Emanual AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
Photograph by Lissa D'Aquisto
The National Register of Historic Places is pleased to promote awareness of and appreciation for the historical accomplishments of African Americans during African American History Month. As part of the celebration, this site showcases historic properties listed in the National Register, National Register publications, and National Park units commemorating the events and people, the designs and achievements that help illustrate African American contributions to American history. Join the National Register in paying powerful tribute to the spirit of African Americans.

John Coltrane House, center
Photograph by Lisa Kolakowsky

John Coltrane House

Located at 1511 N. 33rd Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the John Coltrane House was recently recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Tenor saxophonist and American jazz pioneer John Coltrane lived here from 1952 until two years before his death in 1967. A musician and composer, Coltrane played a central role in the development of jazz during the 1950s and 1960s. He took the American jazz tradition as it had developed by the late 1940s, with its established forms and harmonies, and radically transformed it, pioneering modal harmonies and incorporating influences from a variety of international sources. Along with Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, Coltrane was one of the most influential performing soloists in the history of jazz. Coltrane resided here during the critical years in which he developed his characteristic musical language. When Coltrane purchased this house in 1952, the neighborhood was in transition as many rural southern African Americans were relocating to northern cities and finding work opportunities in industrial neighborhoods such as this. Coltrane moved into the house with his mother, cousin and a friend; three years later they were joined by Coltrane's bride Juanita Austin, known by her nickname Naima. Coltrane used this house both as a primary residence and a temporary base during his tours, while his mother and cousin lived here permanently. The family has occupied the house continually, and it is currently owned by his cousin. An adjacent house is used by the John Coltrane Cultural Society.

George Black House and Brickyard

George Black House and Brickyard

Just listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the George Black House and Brickyard in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was the house of well-known African American brickmaker George H. Black. Black, sometimes referred to as "The Last Brickmaker in America," lived and worked on this property from 1934 until his death in 1980 at age 101. The son of a former slave, Black moved to Winston-Salem as a boy and hauled brick for a white brickmaker. He married Martha Jane Hampton in 1897, and in time had eight children. Black soon started his own brickyard and established a national and international reputation for bricks of quality and durability. As early as the 1920s Black's work was sought-after for his traditional 18th and 19th century craftsmanship and techniques. Black made an exceptionally important contribution to the 20th century by sustaining traditional handcrafting of bricks, when most brickmakers abandoned this practice for more efficient brick-making machines. In the 1940s, Black established a brickyard approximately 100 feet behind his residence, which he continued to operate until the 1970s. At the request of the State Department, in 1970, 91 year-old Black traveled to Guyana to share his age-old craft with villagers of that country.

African American Historic Places
African American Historic Places

(ISBN 0-471-14345-6) describes more than 800 properties in 42 States and 2 U.S. Territories listed in the National Register of Historic Places that have played a role in African American history. Banks, cemeteries, clubs, colleges, forts, homes, hospitals, schools, and shops are but a few of the types of properties explored in this volume, which is an invaluable reference guide for researchers, historians, preservationists, and anyone interested in African American culture. Also included are eight insightful essays on the African American experience, from migration to the role of women, from the Harlem Renaissance to the Civil Rights Movement.
(Available from John Wiley & Sons at 1-800-225-5945)

Teaching with Historic Places
This program offers a series of award-winning lesson plans that use places listed in the National Register to enliven the study of history, social studies, and geography. TwHP has five ready-to-use lesson plans, available for free downloading, that examine different aspects of African American history. Titles include:

Daniel Howell Hise House, one of the new sites in our Aboard the Underground Railroad Travel Itinerary
Photograph by Annie McDonald

National Register Travel Itineraries

Travel to historic places that convey the courageous and inspiring stories of African Americans from their perseverance along the Underground Railroad to freedoms gained during their struggle for civil rights, from Detroit and Charleston's African American places, to Chicago's Black Metropolis. Three newly recognized sites have been added to our Underground Railroad Travel Itinerary this year, the John Hossack House, the Daniel Howell Hise House, and the William Ingersoll Bowditch House.

Desegregation Theme Study
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka that "separate but equal" had no place in public education and was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. As we approach the 50th anniversary of this ruling, Congress authorized the National Park Service to conduct a National Historic Landmark theme study on racial desegregation in public education in the United States. Four scholars from the Organization of American Historians are preparing a historical context for this study, while NHL Survey staff are identifying potential landmarks that are associated with individuals, community groups, and agencies involved in the efforts of a variety of ethnic groups to influence and achieve school desegregation. The final product will be a National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form and a presentation of the theme study by the Secretary of the Interior to Congress in October 2000.

  • Booker T. Washington National Monument
  • Boston African American National Historic Site
  • Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
  • Cane River Creole National Historical Park
  • Colonial National Historical Park: Jamestown
  • Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park: Paul Laurence Dunbar House
  • Fort Davis National Historic Site
  • Fort Scott National Historic Site
  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  • George Washington Carver National Monument
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve: Chalmette
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
  • New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
  • Nicodemus National Historic Site
  • Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
  • Petersburg National Battlefield
  • Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
  • Richmond National Battlefield Park
  • Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail*
  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve: Kingsley Plantation
  • Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
  • Virgin Islands National Park

  • Diversity in the National Park Service
    A message from the Director of the National Park Service, Robert Stanton, regarding the Park Service's attempts to reflect the diversity of American culture.

    African American History and Culture: A Remembering
    A CRM issue that explores aspects of African American heritage. (PDF format)
    Search the Issue Archives then, search Issue Title for "African American History and Culture".

    Our Shared History: Celebrating African American History & Culture
    An ongoing effort to provide a comprehensive list of African American related resources located within the National Park Service web pages.

    This design for this web site was inspired by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art online exhibit, "Wrapped in Pride, Ghanian Kente and African American Identity."

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