6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (2023)

It is not widely known that Arizona ended racial segregation in its schools prior to the federal decision Brown v. Board of Education. And did you know that Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most famous black men in history, spoke in Phoenix in the 1960s? With so much discussion going on about racism right now, it's a good time to revisit our state's African American history. Need ideas for a field trip for Black History Month? Here are six places you can visit to learn about black history in Arizona:


1.) Phoenix: Historic Tanner Chapel AME

6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (1)

Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is the only church in Arizona where Martin Luther King Jr. made a speech. The building was completed in 1929 and is listed on the Phoenix Register of Historic Properties as one of only fourteen properties in Phoenix to receive prestigious listing status. The historic church is an important part of Arizona's history.

6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (2)

The congregation, founded in 1886, meets for Sunday services at 7:45 am and 10:45 am, where one of the most important African Americans in history preached. After the service, enjoy Sunday lunch at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Café and talk about African Americans' famous black history of Southern comfort food and soul food. The family restaurant has been here since the 1960s.

Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME).20 S. 8th Street in Phoenix between Washington and Jefferson Streets |www.tannerchapel.org

Listen to a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. at historic Tanner Chapel in an audio recording that features an excerpt from a famous black storyHere.

Learn more about the civil rights leader by readingAutobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.

(Video) Eastlake Park is heart of Black history in Phoenix
6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (3)

Tucson's first and only segregated school for African Americans is home to Dunbar Pavilion, an African American cultural and arts center. The Paul Lawrence Dunbar School, built in 1918, is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The segregated school is named after the African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. analyze your poetryHere.

“Hope is persistent. He was still alive and working when science dealt him the death blow." —Paul Laurence Dunbar

Arizona desegregated its schools a year before the historic Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 is not a well known fact in African American history.

325 W 2nd St, Tucson | Please register for the 10:00 am tourthedunbartucson.org

Read on for more thought-provoking facts about black history in Arizona…

3.) Sierra Vista: Museu Fortu Huachuca

6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (4)

After the Civil War, black men moved out of the South and away from slavery to start a new life for themselves and their families. Many came to the Southwest via the Underground Railroad or as the Buffalo Soldiers, one of the army's most elite black cavalry corps. The Buffalo Soldiers are a key part of African American history in Arizona.

At the Fort Huachuca Museum, located in what is now a National Historic Landmark and an active military base, learn how the fort became the base of the 10th Cavalry Regiment in 1913. The famous 10th Cavalry consisted of African-American soldiers. Their Native American opponents gave them the name "Buffalo Soldiers". In 1916-1917, the base was commanded by Charles Young, the first African American promoted to the rank of colonel.

Also known for its famous Black History for African Americans, Fort Huachuca is the birthplace of African American poet and activist Jayne Cortez. Her father, a professional soldier, served in both world wars. Click here to check the price of one of her most famous books,Jazz fan look back.

The military museum, currently closed due to COVID-19, is located on an active military base. Check the closing status at

41401 Grierson Ave, Fort Huachuca near Sierra Vista, Arizona | 800-288-3861

Next: Learn about Buffalo's black history and the soldiers in…

(Video) The Real History of Slavery - Southern Negro

4.) Campo Verde: Forte Verde State Historical Park

6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (5)

At Fort Verde State Historic Park, learn about black American history with a tour of the former US Army Headquarters building, where soldiers from Buffalo reported for duty. It is one of three historic buildings listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places and equipped in the 1880s. Troop I of the 10th Cavalry was the first detachment of Buffalo Soldiers to serve at Fort Verde.

Artifacts, photos, videos and interpretive exhibits tell the stories of the Arizona Indian Wars and those who lived and served at Fort Verde.

State park transforms into a living museum of Arizona history for Fort Verde Days October 10-11, 2020. Flag raising and lowering ceremonies, Buffalo Soldiers and Indian Wars period re-enactors, cavalry drills, a parade fashion shows and a vintage baseball game are part of the action. The park is now reopened.

125 E. Hollamon Street, Camp Verde |azstateparks.com/fort-verde

5.) Flagstaff: Murdoch Community Center

OtherPaula Laurence'a Dunbaraa school of the same name was located in Flagstaff. What was once a segregated Dunbar Primary School is now the Cleo Murdoch Community Centre. The center is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but you can drive by and see a mural featuring famous figures from Flagstaff's black history, community leaders, and others from the segregation era.

Among the portraits is Joan Dorsey, who in 1964 broke the boundaries of color in the aviation industry when American Airlines hired her as the first black flight attendant in the United States. Joan, born and raised in Flagstaff, attended Dunbar Elementary School. In 2008, American Airlines honored her as one of the Outstanding Black Women in Black History at the CR Smith Museum of Aviation in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans is Joan's niece.

Avenida E. Brannen, 203, Flagstaff |www.southsideflagstaff.com

(Video) 15 Untold Black History Inventors Wasn't Taught At School

6.)Yuma: Alex Dees Memorial Team Roping Classic

6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (6)

Alex Dees' reputation as a cattleman, consultant and judge was world-renowned. A third-generation rancher raised Brangus cattle on his ranch, which African-American ranchers established in the 1920s. The Alex Dees Memorial Team Roping Classic celebrates the Arizona rancher and his accomplishments, which include:

  • National Multicultural Museum of Western Heritage Hall of Fame
  • The first black Grand Marshal of Rodeo and Silver Spur Parades, Yuma
  • Ameryka Brangus Breeders Hall of Fame
  • Benefactor Philanthropist of the Year, Heart of Yuma Award
  • Hall and Fama for Arizona
  • International Brangus Breeders Association Pioneer Awardee (Dees is one of only two breeders to receive this award).

Check out the Alex Dees Memorial Team Roping Classic at the Yuma County Mounted Posse Arena January 16-17, 2021.76th Annual Yuma Silver Spur Rodeoscheduled for February 12-14, 2021. The tentative date for the rodeo parade is February 13, 2021.

Alexa Deesais one of the Arizona residents who changed black history.

Watch the award-winning video by the legendary Alex Dees here:

6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (8)6 Places to Learn About Black History in Arizona (9)

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Where can I learn about black history? ›

Historical Documents & Museum
  • Primary Documents Archives- BlackPast.org.
  • Learn Center - National Civil Rights Museum.
  • The Collection- National Museum of African American History & Culture.
  • 12 Black History Museums you can Explore from Home - Momma Wanderlust.
Jan 14, 2022

What are 5 black history facts? ›


Where are the most African Americans in Arizona? ›

A big chunk of the Maricopa County boom has been Black people such as myself. About 70,000 of us came to the area between 2010 and 2020, representing more than 10% of the growth over that span, a huge number since Arizona's Black population is only about 5%.

What city has the most black history? ›

Chicago, Illinois. Of U.S. cities with the most Black history, Chicago is near the top of the list. This is because black people have shaped the history of Chicago since the early 1800s. Today, Chicago is home to many Black Americans and is a city filled with culture.

How can I learn more about Black History Month? ›

Celebrating Black History Month: 10 Ways Your Student Can Learn About Black History and Culture in America
  1. Celebrate with Cross-Curricular Activities. ...
  2. Read a Book About the African American Experience, History, and Culture. ...
  3. Watch a Documentary. ...
  4. Plan a Full Lesson on Historical Topics.
Jan 30, 2021

Who is the first Black millionaire? ›

Madam C.J.

Walker (1867-1919), who started life as a Louisiana sharecropper born to formerly enslaved parents in 1867, is usually cited as the first Black millionaire.

Who are 5 important Black history figures? ›

7 Black History Heroes Every Student Should Know
  • Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Leader.
  • Serena Williams, Pro Athlete.
  • Malcolm X, Human Rights Activist.
  • Katherine Johnson, Mathematician.
  • Ruby Bridges, Civil Rights Activist.
  • Duke Ellington, American Composer.
  • Madam C.J. Walker, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist.
Feb 1, 2023

What is the all Black town in Arizona? ›

This was the town of Allenville. In the 1940s, when part of the town was sold by Lee North to John Allen, the town's namesake, it was the only area of town where Black people could own land.

What is the biggest race in Arizona? ›

Retrieved April 30, 2023, from www.marchofdimes.org/peristats. In Arizona in 2020, 31.9% of the total population was Hispanic, 53.8% were white, 4.6% were black, 3.9% were American Indian/Alaska Native and 3.7% were Asian/Pacific Islander.

Is there a Black community in Arizona? ›

Maricopa County's Black population is growing nearly seven times faster than its white population, making it the fastest-growing region for Black people outside the Dallas and Houston areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010 and 2021.

What's the blackest city in America? ›

CityStateBlack %
Miami GardensFlorida66.97%
62 more rows

What is the oldest Black city? ›

Eatonville, Florida, is the oldest black-incorporated municipality in the United States. Incorporated in 1887, it is the first town successfully established by African American freedmen. The founding of this town stands as an enormous achievement for once-enslaved black men and women throughout the United States.

What is the blackest city? ›

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — There has never in the history of the United States of America been anything like this five-year-old city. On the southwest outskirts of Atlanta, it is a mostly suburban municipality with a population of some 108,000 of which nine of every 10 of the residents are Black.

What not to do during Black History Month? ›

Here are 10 mistakes companies often make when celebrating BHM and how they can go about fixing them:
  • Throwing Something Together Last Minute. ...
  • Assuming It's Just for the Black Employees. ...
  • Not Elevating the Voices of Those From the Community. ...
  • Celebrating Publicly, But Not Internally. ...
  • Celebrating Internally, But Not Publicly.
May 5, 2022

What is the 2023 theme for Black History Month? ›

Black History Month remains a powerful symbolic celebration and a time for acknowledgement, reflection, and inspiration. The national 2023 Black History Month theme, “Black Resistance,” explores how African Americans have addressed historic and ongoing disadvantage and oppression, as evidenced by recent events.

Who is the most famous black inventor? ›

Generally, when people think of famous African-American inventors, one of the first names that springs to mind is George Washington Carver. Perhaps most famously, Carver discovered over 300 different uses for peanuts – including making cooking oil, axle grease and printer's ink.

Which president recognized black history? ›

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

What are the colors for black history? ›

The four colours that are used for Black History Month are black, red, yellow and green. Black represents resilience, red denotes blood, yellow is optimism and justice, and green symbolises rich greenery.

Who was the first rich Black girl? ›

Sarah Rector is deemed as one of the first Black women millionaires in the United States. Born in 1902 to African descendants of the Muscogee Nation, Rector was granted 160 acres of land by the Federal Government at the age of 12 as a result of the Dawes Allotment Act of 1887.

Who was the richest Black? ›

Forbes: These are the world's 14 Black billionaires
  1. Aliko Dangote: $14 billion. ...
  2. Mike Adenuga: $7.3 billion. ...
  3. Abdulsamad Rabiu: $6.9 billion. ...
  4. Robert F. Smith: $6.7 billion. ...
  5. David Steward: $5.8 billion. ...
  6. Patrice Motsepe: $3.3 billion. ...
  7. Strive Masiyiwa: $3 billion. ...
  8. Oprah Winfrey: $2.6 billion.
Feb 28, 2023

How did slaves take care of their hair? ›

African slaves no longer had access to their natural herbs, butters and oils to take care of their hair. They resorted to bacon grease, butter, and kerosene as their moisturizers, conditioners, and shampoo.

Who is the greatest Black American in history? ›

When it comes to pioneers in African American history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Muhammad Ali are often mentioned—and rightfully so.

Who are Black leaders today? ›

Here are some of the current Black leaders creating change in our community today:
  • Ijeoma Oluo. Author, New York Times best-seller, and 2021 Stand Against Racism keynote.
  • Dr. Sharon Knight. ...
  • Maya Manus. ...
  • Michele Andrasik & Joycelyn Thomas. ...
  • Stacey Abrams. ...
  • Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. ...
  • Marcus Harrison Green. ...
  • Dominique Dawes.
Feb 1, 2023

Who are the female African American heroes? ›

Famous & Inspirational Black Women in History
  • Daisy Bates: A Civil Rights Hero. ...
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll. ...
  • Harriet Tubman. ...
  • Maya Angelou. ...
  • Rosa Parks. ...
  • Misty Copeland. ...
  • Angela Davis. ...
  • Barbara Conrad.
Oct 10, 2013

Who was the most popular black man? ›

Martin Luther King, Jr. No single African American in history is perhaps as famous as Martin Luther King, Jr.

Who are 3 Black historical personalities? ›

  • Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass. (AD) Get the Reader.
  • Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman. (AD) Get the Reader.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ...
  • Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks. ...
  • George Washington Carver. George Washington Carver. George Washington Carver.

What are African Americans known for? ›

From the arts to medicine, education, music, cultural inventions, entrepreneurship, civil rights leaders, noble laureates, etcetera, Blacks have played an influential role in shaping America and are paid tribute to throughout the month.

What is the darkest place in Arizona? ›

Arizona helped birth the dark-sky preservation movement when, in 2001, the International Dark-Sky Association designated Flagstaff as the world's very first Dark Sky Place for the city's commitment to protecting its stargazing-friendly night skies.

What is the largest abandoned city in Arizona? ›

2- Tombstone

Originally a thriving mining town, it was all but abandoned in 1892 when the mines dried up. It is the largest wild west town still in existence, having been restored and turned into a tourist attraction.

What is a ghost town in AZ? ›

Swansea is a well-preserved ghost town in western Arizona under preservation by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Named after the Welsh hometown of founder George Mitchell, Swansea's serious mining operations began in the mid-1880s. By 1909, a post office was established and the town swelled to a population of 750.

What percent of Phoenix is black? ›

Race & Ethnicity

The largest Phoenix racial/ethnic groups are Hispanic (42.7%) followed by White (41.4%) and Black (6.9%).

Is it legal to race in Arizona? ›

Street racing is prohibited in Arizona under ARS 28-708. The charge of street racing on its own – even when an accident does not occur – can have severe legal consequences, including jail time, loss of license, classes, probation, and high fines.

Are there more Mexicans in Texas or Arizona? ›

Meanwhile, the highest proportions of Hispanic Americans were in Puerto Rico (98.9%), New Mexico (47.7%), California (39.4%), Texas (39.3%), and Arizona (30.7%). Throughout the country, there are 342 cities with a population over 100,000.

What parts of Phoenix are black? ›

Other traditionally black neighborhoods include Hermoso, South Vistas, Lindo Park and the Park South neighborhood.

What is the most culturally diverse city in Arizona? ›

Glendale. #1 Most Diverse Suburbs in Arizona.

What percent of Arizona is black? ›

Arizona Demographics

White: 73.77% Two or more races: 6.96% Other race: 6.86% Black or African American: 4.53%

Which city has the most Black millionaires? ›

According to a 2015 study by NerdWallet, the Atlanta area is home to about 2.1 million black owned businesses which is the highest in the nation.

What state has most blacks? ›

Texas has the largest Black state population.

What are the whitest states? ›

Geographic distribution
  • Vermont 95.6%
  • Maine 95.4%
  • West Virginia 94.4%
  • New Hampshire 93.7%
  • Wyoming 92.0%
  • Montana 90.9%
  • Idaho 90.2%
  • Iowa 89.8%

What are the 13 black towns? ›

Today, only thirteen historical All-Black towns still survive, but their legacy of economic and political freedom is well remembered. Towns still surviving today are Boley, Brooksville, Clearview, Grayson, Langston, Lima, Red Bird, Rentiesville, Summit, Taft, Tatums, Tullahassee, and Vernon.

Is there an all-black town? ›

Mound Bayou, in the Mississippi Delta: a town founded in 1887 by former slaves, with a vision that was revolutionary for its time. From the start, it was designed to be a self-reliant, autonomous, all-black community. For decades, Mound Bayou thrived and prospered, becoming famous for empowering its black citizens.

What was the first free black town? ›

Augustine, Florida. Mose (pronounced “Moh- say”) became the first legally sanctioned free Black town in the present-day United States, and it is a critically important site for Black American history. Mose provides important evidence that Black American colonial history was much more than slavery and oppression.

What is the biggest Black community? ›

Among metropolitan areas, the New York City metro area – which includes parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania – has the nation's largest single-race Black population, with roughly 3.0 million. Other top metropolitan areas include Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Philadelphia.

What is the whitest state in the country? ›

Whitest States 2023
  • West Virginia - 97.12%
  • Wyoming - 93.79%
  • Vermont - 92.8%
  • Maine - 92.69%
  • New Hampshire - 91.53%
  • Iowa - 90.36%
  • Kentucky - 87.77%
  • Oregon - 87.42%

Where is the best place to live for African-American? ›

1. Atlanta. You can't mention one of the best cities for Black people and not mention Atlanta, Even though the ratio “may ” be slightly lopsided with regards to the ratio of single women to men, it should still be high on your list as a favorite for Black singles.

Is Black history taught in Illinois schools? ›

Illinois students are required to learn Black history. But what's being taught varies. Illinois schools are required to teach a unit on Black history, according to a 1990 state law. But what's being taught, and when it's being taught, varies from school to school.

What do you learn in African American history class? ›

Learn about the political, economic, social, religious, and cultural factors that have influenced African American life, meet individuals who changed the course of history, and explore how the African American story still influences current events.

Who should I research for Black History Month? ›

7 Black History Heroes Every Student Should Know
  • Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Leader.
  • Serena Williams, Pro Athlete.
  • Malcolm X, Human Rights Activist.
  • Katherine Johnson, Mathematician.
  • Ruby Bridges, Civil Rights Activist.
  • Duke Ellington, American Composer.
  • Madam C.J. Walker, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist.
Feb 1, 2023

Should Black history be taught in schools? ›

All students benefit from learning Black history. By teaching students the complete story of America's history, they will have a deeper understanding of the society around them and be inspired to advocate for causes that align with their interests.

When was the first Black school? ›

The nation's first black public high school, Paul Laurence Dunbar High, opened its doors in Washington, D.C., in 1870.

How many Black schools are there? ›

There are currently 107 HBCUs serving more than 228,000 students throughout the country. HBCUs can be either public or private colleges.

What was the first Black public school in the US? ›

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

What is the study of African history called? ›

African historiography is a branch of historiography concerning the African continent, its peoples, nations and variety of written and non-written histories.

What is the black culture? ›

African-American culture, also known as Black American Culture or Black Culture, refers to the contributions of African Americans to the culture of the United States, either as part of or distinct from mainstream American culture.

Who started Black studies? ›

The first black-studies department was started at San Francisco State College in 1968. There, according to the common account, a rowdy and violent group of black students staged a protracted strike demanding a black-studies program.

What not to do for Black History Month? ›

Here are 10 mistakes companies often make when celebrating BHM and how they can go about fixing them:
  1. Throwing Something Together Last Minute. ...
  2. Assuming It's Just for the Black Employees. ...
  3. Not Elevating the Voices of Those From the Community. ...
  4. Celebrating Publicly, But Not Internally. ...
  5. Celebrating Internally, But Not Publicly.
May 5, 2022

What is the most important event in Black history? ›

Civil War and Emancipation, 1861.

Why was February chosen for Black history? ›

Woodson chose February for reasons of tradition and reform. It is commonly said that Woodson selected February to encompass the birthdays of two great Americans who played a prominent role in shaping black history, namely Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays are the 12th and the 14th, respectively.

Why is it important to learn black studies? ›

The value of pursuing African American studies is gaining knowledge and an understanding of the past and present situation of African-descended people in the United States.

Why do we need to study Black history for kids? ›

Through Black History we learn so much about ourselves and our abilities to overcome challenges – big and small. We learn to reason and wonder about things morally. We also learn from the mistakes people made in the past and learn the importance of treating others with compassion. We learn to be givers and helpers.


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