Discovering African American History and Culture at the Northwest African American Museum

Hello, and welcome to a journey of discovering the rich and fascinating world of African American history and culture at the Northwest African American Museum. This museum, located in Seattle’s historic Jackson Street neighborhood, is a hub of knowledge and insight into the essential contributions and experiences of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest region and beyond. Through interactive exhibits, engaging events, and educational programs, the Northwest African American Museum offers visitors an unforgettable experience that celebrates the tremendous achievements, struggles, and resilience of African Americans throughout history. Let’s dive into the world of African American history and culture at the Northwest African American Museum together!

Northwest African American Museum

The Northwest African American Museum is located in Seattle’s historic Central District and is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the African American experience in the Pacific Northwest. The museum was founded in 2008 and has since become a valuable resource for scholars, educators, and visitors alike. Let’s take a closer look at the museum’s history, collections and exhibitions, and community events and outreach.

History of the Museum

The Northwest African American Museum was founded by a group of community leaders, artists, and scholars who recognized the need for a space dedicated to the history and culture of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest. The museum opened its doors in 2008 in the former Colman School building, a historic landmark built in 1909.

The Colman School was originally an elementary school for white students only, but it was later desegregated and became a center for civil rights activism in the 1960s. The building now houses the Northwest African American Museum as well as other cultural and educational organizations.

Since its founding, the museum has been committed to telling the stories of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest through exhibits, educational programs, and community events. The museum’s mission is to celebrate and promote the contributions and achievements of African Americans, as well as to educate the public about the ongoing struggle for racial equality.

Collections and Exhibitions

The Northwest African American Museum has an impressive collection of over 5,000 art objects, documents, photographs, and artifacts that tell the story of African American life in the Pacific Northwest. The museum’s permanent exhibits include “Facing the Rising Sun: Profiles in African American Leadership in the Northwest,” which explores the lives and legacies of influential African American leaders in the region.

The museum also features rotating exhibits that explore different aspects of African American culture and history. Recent exhibits have focused on topics such as African American fashion and style, the role of music in the civil rights movement, and the contributions of African American women to the arts.

In addition to its exhibits, the museum also offers a range of educational programs for visitors of all ages. These programs include guided tours, lectures, workshops, and performances that explore various aspects of African American culture and history.

Community Events and Outreach

The Northwest African American Museum is committed to engaging with and uplifting the local community through a variety of events and educational programs. The museum hosts regular community events such as film screenings, book talks, and artist talks that showcase the work and talents of African American artists and thinkers.

The museum also offers a range of educational programs for students and teachers, including school tours, professional development workshops, and curriculum resources that meet state and national standards.

In addition to its on-site programs, the museum also partners with local organizations to bring its exhibits and educational programs to underserved communities throughout the region. Through its outreach efforts, the museum is working to ensure that the stories and achievements of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest are accessible and meaningful to people from all backgrounds.

In conclusion, the Northwest African American Museum is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning about the history and culture of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest. Through its exhibits, educational programs, and community events, the museum is helping to preserve and share the rich and diverse heritage of African Americans in the region.

Current Exhibitions and Programming


Northwest African American Museum is one of Seattleā€™s most beloved cultural institutions showcasing the art, history, and culture of Black Americans in the Pacific Northwest. We have a varied mix of exhibitions and programming that celebrate the diversity and richness of Black culture. Visitors can enjoy a wide array of exhibitions and programs that range from permanent exhibits to special events that change frequently. Here are some of our notable exhibitions and programming:

“For the Love of Black Girls” Exhibition


One of our most popular exhibitions is “For the Love of Black Girls,” which is a collection of artworks that explores the experiences of Black girls and women. This exhibition was curated to celebrate the beauty, resilience, and strength that Black girls possess. The collection features artists from across the country, highlighting the importance of intersectional identities, historical context, and contemporary representation.

The exhibition also tells the stories of Black girls and women who have made significant contributions throughout history, including political activists, scientists, writers, poets, and more. Visitors can expect to leave the exhibition feeling inspired and empowered, with a greater appreciation for the contributions and experiences of Black girls.

“Say it Loud” Series


The “Say it Loud” series is a new initiative that we launched to provide a space for powerful conversations about race, culture, and community-building. The series is designed to promote social and cultural consciousness among Black people, allies, and others who seek better understanding of the Black experience in America.

The “Say it Loud” series features live and virtual events, panel discussions, screenings, and performances to engage audiences in thought-provoking dialogues and action-driven collaborations. Topics range from Black Lives Matter, economic empowerment, and voter suppression, to Black art and music, family dynamics, and mental health. Participants can also expect to learn about allyship and how to support Black communities in building a better future for all.

“Truth B Told” Youth Program


At Northwest African American Museum, we recognize the importance of empowering and uplifting the next generation of Black leaders. Our youth program, “Truth B Told,” provides a safe and supportive space for young people to explore their identities through art and storytelling.

The program is designed to enhance the academic, social, and emotional well-being of our youth by creating opportunities for them to engage in meaningful and enriching activities that foster leadership, creativity, and critical thinking skills. “Truth B Told” participants have the opportunity to work with renowned local artists and community leaders, learn about Black history and culture, and create multimedia projects that express their unique perspectives on the world.

In conclusion, Northwest African American Museum is a cultural hub for those looking to explore the rich and diverse history, art, and culture of Black Americans in the Pacific Northwest. With our exhibitions and programming, we continue to celebrate the legacy of Black excellence and inspire future generations of leaders. Come visit us to experience the magic of our exhibits and programs for yourself!

Supporting the Northwest African American Museum

The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) is an important institution that celebrates and promotes the rich history, art, and culture of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest. It provides an educational and inspiring experience to visitors who want to learn more about the achievements and struggles of the African American community in the region. However, like many museums, NAAM relies on the support of its members, donors, volunteers, and partners to sustain its mission and operations. In this section, we will discuss different ways you can support NAAM and help it thrive for generations to come.

Membership and Donations

One of the easiest and most direct ways to support NAAM is by becoming a member or making a donation. Becoming a member of NAAM not only shows your commitment to the museum but also provides you with exclusive benefits such as free admission, discounts at the museum store, invitations to special events, and more. Membership fees and donations also help NAAM maintain its exhibits, programs, and facilities, as well as expand its outreach to underserved communities.

To become a member of NAAM, simply visit their website or go to the museum’s front desk to fill out a membership application. Membership levels range from individual to family, and fees vary accordingly. You can make a one-time or recurring contribution to NAAM by going to their donation page, where you can choose to support a specific program or fund, or make a general donation. NAAM is a non-profit organization and your membership fees and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Volunteering and Internships

Another way to support NAAM is by offering your time and talents as a volunteer or intern. NAAM welcomes individuals of all ages and backgrounds to help with a wide range of activities, such as greeting visitors, leading tours, assisting with events, digitizing collections, and much more. Volunteers and interns not only help NAAM fulfill its mission but also gain valuable skills and experiences that can benefit their personal and professional growth.

To become a volunteer at NAAM, you can fill out an online application or contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information. Volunteering opportunities are usually flexible and can be tailored to your interests and availability. NAAM also offers internships for college and graduate students who want to gain hands-on experience in museum education, curation, or administration. Internships are usually part-time and can last from a few weeks to several months, depending on the program and project.

Partnerships and Collaboration

Finally, supporting NAAM can also mean forging partnerships and collaborations with the museum’s staff, board, and community. NAAM has established partnerships and collaborations with various organizations, businesses, and individuals who share its vision and values. Some of the museum’s key partners include the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, King County Metro Transit, the University of Washington, and the Seattle Public Library. These partnerships enable NAAM to reach more audiences, share resources, and create meaningful connections with diverse communities.

If you or your organization is interested in partnering with NAAM, you can contact the museum’s Development Team for more information. NAAM welcomes collaborations that align with its strategic goals and priorities, such as youth education, social justice, and community engagement. By partnering with NAAM, you can help advance the museum’s mission and contribute to the wider efforts of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Pacific Northwest.

In conclusion, supporting the Northwest African American Museum is an essential way to keep its legacy and impact alive. You can support NAAM through membership, donations, volunteering, internships, and partnerships. By supporting NAAM, you are not only investing in the museum’s future but also contributing to the collective well-being and vitality of the African American community and the broader society.

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