Inspiring stories are being highlighted at National Parks Services sites from coast to coast: Here are the best places to learn about Black History around the country.Less
Out in the remote Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas, the old barracks of Fort Davis National Historic Site were home to the post-Civil War regiments known as the Buffalo Soldiers.
In 1877, Frederick Douglass bought a home on Cedar Hill in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., which would become his namesake historic site. Since the house was in a part of the District with covenants against African Americans and other groups owning property, it was particularly significant that he made it both his family home and command post. Today, the house and its contents are mostly original.
Along the 1.6-mile Black Heritage Trail, a walk through Boston’s traditionally African American neighborhood, Beacon Hill, stops range from the Granary Burying Ground gravesite of Crispus Attucks—a Black sailor killed by British troops during the Boston Massacre, who is now considered the first casualty of the American Revolutionary War—to the Underground Railroad safe house of Lewis and Harriet Hayden.
A Greyhound bus lit on fire by the Ku Klux Klan is one of the more infamous and haunting images from the civil rights movement. Today, the Freedom Riders National Monument and Anniston Civil Rights and Heritage Trail commemorate the protestors aboard that bus, some of whom were beaten and burned for drawing attention against segregation on public and interstate transportation.
The lucid waters, coral reefs, and mangrove shorelines of Florida’s Biscayne National Park are preserved as public lands thanks to a family of Black farmers. At the turn of the 20th century, philosopher and preacher Israel Jones and his wife Mozelle built their homestead on an island in south Florida, then became some of the most successful lime producers in the state. Today, the Jones Porgy Key homesite is accessible via shallow-draft vessel.
The woman wearing a red bandanna and flexing her bicep became an icon of WWII—but the white lady featured on the famous “We Can Do It” posters is only part of the Rosie the Riveter story. Until 2022, one of the original Black Rosies, Betty Reid Soskin, worked as a ranger at the park, helping create programming that accurately portrayed the lives of African and Japanese Americans during WWII.