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.



Questions? Connect with us today.