Negro Public Library, Nashville, Tennessee (1916-1949)

The Negro Public Library (later the Negro Branch of the Nashville Public Library) operated for over thirty years as a segregated library facility in Nashville, Tennessee. It was the city’s first public library for African Americans and one of only a dozen segregated public libraries … Read MoreNegro Public Library, Nashville, Tennessee (1916-1949)

Colored Carnegie Library, Houston, Texas (1913-1961)

The Colored Carnegie Library was a segregated branch of the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library (later the Houston Public Library). It opened in 1913 in Houston’s Fourth Ward and was one of the first public libraries for African-Americans west of the Mississippi River. It was … Read MoreColored Carnegie Library, Houston, Texas (1913-1961)

Cherry Street Library, Evansville, Indiana (1914-1955)

The Cherry Street Library was a segregated branch of the Evansville Public Library (now Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library) located at 515 Cherry Street in Evansville, Indiana. It was the first free public library built north of the Ohio River exclusively for African Americans and one … Read MoreCherry Street Library, Evansville, Indiana (1914-1955)

Second Baptist Church (1917-ca. 1930)

The Second Baptist Church, Bismarck, North Dakota, organized in 1917 to serve the African American residents of the city, including some who had previously attended the predominantly white First Methodist Episcopal Church. The immediate impetus for organization of Second Baptist came from a series of … Read MoreSecond Baptist Church (1917-ca. 1930)

Abiel Smith School (1798-1855)

The Abiel Smith School, originally founded in 1798 by African American parents in the Boston, Massachusetts community, was an institution for free African American students. It became known as the Abiel Smith School in 1815 after Abiel Smith, a wealthy white benefactor, endowed the school. The Abiel Smith … Read MoreAbiel Smith School (1798-1855)

Mary Holmes College (1892-2005)

Mary Holmes College of West Point, Mississippi, initially named Mary Holmes Seminary, was founded in 1892 by the Board of Missions for Freedmen of the Presbyterian Church with the purpose of educating black girls from primary grades to high school. The school was the vision of Reverend Mead Holmes and his daughter, Mary Emilie, … Read MoreMary Holmes College (1892-2005)

Freedom Bank of Finance (1969-2000)

In 1968, a group of businessmen in Portland, Oregon saw the recently founded Bank of Finance in Los Angeles, California as a model for their creating the first black-owned commercial bank in the Pacific Northwest.  The businessmen, with help from Los Angeles, founded the Freedom Bank of Finance, which opened in 1969. The … Read MoreFreedom Bank of Finance (1969-2000)

Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Helena, Montana (1888- )

When African American citizens founded the St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Helena, Montana, in 1888, their population topped 250 people in a city of roughly 12,000 souls. Located in Helena’s eastside residential district on 114 N. Hoback, the church building rested on … Read MoreSaint James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Helena, Montana (1888- )

African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church (1821- )

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is an historically African American Protestant denomination based in New York City, New York. Also known as the Freedom Church, the AMEZ was officially recognized in 1821, but the foundations for Zion’s founding began in the late 1700s. In 1796, due to … Read MoreAfrican Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church (1821- )