Museum of African American History - Boston and Nantucket

Museum of African American History - Boston and Nantucket MAAH is New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions of African Americans.
Nestled on Boston’s Beacon Hill and at Nantucket’s Five Corners are some of the nation’s most important National Historic Landmarks. The Museum’s two campuses feature the earliest churches and schools still standing in the land that were built by and for black communities. Each is beautifully restored and worthy of any journey. Our historic sites, talks, tours, videos, collections, and programs are rooted in the past and connected to the present. From the American Revolution to the Abolitionist and Niagara Movements, experience powerful American stories through a new lens. Come to the Museum, where Frederick Douglass and pioneering activists, entrepreneurs, journalists, educators, artists, and authors organized campaigns that changed the nation.

The Museum of African American History is New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions of African Americans. In Boston and Nantucket, the Museum has preserved four historic sites and two Black Heritage Trails® that tell the story of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th century.

Mission: The mission of the Museum of African American History is to preserve and interpret the contributions of people of African descent and those who have found common cause with them in the struggle for liberty and justice for all Americans.

The Museum of African American History’s administrative office is moving! We will be leaving 14 Beacon Street and headin...
05/28/2019

The Museum of African American History’s administrative office is moving! We will be leaving 14 Beacon Street and heading down the hill to 31 Milk Street, Suite 1104. During the move, our phone lines and emails will be down. We hope to be back up and running on May 30th. If you need to contact us immediately, send us a Facebook message.

Happy Memorial Day from MAAH! On Decoration Day (later Memorial Day) in 1897, the Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Massachuset...
05/27/2019

Happy Memorial Day from MAAH! On Decoration Day (later Memorial Day) in 1897, the Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial was dedicated in Boston.

Pictured are the remaining officers of the 54th Regiment, including William H. Carney, the first African American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery at Fort Wagner.

Image Courtesy of Massachusetts Historical Society

Even though the Administration office is closed, the Museum at 46 Joy Street is open from 10-4 today.

We are excited to be partnering with Mass Humanities again to bring you “Reading Frederick Douglass!”
05/25/2019

We are excited to be partnering with Mass Humanities again to bring you “Reading Frederick Douglass!”

June 30th, at 4:30pm: Join us for a special night of history and a behind the screen conversation with Anthony Anderson,...
05/23/2019

June 30th, at 4:30pm: Join us for a special night of history and a behind the screen conversation with Anthony Anderson, the star of the ABC hit TV Show, Black-ish, moderated by Nantucket's own, John Shea. The event will feature a dine-around dinner reception, an exclusive live auction followed by a dessert reception and dance party overlooking Nantucket harbor.

Food by Nantucket Catering Company, Musical Beats by The Hess Twins, and event concept and design by AJ Williams Events

The second annual MAAH Stone Book award ceremony is coming this September!
05/22/2019

The second annual MAAH Stone Book award ceremony is coming this September!

We are accepting applications for our 2019 MLK Summer Scholars program, sponsored by John HancockCheck out the job descr...
05/20/2019
MAAH.org | Museum of African American History | African Meeting House | MAAH

We are accepting applications for our 2019 MLK Summer Scholars program, sponsored by John Hancock

Check out the job description and download an application here: https://www.maah.org/jobs

The Museum of African American History was incorporated in 1967 to preserve, conserve, and interpret the contributions of people of African descent and those who have found common cause with them in the struggle for liberty, dignity, and justice for all Americans.

We continue to work on our collections stewardship and storage optimization project to reconfigure the storage location ...
05/19/2019

We continue to work on our collections stewardship and storage optimization project to reconfigure the storage location for the Museum’s collections. Thanks to a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Shaw monument took sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens over a decade to complete before finally being unveiled in 1897. ...
05/18/2019

The Shaw monument took sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens over a decade to complete before finally being unveiled in 1897. The setting for the bronze relief, however, was completed in a little over one year. Charles Follen Mckim designed the setting and it was completed in 1893 by the Norcross Brothers Contractors of Boston and Worcester. #Shaw54thSaturdays

Image Courtesy of Royal Cortissoz, 1907

The Abiel Smith School did not function as a school for a long time. The school opened in 1835 and by this 1882 (correct...
05/16/2019

The Abiel Smith School did not function as a school for a long time. The school opened in 1835 and by this 1882 (corrected from 1873) plan, the Smith School is labeled “City Storage Ho[use].” The Smith School is highlighted in yellow, and the African Meeting House (labeled “Colored Church”) is in blue.

#OnThisDay in 1862, Robert Smalls steals the CSS Planter and sails himself, his family, and the families of three other ...
05/13/2019

#OnThisDay in 1862, Robert Smalls steals the CSS Planter and sails himself, his family, and the families of three other enslaved men to freedom. Robert Smalls was born enslaved in South Carolina in 1839. He worked as a deck hand for the Confederate ship the CSS Planter. In the early morning of May 13th, after the white officers left the Planter for shore, Smalls rounded up his family and the families of the three other enslaved deck hands and began to sail the CSS Planter to Union waters. Knowing the Confederate whistle codes, Smalls was able to sail past 5 Confederate forts successfully. He surrendered the ship and its cargo to Union Forces. Following this event, Smalls went on to recruit black soldiers for the Union and even served as Captain of the Planter, now a Union vessel.

"My race needs no special defense, for the past history of them in this country proves them to be equal of any people anywhere. All they need is an equal chance in the battle of life." — Robert Smalls

We had the honor of hosting the UMASS Boston Urban Scholars at our Nantucket Campus last month! With spring underway & s...
05/11/2019

We had the honor of hosting the UMASS Boston Urban Scholars at our Nantucket Campus last month! With spring underway & summer just around the corner, our Nantucket site is opening up for more hours. Visit www.maah.org for complete hours.

#OnThisDay in 1870, Julia Ward Howe, author of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and a prominent chorus member of the Handel...
05/10/2019

#OnThisDay in 1870, Julia Ward Howe, author of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and a prominent chorus member of the Handel and Haydn Society, gave her Mother's Peace Day proclamation. Before becoming Mother's Day in 1914, Howe wanted the day for mothers who had lost sons or husbands in the Civil War and were for the complete eradication of war. She organized activities to celebrate these women in Boston for years.

Read the full proclamation here: http://ow.ly/d/6eRX

#WednesdayWisdom
05/08/2019

#WednesdayWisdom

Save the Date!
05/08/2019

Save the Date!

The jurors are busy reading the books! And we're looking forward to the 2019 MAAH Stone Book Award Event in September. Save the date and see you there!

In honor of preservation month, this #TransformationTuesday shows the built-ins at the Seneca Boston-Florence Higginboth...
05/07/2019

In honor of preservation month, this #TransformationTuesday shows the built-ins at the Seneca Boston-Florence Higginbotham House on Nantucket. Restorations at our Nantucket Campus have been underway all year and we are making great progress towards its completion.

Thanks to The Weezie Foundation & The Nantucket Community Preservation Committee for their generous support

When Colonel Robert Gould Shaw was killed at the Battle of Fort Wagner, Confederates buried him in a trench with the oth...
05/04/2019

When Colonel Robert Gould Shaw was killed at the Battle of Fort Wagner, Confederates buried him in a trench with the other fallen members of the Regiment. Corporal James Henry Gooding of the 54th wrote: “...Not even the commonest respects paid to his [Shaw’s] rank.” “...The men of the Regiment are raising a sum to send the body of the Colonel home, as soon as Fort Wagner is reduced. They all declare that they will dig for his body till they find it. They are determined this disgrace shall be counteracted by something noble.” Though this was the intention of the men, it did not happen, as Shaw’s family asserted that his body remain buried with his men.
#Shaw54thSaturdays

IC: Massachusetts Historical Society

Last Sunday, we participated in Daffodil Weekend by offering a New Guinea Walk & Talk. Thank you to everyone who spent t...
05/02/2019

Last Sunday, we participated in Daffodil Weekend by offering a New Guinea Walk & Talk. Thank you to everyone who spent the afternoon with our Associate Site Director, Kimal McCarthy! Image Courtesy of National Trust for Historic Preservation, Joseph Ferraro

Our Nantucket Campus is continuing to put out newsletters! The second issue: “Chandeliers of Friendship: Connections bet...
04/30/2019

Our Nantucket Campus is continuing to put out newsletters! The second issue: “Chandeliers of Friendship: Connections between Nantucket’s African Meeting House and Nantucket’s Union Lodge of Freemasons” went out on April 18th.

Sign up for our mailing list through our website and check out the 2nd issue newsletter here: https://conta.cc/2Xkoiqv

TODAY at 1:00pm!
04/28/2019

TODAY at 1:00pm!

The case of Elizabeth "Mumbett" Freeman set the precedent for slavery to be abolished in the state of Massachusetts. She...
04/26/2019

The case of Elizabeth "Mumbett" Freeman set the precedent for slavery to be abolished in the state of Massachusetts. She sued for her freedom using the Massachusetts State Constitution line “All men are born free and created equal.” When asked how she had learned of the doctrine she said “By keepin’ still and mindin’ things.”

Image Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This “The Liberator” newspaper article talks about the different uses and meanings of “colored” versus “negro.”
04/25/2019

This “The Liberator” newspaper article talks about the different uses and meanings of “colored” versus “negro.”

We are excited to host Martellus  Bennett for a reading of his book “Dear Black Boy”
04/24/2019

We are excited to host Martellus Bennett for a reading of his book “Dear Black Boy”

This photo of the Paul Revere House was taken by Hamilton Sutton Smith (1857-1924). Smith grew up in Boston and often to...
04/23/2019

This photo of the Paul Revere House was taken by Hamilton Sutton Smith (1857-1924). Smith grew up in Boston and often took pictures of the city’s landmarks. Maybe our friends The Paul Revere House can let us know around when it could have been taken?

We are less than 1 week away from our Daffodil Festival Event on Nantucket! Join us for a New Guinea Walk & Talk on Sund...
04/22/2019

We are less than 1 week away from our Daffodil Festival Event on Nantucket! Join us for a New Guinea Walk & Talk on Sunday, April 28th at 1:00pm at the African Meeting House on 29 York St. #ACK

“Negro Digest” (later “Black World”) was founded in 1943 and published by the Johnson Publishing Company. The October, 1...
04/20/2019

“Negro Digest” (later “Black World”) was founded in 1943 and published by the Johnson Publishing Company. The October, 1963 issue featured a story on the Massachusetts 54th Regiment and the assault on Fort Wagner. #Shaw54thSaturdays

#OnThisDay in 1915, Boston's black community converged in front of Tremont Theatre to protest "Birth of a Nation." Willi...
04/17/2019

#OnThisDay in 1915, Boston's black community converged in front of Tremont Theatre to protest "Birth of a Nation." William Monroe Trotter, founder and editor of "The Guardian" newspaper, led the protest against the controversial film. Trotter had tried to get the filmed banned in Boston, but was unsuccessful. On April 17th, Trotter and a crowd of black Bostonians went to the theatre to try and buy tickets but black patrons were not allowed. Though Trotter was arrested and the movie continued to show in Boston, NAACP membership rose from 3,000 to 10,000 by the end of 1915 & Trotter was successful in getting the 1921 revival screening of "Birth of a Nation" banned.

Check out this article for more information on this event and the documentary "Birth of a Movement" which chronicles Trotter's historic protest: http://www.wbur.org/artery/2017/01/30/birth-movement-boston

Online submissions for consideration for the 2019 MAAH Stone Book Award have CLOSED. Physical copies of the books must b...
04/16/2019

Online submissions for consideration for the 2019 MAAH Stone Book Award have CLOSED. Physical copies of the books must be received by APRIL 22nd. Check out the MAAH Stone Book Award social media pages for updates! MAAH Stone Book Award

Happy Patriots’ Day! The Museum of African American History’s administrative office is closed but the Museum is open tod...
04/15/2019

Happy Patriots’ Day! The Museum of African American History’s administrative office is closed but the Museum is open today from 10am-4pm.

We are 2 weeks away from our Daffodil Weekend event on Nantucket! On April 28th from 1-2:30pm, join Associate Director, ...
04/14/2019

We are 2 weeks away from our Daffodil Weekend event on Nantucket! On April 28th from 1-2:30pm, join Associate Director, Kimal McCarthy, for a “New Guinea Walk and Talk!”

While still enslaved, Lewis Hayden met a white student from Oberlin College. The student asked Hayden “Why do you want y...
04/12/2019

While still enslaved, Lewis Hayden met a white student from Oberlin College. The student asked Hayden “Why do you want your freedom?” Hayden responded “Because I am a man.” #FridayFeeling

#ThrowbackThursday to the 1998 groundbreaking at the Abiel Smith School. Beginning in 1998, the Abiel Smith School close...
04/11/2019

#ThrowbackThursday to the 1998 groundbreaking at the Abiel Smith School. Beginning in 1998, the Abiel Smith School closed for an archaeological dig. It reopened in 2000.

Pictured: Henry Hampton, Michelle Courton Brown, and Congressman Moakley

Happy #NationalSiblingsDay! Today we honor abolitionist and educator siblings, Thomas Jr. and Susan Paul. Thomas Paul, t...
04/10/2019

Happy #NationalSiblingsDay! Today we honor abolitionist and educator siblings, Thomas Jr. and Susan Paul. Thomas Paul, the first minister of the African Meeting House, was father to Susan and Thomas Jr.

Susan Paul became a teacher and directed a children abolitionist choir. She also wrote the “Memoir of James Jackson The Attentive and Obedient Scholar, who Died in Boston, October 31, 1833, Aged Six Years and Eleven Months” about one of her students.

Thomas Paul Jr, was also an educator and graduated from Dartmouth in 1841. He spent most of his time in Boston and Providence. On January 27th, 1841, Paul delivered a speech in front of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society which was printed in “The Liberator.” newspaper.

This year’s Daffodil Festival on Nantucket runs April 26th-28th! Associate Director, Kimal McCarthy will be providing a ...
04/08/2019

This year’s Daffodil Festival on Nantucket runs April 26th-28th! Associate Director, Kimal McCarthy will be providing a walking tour from 1-2:30pm on April 28th.

James Russell Lowell was a poet and personal friend of the Shaw family. Following the assault on Fort Wagner, Lowell wro...
04/06/2019

James Russell Lowell was a poet and personal friend of the Shaw family. Following the assault on Fort Wagner, Lowell wrote a poem entitled “Memoriae Positum, R.G.S., 1863.” This was the “first major poem to focus on the nobility of Shaw’s death in the prime of his youth and its transcendent significance for the nation...” From essay “A Commemoration: The Shaw Memorial in American Culture” by Ludwid Lauerhauss included in “The Shaw Memorial: A Celebration of an American Masterpiece.”

From the poem by James Russell Lowe:
“Right in the van,
On the red rampart’s slippery swell,
With heart that beat a charge, he fell
Forward, as fits a man;
But the high soul burns on to light men’s feet
Where death for noble ends makes dying sweet;”

This verse is inscribed on the Shaw 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial. #Shaw54thSaturdays

MAAH Stone Book Award
04/04/2019

MAAH Stone Book Award

We couldn’t have said it better. Happy Birthday Ms. Angelou.

#WednesdayWisdom
04/03/2019

#WednesdayWisdom

We truly enjoyed hosting the Third Annual “Voices of Freedom” concert on March 24th! Thank you to everyone who supported...
04/02/2019

We truly enjoyed hosting the Third Annual “Voices of Freedom” concert on March 24th! Thank you to everyone who supported this event and to Vilna Shul and the Consulate General of Israel to New England for partnering with us on this event.

Image Courtesy of Erin Arnarson

This ad for lodging appeared in “The Liberator” newspaper on April 28, 1854. The Smith Court Residences are part of the ...
03/29/2019

This ad for lodging appeared in “The Liberator” newspaper on April 28, 1854. The Smith Court Residences are part of the Black Heritage Trail. James Scott owned the home and used it as a stop on the Underground Railroad. William Cooper Nell also lived at No. 3 Smith Court.

Thank you to everyone who came to our event on Nantucket last week! We had a great time at “Codfish Park, Then & Now.” #...
03/28/2019

Thank you to everyone who came to our event on Nantucket last week! We had a great time at “Codfish Park, Then & Now.” #ACK

MAAH Stone Book Award
03/28/2019

MAAH Stone Book Award

If you're in the Boston/Cambridge area this afternoon, make your way to Harvard's Longfellow Hall @ 4pm for a lecture and discussion featuring MAAH Stone Book Award Juror Jarvis R. Givens on Black Educators and the Struggle for Justice in Schools -- part of a 2-day Symposium on The Future of Black Institutions. #askwithForums

#MondayMotivation
03/25/2019

#MondayMotivation

TODAY at 2:00pm: Third annual “Voices of Freedom” concert, in partnership with Vilna Shul and the Consulate General of I...
03/24/2019
Third Annual Voices of Freedom Concert | Events at the Vilna Shul

TODAY at 2:00pm: Third annual “Voices of Freedom” concert, in partnership with Vilna Shul and the Consulate General of Israel to New England!

This year, we will be hosting the concert at the African Meeting House! The event features three choirs: the Zamir Chorale of Boston, VOICES 21C, and the Boston Community Gospel Choir. Each group will separately perform songs from the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian cultures, respectively, and then join together to perform music that transcends the collective cultures. More: http://ow.ly/i12H30nSkeW

The Vilna Shul Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture reserves the right to refuse/cancel registrations. All ticket purchases are final and nonrefundable.

Acting as a spy, General, and nurse during the Civil War, Harriet Tubman worked with the Massachusetts 54th Regiment. In...
03/23/2019

Acting as a spy, General, and nurse during the Civil War, Harriet Tubman worked with the Massachusetts 54th Regiment. In fact, while in South Carolina, she served the Regiment their last meal before the famous Battle of Fort Wagner. Following the Battle, she helped to bury the dead and treat the wounded. #Shaw54thSaturdays

Address

46 Joy St
Boston, MA
02114

General information

Admission: Adults- $10 Youth (13-17) and Seniors (62+)- $8 Members and Children 12 and under- Free Group rate (20+ people)- $3.50 per person in group Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 10AM-4PM Twitter: https://twitter.com/MAAHMuseum Instagram: https://instagram.com/maahmuseum/

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

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