THING TO DO

Museum of African American History: Explore the Rich History of the 19th-Century Black Community on Beacon Hill

View from second story onto first floor of meeting house that has pews filled with kids.
Explore the African Meeting House, one of the two historic buildings the Museum stewards in Boston.

NPS Photo/Matt Teuten

Imagine listening to Frederick Douglass or Maria Stewart speak while sitting in the pews of the African Meeting House. Or consider a student's experience at the Abiel Smith School. These two historic buildings are home to the Museum of African American History's Boston Campus. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history of Beacon Hill's 19th century Black community by exploring these buildings and the stories held within.

Built in 1806, the African Meeting House served as a church, school, and gathering place for the political activism and cultural life of Boston’s free Black community in the 19th century. Since placed in the care of the Museum, this space has continued to serve as a space for events and talks on a variety of topics that connect to the site's history.

The Abiel Smith School opened in 1835 and acted as a focal point in the Black community’s struggle for equal school rights over the following decades. Today, it is home to the Museum of African American History's exhibit galleries. The current exhibit "Selections from the Collection" highlights historical artifacts that help share the history of African Americans in Boston.

For current hours of operation and to learn more about the Museum of African American History and its programs, please visit the Museum of African American History website.

The Museum of African American History operates the Abiel Smith School and the African Meeting House and is a partner of the National Parks of Boston.

Details

The Museum is currently open for timed visits. Please visit the Museum of African American History's website to reserve tickets.

The Museum is currently open for timed visits. Please visit the Museum of African American History's website to reserve tickets.

The Museum is currently open for timed visits. Please visit the Museum of African American History's website to reserve tickets.

The Museum is currently open for timed visits Monday thru Friday from 10am to 4pm.

Please visit the Museum of African American History's website to reserve tickets.

Accessibility Information

The African Meeting House is accessible via a ramp and elevator. The Abiel Smith School is currently inaccessible to people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

Last updated: March 31, 2021