As the new home of our country’s first black President and First Lady, Washington D.C. is hands down one of the best cities for black history-focused student tours.
Though very few of us will actually meet a U.S. president in our lifetime, the White House does still accept visitors on select dates for a tour of its state rooms and superior furnishings and decor. It’s a museum-like glimpse into only certain more-public areas of the most famous residence in all of America, but it is an exciting experience for several groups. And what a thrilling thing to have visited the White House when President Barack Obama lived there if your tour is focused on black history. Never fear, though, if you can’t get in the House itself, you’ll still love the Visitor’s Center – open all the time to anyone and filled with trivia, replicas, films, and facts about the White House and its various former residents. Here are some other excellent Washington D.C. sites for black history tours.
Frederick Douglas National Historic Site – This is a walk through the home of one of America’s first great African-American speakers.
African-American Civil War Museum – The Civil War has great significance for black Americans in many ways. Without it, perhaps the practice of slavery would have continued for many years. Many black Americans fought in the Civil War, and this museum is dedicated especially to their stories, their sacrifice and bravery.
Howard University – With a powerful history in educating African-American students, Howard University is an excellent college for students to consider. A tour here makes a great addition to student tours with older high school students and any tours with a black history emphasis.
Lincoln Park – A tribute to Abraham Lincoln, a beloved leader and speaker during the Civil War era, Lincoln Park memorializes the sixteenth President and Mary McLeod Bethune, a noted civil rights leader.
Anacostia Museum and Center for African-American History and Culture – The changing exhibitions in this museum are always powerful, always community-centered, and always showcasing inspirational efforts around the world and in the Anacostia/D.C. area.
Museum of African Art – The Smithsonian does it again with this beautiful museum (pictured here) dedicated to the tools, masks and costumes, woodwork, spiritual symbols, and artistic masterpieces of the African culture.
Lincoln Memorial – Martin Luther King, Jr., stood here to give us those famous, powerful words, “I have a dream.” The memorial is a beautiful experience for anyone, and students of black history will be especially moved because of the pivotal march that took place here during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
There’s still much more to excite you in Washington D.C., including more tributes and attractions perfect for a black history theme. These are just some of the highlights.
Photo by Mr. T in DC on Flickr.