February is Black History Month, and there are numerous ways to recognize the month throughout Kansas and in the state’s largest city, Wichita.

The African American experience in Wichita, the Heart of the Country, is rich and worth exploring. People in the Heart of the Country are nice and approachable, friendly and caring. Plus, there are a variety of events, activities and unique experiences to celebrate the history and culture of Black Americans in Wichita.

Black Heritage

Nicodemus is the first all-Black settlement west of the Mississippi, and it’s the only one still remaining. It is among the…

Explore the Kansas African American Museum

The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM) is housed in the former Calvary Baptist Church, once the cornerstone of Wichita’s vibrant Black community. The museum is also a stop on the Kansas African American History Trail and is considered the preeminent home of Kansas African American history and artifacts.

In addition to permanent exhibitions, “A Tribute to Samella Lewis” is on display through Black History Month. This exhibit pays tribute to the late Dr. Samella Lewis, a major benefactor and supporter of the museum. A nationally known artist and art historian, Lewis gifted to TKAAM a portion of her private collection of paintings and sculptures as well as her own work.

African American History Museum

The Kansas African American Museum

The Kansas African American Museum is a regional arts and cultural museum dedicated to the education, identification, acquisition, research, collection, exhibition, presentation and preservation of art reflective of…

Go on a journey at Exploration Place

In collaboration with TKAAM for the third year, Exploration Place will be featuring a large-scale outdoor exhibit during Black History Month, “Celebrating African American Scientists.” Each night during February, Exploration Place will honor African American scientists by projecting giant portraits onto the side of its iconic island building. The display will be freely viewable from the path along the Arkansas River. Admission is not required to view the display from the Exploration Place promenade.

Make it an evening and stay to watch the nightly Ring of Fire lighting at the Keeper of the Plains, which lights at 7 p.m. during winter months. Additionally, visitors can see the display from inside Exploration Place on Thursday nights, when the museum is open until 8 p.m.

Exploration Place Tribute to Junius Groves

Exploration Place

Welcome to the state’s premier science center – Exploration Place! Parked along the picturesque Arkansas River, Exploration Place inspires the next generation of Wichita scientists and engineers. The interactive…

Discover the sounds of talented Wichita musicians

Delight in the musical sounds of local, Black musicians at various venues across the city. One you have to hear for yourself is Rudy Love, Jr. Son of legendary bluesman Rudy Love, his music defies genres and forms a connection with audiences. You can find Rudy on stage locally at venues like Mort’s Martini & Cigar BarWAVE, and the Brickyard (Part of Public's Restaurant). Head over to his Facebook page to keep tabs on where he is performing.

Another Black artist worth seeking out in Wichita is Injoy Fountain. You might remember her from “The Voice” or maybe you saw her when she was on tour with Postmodern Jukebox. Locally, she brings her musical talent to a variety of venues like Chicken N Pickle and has also performed in Music Theatre Wichita and Roxy’s Downtown productions. On Tuesdays, join her for karaoke at Vorshay’s Cocktail Lounge.

Rudy Love Jr.

Mort's Martini & Cigar Bar

Located in historic Old Town in Wichita, Kan., Mort’s has an impressive martini menu with more than 160 amazing martinis and a full bar…


WAVE is a social oasis, music/event venue, beer garden and Mexican restaurant in Downtown Wichita. The perfect hybrid of a major event space…


Public is constantly seeking out the best farmers and beer crafters in the area so that we can bring the area’s finest ingredients to your…

Learn about black aviators at the Kansas Aviation Museum

The Kansas Aviation Museum recently added three new exhibits, one of which is a reimagined Black aviators display that was renamed the Rip Gooch Black Aviators exhibit. Ulysses Lee “Rip” Gooch was a retired Kansas state senator and former Wichita City Council member whose passion for flight and dedication to civil rights helped pave the way for Black leaders in the aviation industry. See it on display in addition to the museum’s other permanent exhibits.

Black Aviators in Kansas

Kansas Aviation Museum

Housed in the original Wichita Municipal Airport Terminal Building, the Kansas Aviation Museum showcases the rich heritage of aviation that runs through the veins of our great state. You can see original aircraft built…

Support African American art and artists

Now through Feb. 25, CityArts is featuring “Art That Touches Your Heart” Community and National Art Exhibit, a special annual traveling exhibit that works with artists in Wichita and beyond to bring Black art to the Midwest. The exhibit provides education about Black History Month and is designed to celebrate Black artists from Wichita and across the country. For 10 years, this charitable art show was held at Wichita State University and is being held at CityArts for the fourth time in conjunction with Black History Month. Admission is free.

Poetry lovers will delight in Poetry Night at Simply Sangria, a winery specializing in the blending and bottling of premium sangrias, on Feb. 15. Seating is limited for this night of food, fun, wine, and amazing poets, so call ahead to RSVP is recommended.

Wichita Art Museum


​CityArts offers people of all ages and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to participate in diverse art programming throughout the year. Located in a three-story building in Wichita's historic Old Town district, the…

Gain insight about Black Wichita through the Wichita Public Library

Wichita’s largest library facility, the Advanced Learning Center, is presenting a series of programs, “Celebrating Wichita’s Black History,” in February to recognize Black History Month and to highlight the achievements of people and events that have shaped Wichita’s history. Find details in Visit Wichita’s Black History Month blog.

Visit the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame

Learn about exceptional coaches and athletes from Kansas, including inductees Willie Jeffries, the first African American head football coach at the NCAA Division 1 level; NFL great Barry Sanders; and basketball star Lynette Woodard, who became the first female Harlem Globetrotter. To visit the exhibits, request an appointment by calling the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Sports Hall of Fame

Kansas Sports Hall of Fame

The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame at the Wichita Boathouse highlights the rich history of sports in Kansas through pictures, videos, artifacts and interactive tools.

Go on outdoor adventures at local parks, trails

Several Wichita parks honor notable Black leaders, celebrities, and more. Downtown Wichita’s Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park is named for Chester I. Lewis, the late prominent local Civil Rights leader who served on the legal team that argued the landmark 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case before the Supreme Court.

Funding is being raised for renovations to Finlay Ross Park, also located in downtown Wichita, which will provide the history and artifacts of the many African Americans who made an impact in the community. It will also be the new home of a bronze sculpture immortalizing the efforts of the students who participated in the 1958 Dockum Drug Store Sit-In.

Wichita’s Black history is showcased along the Redbud Trail. Approximately 11 miles of this biking and walking trail is located within the city. It has three rest areas that tell the story of the people who live in nearby neighborhoods with art and history-filled installations at 9th & Hillside, 13th & Roosevelt, and 17th & Oliver. The entire trail spans two counties and is more than 15 miles, providing the perfect opportunity for those who want to mix culture with an outdoor challenge.

While not a park, you can visit a memorial for Hattie McDaniel, famed actress from “Gone with the Wind” who was born in Wichita, across from her childhood home, located at 925 N. Wichita Street.

Learn More!

Learn more about Black experiences in Wichita, read stories about Black leaders in the Heart of the Country, and more with this guide to Black Wichita.

Black Heritage in Kansas