Trip Ideas: Celebrate Black History in Missouri
These sites offer insight into the struggles and accomplishments of many notable Missourians, including people such as Scott Joplin, the founders of Lincoln University and Dred Scott.
Day One
This nine-acre site is on the St. Louis Riverfront Trail, three miles north of downtown St. Louis, just north of the Merchant's Bridge. In the early morning hours of May 21, 1855, a small group of runaway slaves and their guides crossed the Mississippi River from St. Louis, attempting to reach a route to freedom through Illinois. Accompanying them was Mary Meachum, a free woman of color.
Riverfront Trail, St. Louis MO 63106, 314-584-6703
Hours: 24 hours
Built between 1839 and 1862, this historic courthouse was the scene of one of the nation's most important cases: the freedom trial of Dred and Harriet Scott.
11 N. Fourth St., St. Louis MO 63102, 314-655-1600
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tour the modest flat where Scott Joplin wrote his famous ragtime classics, including "The Entertainer." The apartment is lit by gaslight. It contains 1902 furnishings. An antique player piano fills the home with The King of Ragtime's unique music. Please note this state historic site is closed from November through January.
2658 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis MO 63103, 314-340-5790
Hours: March-October: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; February: Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Day Two
The Griot Museum of Black History and Culture 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. From the Griot, take the drive to Jefferson City to see Lincoln University.
2505 St. Louis Ave., St. Louis MO 63106, 314-241-7057
Hours: Wed.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Jim's Journey, Northeast Missouri's African American history museum, is the country's only memorial to Jim, Huck Finn's friend and companion in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Visitors will learn learn about Mark Twain, the humanitarian, who used satire and humor to undermine racism. This collections includes artifacts, photographs and memorabilia to tell the story of African Americans in Twain's writings and the contributions of Hannibal's African American residents.
509 N. Third Street, Hannibal MO 63401, 217-617-1507
Hours: Thu.- Sat.,11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Day Three
Lincoln University was founded in 1866 by the men of the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Infantries and their white officers.Tour the grounds of this historic university and visit the Soldiers Memorial Plaza
820 Chestnut St., Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-681-5599
Hours: Campus offices: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (summer hours may vary)
Reflections of African-American Arrow Rock, 1865-1960 is a permanent exhibit located in Brown Lodge in the village of Arrow Rock, a National Historic Landmark. Using oral histories, records, and artifacts, the story of achievement in the face of adversity serves as an inspiration to this and future generations.
608 Morgan St., Arrow Rock MO 65320, 660-837-3231
Hours: Please note, this site is open April-October only: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Exhibits here highlight the musicians who made an impact in the music industry, as well as exhibits on desegregation, education and other aspects of African-American history in St. Joseph.
3406 Frederick Ave., St. Joseph MO 64506, 816-232-8471
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Day Four

One of the largest collections in the Midwest of African-American memorabilia, artifacts and research material on local leaders, oral histories and business records .

An educational resource, providing access to its collections for research, exhibition and publication to honor our community heritage and to catalyze public awareness.

Admission: $2; younger than 12, $1.

1722 E. 17th Terrace, Kansas City MO 64108, 816-221-1600
Hours: Tue.-Thu., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; also by appointment.
The museum recreates the look, sounds and feel of the game's storied past. The Negro Leagues were established in 1920. Video presentations and memorabilia in the 10,000 square-foot multimedia exhibit chronicle the history and heroes of the Negro Leagues, from the origin to the 1960s.
1616 E. 18th Street, Kansas City MO 64108, 888-221-6526
Hours: Tue.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.
Located in the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of a uniquely American art form.
1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City MO 64108, 816-474-8463
Hours: Tue.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.
Day Five
The Battle of Island Mound marked the first time that African-American troops were engaged in Civil War combat, nearly a year before the battle depicted in the film "Glory." The site encompasses Camp Africa, where the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry camped in 1862 before a pitched battle with pro-Confederate forces near a low hill named Island Mound.
Marth Road, Butler MO 64730, 800-334-6946
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Authorized by Congress in 1943, George Washington Carver National Monument preserves the birthplace and legacy of the famed African American scientist, educator and humanitarian. This was the first national monument dedicated to a black American and the first to honor someone other than a president. Park facilities include a visitor center and museum, gift shop, walking trail and picnic area.
5646 Carver Road, Diamond MO 64840, 417-325-4151
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.