About the Museum

Welcome to The Museum of African American History! 

We understand the importance of filling in the missing pages of American history. Here, you will be connected to amazing and authentic representations of life in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the place where a free Black community changed the course of American history.

As New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions of African Americans, we invite you to explore the historic sites in our Boston and Nantucket locations, along with The Museum’s Black Heritage Trails®.

Exhibits, programs, and education activities at the Museum showcase the powerful stories of black families who worshipped, educated their children, debated the issues of the day, organized politically and advanced the cause of freedom.



“The Museum of African American History is much more than a collection of artifacts; it’s a window into a time when voices from the Boston community started a movement that changed our country. I learn something new every time I visit.”

- David Long Former Chairman & CEO, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Mission & History


The Museum of African American History connects colonial and early African American history & culture in Boston and the larger New England area with the abolition of slavery and current explorations of race and the struggle for human rights.


Home to four original African American buildings built at the birth of the nation and still standing, the museum illuminates, interprets, and preserved the birthplace fo the abolitionist movement and the continuing struggle for human rights. 


The Museum is a not-for-profit history institution that began holding exhibitions and public gatherings in 1963, and is nationally and internationally known for its collection of historic sites in Boston and Nantucket, including two African Meeting Houses Abiel Smith School, Seneca Boston- Florence Higginbotham House, Black Heritage Trails®.

SenatorsThe First Colored Senator and Representatives in the 41st and 42nd Congress of the United States 1872
(Left to right) Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi, Representatives Benjamin Turner of Alabama, Robert DeLarge of South Carolina, Josiah Walls of Florida, Jefferson Long of Georgia, Joseph Rainey and Robert B. Elliot of South Carolina.

Dr. Noelle N. Trent, President & CEO

Dr. Noelle N. Trent currently serves as the President & CEO of the Museum of African American History | Boston & Nantucket. Dr. Trent leverages her enthusiasm for history and professional expertise to create meaningful empowering experiences about Black history. 

Dr. Trent is an accomplished public historian and highly respected leader in the national museum community serving on committees for the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), American Association of State & Local History (AASLH), and the Association of African American Museums (AAAM). She is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Association of African American Museums and serves on the North American Steering Committee for the International Sites of Conscience.  Dr. Trent has worked with several noted organizations and projects including: the National Park Service, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture where she contributed to the exhibition Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation 1876 - 1968.

Dr. Trent previously served as the Director of Interpretation, Collections & Education at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.  During her seven-year tenure, Dr. Trent developed and implemented strategies for major exhibitions, collection acquisitions, education programming, community outreach, and interpretation. She led collaborations with local and national partners including: Memphis Teacher Residency, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Iris Collective, and WWE.  She has presented internationally at the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk, Poland, and at high schools in Warsaw and Sopot, Poland.  In 2018, she curated an exhibition and planned the commemorative service for the museum’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, MLK50.  She has also appeared in print and broadcast outlets around the world including: The New York Times, The Commercial Appeal, The Today Show, CSPAN, and CBS.

Born in Boston, MA, she is a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude graduate from Howard University in Washington, DC where she also earned her doctorate in United States History.

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MAAH Historians in Residence

Kellie Carter Jackson is the Michael and Denise Kellen 68’ Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. She studies the lived experiences of Black people with a focus on slavery, abolitionism, the Civil War, political violence, Black women’s history, and film. She is the author of the award-winning book, "Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence" which won the SHEAR James H. Broussard Best First Book Prize. Force and Freedom was also a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, a finalist for the Museum of African American History Stone Book Prize and listed among 13 books to read on African American History by the Washington Post.

Carter Jackson is also co-editor of Reconsidering Roots: Race, Politics, & Memory. Her essays have been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, and other outlets. She has also been interviewed for her expertise on Netflix, Apple TV, Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, MSNBC, PBS, Vox, CNN, the BBC, the History Channel, Al Jerzeera, Slate, and a host of documentaries. 



Dr. Kerri Greenidge is Mellon Assistant Professor in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University. She is the author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter (2019). Listed as a New York Times Notable Book of 2019, Black Radical received the J,. Anthony Lukas Prize in History from the Nieman Foundation, the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Massachusetts Book Award, and it was short-listed for the Cundill History Prize through McGill University. Kerri Greenidge received her Doctorate in American Studies from Boston University, where her specialty included African-American history, American political history, and African-American and African diasporic literature in the post-emancipation and early modern era. She is currently co-director of the African American Trail Project through Tufts’ Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD). She also serves as interim director of the American Studies Program in Tufts’ Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Her work includes historical research for the Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African-American Literature, the Oxford African American Studies Center, the BBC, and PBS. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Atlantic Monthly, and the New York Times. For nine years she worked as a historian for Boston African American National Historical Site in Boston, through which she published her first book,Boston Abolitionists (2006) 


Board of Directors

Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, Chair

Gerard Cox
Marcy Gefter
Garth Griffin
Jackie Glenn
Judith Johnson
Elaine Anastasia

Questions? Connect with us today.