Kansas links political, social, racial and cultural issues that continue to define and shape today’s social landscape. From “Bleeding Kansas” to Brown v. Board of Education, Kansas offers unique pieces of Black History. Each historic site unveils history in a way never seen before. Travel the state from east to west to learn more about Kansas’ rich African American heritage:
- An African-American museum in the former residence of John A. Walker, the Old Quindaro Museum in Kansas City preserves the rich history of the community where runaway slaves once found sanctuary.
- From his humble beginning in Fort Scott, Kansas, to his death in New York City in 2006, the Gordon Parks Museum and Center for Culture and Diversity highlights the life and work of Kansas-born photographer Gordon Parks.
- Stand where history happened. The Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum preserves and interprets the regional history of Baxter Springs, Kansas.
- The Buffalo Soldier Monument honors the bravery, determination and courage of the African-American frontier soldiers who served in the 10th Cavalry. A visit to Fort Leavenworth wouldn’t be complete without a visit to see the 16-foot bronze sculpture.
- View memorabilia at the Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum from General Colin Powell, Buffalo Soldiers, uniforms, freedom papers from former slaves, photographs, items from the old Bethel A.M.E. Church, and a stop on the Underground Railroad in Leavenworth.
- For insight into the abolitionist movement, visit the John Brown Museum State Historic Site in Osawatomie. This cabin served as an abolitionist’s headquarters in Kansas and a stop along the Underground Railroad. It was at the center of conflict when the Kansas Territory was in disaccord over entering the Union as a free state or a slave state.
- The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site tells the story of ordinary people who were plaintiffs in a case that would ultimately change American history and the struggle for Civil Rights. Learn the significance of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision to ban segregation in American public schools in Topeka.
- Residing in the stately former Calvary Baptist Church, the Kansas African American Museum in Wichita works to make the experience relevant to every Kansan, promoting awareness of the legacies of notable African American Kansas luminaries.
- Learn more about agricultural scientist, George Washington Carver, and his journey from slavery to scientific discovery at the George Washington Carver Museum Exhibit in Minneapolis.
- Nicodemus is the last remaining town west of the Mississippi to be established by African Americans after the Civil War. Having an important role in American history, the town symbolizes the pioneering spirit of ex-slaves who fled the South in search of freedom and a chance to restart their lives.
African Americans played an important role in Kansas history and have been recognized through memorials, historic designations and commemorations. Plan your trip to learn more about African American History in Kansas.