February is Black History Month, when millions of Americans will take the time to remember African-American history, the path that led to equal civil rights and America as we know it today, and much more. You’ll find African-American heritage attractions in most Southern cities, but Greater Raleigh is especially rich in cultural heritage, with a local history that includes the South’s oldest black university, the nation’s first institute for blind African Americans, and the first, four-year medical school for African Americans.
The African American Cultural Center at North Carolina State University promotes an awareness of and appreciation for the African-American experience through activities and events. The center houses a robust African American Library, as well as a cultural art gallery featuring the works of prominent African and African-American artists. Similarly, the African American Cultural Complex features a unique collection of contributions made by African Americans toward the development of North Carolina and America, including: innovations in science, business, politics, medicine, sports and the arts.
The first public park in the United States solely dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, the King Memorial Gardens are an African-American heritage attraction to include in your itinerary. The gardens are filled with a colorful variety of trees, shrubs and flowering plants that surround a life-sized statue of Dr. King and a magnificent granite water monument that honors the Raleigh area’s notable pioneers in the Civil Rights Movement.
In addition to dozens of African-American heritage attractions, which you can find a comprehensive list of here, Greater Raleigh is also home to historical tours, both led and self-guided, that will take you on a journey through the area’s rich local cultural heritage. Find out more here.