National Afro-American Museum In Wilberforce Stands Tall For 30 Years

Apr 19, 2018

The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio turns 30 years old this year. The museum was among the first of its kind in the country to celebrate African-American history.

This week, NAAMCC is marking its anniversary with the opening of a new exhibit. “Color Outside the Lines,” will highlight the museum and cultural center’s history over the last 30 years.  

“We’re very happy to have hit this milestone," says Assistant Director Jerolyn Barbee. Since opening in 1988, the museum has collected more than 9000 artifacts, artworks and other items with historical significance. 

Galloway Hall tower — at National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center.

“We wanted to give a good overview of AA history as well as our history and how its intertwined over the last 30 years. We really want people to understand that Black history is not just about African Americans - it’s really the American story of all of us.”

The 30th birthday festivities also include a Motown music  brunch on Saturday, followed by historical lectures in the afternoon.   The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center is part of the state-run Ohio History Connection. The agency manages more than 50 historical sites and museums across the state.

NAAMCC says their exhibits contain artifacts and items "from the late 1700s to the 21st century, are of local, regional, national, and even international significance."

Barbee says some items of interest at the museum include "Alex Haley’s typewriter and his final draft of Roots, and Gregory Hines’ tap shoes. A list of upcoming events and exhibits celebrating NAAMCC's 30th anniversary can be found on their facebook page.

Color Outside the Lines: Celebrating Thirty Years at NAAMCC opens Sat., April 21, 2018 at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center Wilberforce, OH.