The museum’s mission is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey. Located in downtown Charleston, the groundbreaking project has 12 permanent exhibitions, including nine galleries and one special exhibitions gallery.
Design elements of the building feature pluff mud, shells, tabby, and grasses as a way for visitors to see how African Americans helped form the scenery of Charleston from a colonial landscape to what it is today.
One of the most unique elements of the museum is the interactive Center for Family History. This space is dedicated in the building to foster family research.
Additionally, the African Ancestors Memorial Garden stretches across the museum’s grounds. This area will be free and open to the public, providing a space for informal and structured gatherings.
- Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth | Tuesday, June 27- Sunday, August 6 | The Smithsonian exhibit highlights African American men who have altered the history and culture of the country. The museum is the only one in South Carolina to feature this traveling exhibit.
- The building stands at 14 Wharfside St., 13 feet above the historic site of Gadsden’s Wharf, the port of arrival for nearly half of all enslaved Africans brought to North America.
- The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (the last entry is 4 p.m.) Tuesday-Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.
- The museum is currently selling timed-entry, non-refundable tickets. There is a discount for South Carolina residents — only applicable for 2023.
- Hourly parking is available nearby in the City of Charleston parking garage (24 Calhoun St.). Metered parking is located along Washington St. and Concord St.