For many student travelers, immersing themselves in the diverse history of our nation’s origins is a part of their curriculum. My company, Educational Travel Consultants, developed a black history tour to highlight the historical landmarks and sites that describe this important human component of our heritage as a nation.
Following is a summary of some major points of interest for the black history tour of Washington D.C. and Baltimore. Student travel groups who take the Black History Tour of Washington D.C. focus on these sites as opposed to traditional stops such as the White House and the Capital. The black history tour can be customized to include major Washington D.C. sites, too.
Frederick Douglas Historic Home
One of the most literate and well-respected leaders of the abolitionist movement of the 19th Century was Frederick Douglas. His home in Washington D.C. was designated an historic site in 1988 and is now managed by the National Park Service in Washington D.C. Douglas’ legacy is one of a lettered man who fought for the oppressed. He had four children and 21 grandchildren, and they frequently gathered at his home on holidays and special occasions.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
The main branch of the District of Columbia Library system in Washington, this building is an example of modern architecture and it’s predominance of glass, steel, and brick. The King Mural © painted by Don Miller is on display in the front lobby. This work encompasses a lifetime of work on social justice issues. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Library is a testament to King’s influence on American life and racial politics.
National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The works that are in the collections here represent the diversity of arts from the African continent. A portion of the art in the collection is aesthetically pleasing and utilitarian as well. The National Museum of African Art includes ceramics, tiles, furniture, tools and masks, figures and musical instruments as well as traditional artistic forms such as painting, printmaking and sculpture. Student travel groups will be exposed to “Africa’s rich cultural diversity” when they explore this unique collection.
Great Blacks in Wax Museum
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, just a short one hour bus drive from Washington D.C., the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is a favorite of student travel groups. Historical and contemporary figures of African American history are recreated in life-like wax figures in this museum. This is a great way for student travel group to learn details and stories about the oft neglected African Americans in history.
Morgan State University
Another Baltimore stop on the Black History Tour is Morgan State University, a 130 year old institution that has historically served a multi-racial and multi-ethnic student body. As one of Maryland’s premier state universities, Morgan State University has held a role of distinction throughout its history. Student travel groups may tour the historic campus and learn more about Morgan State University’s distinguished alumus.
Benjamin Banneker Memorial Circle
This Memorial circle is an actual traffic circle located in downtown Washington D.C. Student travel groups can visit the Benjamin Banneker Memorial Circle en route to other destinations to see this historical marker. Benjamin Banneker helped survey the 10 mile square piece of land that was later to become Washington D.C. Banneker was a man of science who left a lasting imprint on the African American community of Washington D.C.
Metropolitan A.M.E. Church
Also known as “The Cathedral of African Methodism” the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church is a place where African American community has gathered since the 1800s. Many distinguished political figures have spoken from the pulpits of Metropolitan A.M.E. church, including Frederick Douglas, William Howard Taft, and Jimmy Carter. This gothic style church was built by black artisans and can seat 2,500 people. It is truly a public meeting place for the African American community in Washington D.C. and is an important stop for the student travel tour with a focus on black history.
The specially designed black history tour of Washington D.C. and Baltimore is a great way to familiarize a student travel group with the diversity inherent in our country’s history. Educational Travel Consultants also offers a black history tour of Alabama and Atlanta. For more information visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.