Through compelling core exhibits, dynamic touring shows and educational/entertaining public programs, we create a community of lifelong learners who explore, experience and embrace Missouri's rich and enduring African-American heritage.
Only the second of its kind in the country, The Griot Museum of Black History opened as The Black World History Wax Museum in February 1997. After 10 years of being variously known, we changed our name to The Griot Museum of Black History - "The Griot." In some African countries, the griot (pronounced GREE-OH) is a highly respected member of the community who collects, preserves, and shares its stories and objects. Our new name more accurately reflects our mission and purpose as the keeper of the stories, culture and history of Black people.
The Griot Museum of Black History interprets stories and features life-size likenesses of African Americans with a regional connection whose life activities influenced the state, region and sometimes the entire country.
Visitors can meet and learn about the contributions of Carter G. Woodson, Josephine Baker, Dred and Harriet Scott, Elizabeth Keckley, William Wells Brown, James Milton Turner, Clark Terry, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Earl. E. Nance, Sr., Miles Davis, Madame C.J. Walker, York, Percy Green, Chief Sherman George and others.
The Griot also features an authentic slave cabin, originally built on the Wright-Smith Plantation in Jonesburg, Missouri. Visitors can solve puzzles, view documentary videos and board a scale model section of a ship that is the actual size of those used to transport Africans to America during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The Griot's Motherland Museum Shop offers Afrocentric clothing and home decor, jewelry, figurines, sculptures, books, videos, greeting cards and more. In addition to its core presentation that includes life-size wax figures, other art, artifacts and memorabilia, The Griot hosts traveling art and humanities exhibits by local and national artists.
To enhance its community outreach, The Griot sponsors community education projects, gallery talks and cultural celebrations.