforce-area veterans, and get a look at the impact World War II veterans had on the advances in civil rights that followed the war.

Queens of the Heartland 

Now through 2025
The Queens of the Heartland-the exhibit is part of the Ohio History Connection and National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center Women’s Suffrage Centennial celebration. The exhibit will feature the stories of 30 Ohio African American women who were a significant influence in the Suffrage and Civil Rights Movements. The Queens of the Heartland exhibit will tell the stories of pioneering women through panel text as well as three-dimensional objects. This exhibit will also feature portrait illustrations of these historical figures by New York artist Nichole Washington whose current work focuses on identity and celebrates African American women.

Rhythm of Revolution-The Transformative Power of Black Art 1619 to the Present

Now through 2024
The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio, presents a new exhibit called Rhythm of Revolution-The Transformative Power of Black Art 1619 to the Present. The exhibit maps the visual flow of artistic, cultural, social, and political change in America from 1619 to the present day. Using three-dimensional objects from the NAAMCC collections, Rhythm of Revolution explores how Black artists, religious leaders, and activists worked within their spheres of influence to transform Ohio and our nation. Over time, these known and unknown change agents connected deeply rooted African traditions, interpreted those traditions to attempt to solve contemporary challenges, and worked to pave the way forward into a better future.


History

The National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center opened to the public in April 1988 and is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The museum is the permanent home of one of the nation’s largest collections of Afro-American materials, with over 9,000 artifacts and artwork, 350 manuscript collections, and thousands of photographs. Items in our collection include Alex Haley’s typewriter and his final draft of Roots, a buffalo hide coat worn by a Buffalo Soldier, Gregory Hines’s tap shoes, and artifacts representing the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, and a vast collection of Black dolls, including the recently donated Lillian Bartok Collection.

The collections cover many aspects of history and culture. The collections include African American art, historical documents of Black organizations, inventions, childhood memorabilia, sports, military history, Civil Rights, Ohio. The collections reflect the rich history of Wilberforce, and the greater Miami Valley Ohio community, which includes many Underground Railroad sites. The NAAMCC collections range from the late 1700s to the 21st century, and are of local, regional, national, and international significance.  The archival collections comprise approximately 660 linear feet and complement the artifact collections, including sculptures, textiles, weapons, and other large three-dimensional objects.

Materials from the collections are essential components of the institution’s in-house exhibition schedule. NAAMCC collections and archival items have been loaned to numerous national and international traveling exhibitions, educational programs, and academic publications.  Among the most notable archival collections are documents associated with the enslavement and manumission of Ohioans of African descent, African American military history, family records, civil rights materials, posters, and other ephemera.

  • Audiences: K-5th Grade Students, 6-8th Grade Students, 9-12th Grade Students, Higher Education Students, Educators, Families, Government, Specialists, Tourists, Community Groups, History Enthusiasts & Sports Fans
  • Historical Topics: African American History, The Arts, Civil War & Military
  • Regions: Southwest Ohio
  • Site Activities: Self-Guided
  • Museum & Site Type: Historical Marker & Ohio History Connection Site