Museum of African American History

Beacon Hill & Boston Common

The Museum of African American History occupies two adjacent historic buildings: the African Meeting House, the country’s oldest black church and meeting house; and Abiel Smith School, the country’s first school for blacks. The museum offers rotating exhibits about the historic events that took place here, and is also a source of information about – and the final destination of – the Black Heritage Trail.

Within these walls William Lloyd Garrison began the New England Anti-Slavery Society, which later expanded to become the American Anti-Slavery Society. Here, Maria Stewart became the first American woman – a black woman, no less – to speak before a mixed-gender audience. Frederick Douglass delivered stirring calls to action within this hall, and Robert Gould Shaw recruited black soldiers for the Civil War effort.

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