Since 1976, each presidential administration has designated February as a month marked to remember and learn about the innovation, contributions and history of African Americans. Sure we can log on and read, but do the lessons stay with us? How about bringing history to life for this year’s observance? Think about getting a mini-coach, gathering a group of 10 to 30 and seeing history. For larger groups up to 56 passengers, opt for a full-size deluxe motor coach.
Offer your group an excursion to the nation’s capital. While in D.C., your group can take in the National Archives and see our country’s foundational documents of the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, along with the 14th Amendment that granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves just been freed after the Civil War. The National Archives also houses Executive Order (EO) 9981 that ended segregation in the military. Your group can also visit the relatively new Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in honor of the slain civil rights leader; the home of Fredrick Douglas, the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, as well as walk in the steps of Duke Ellington.
In Atlanta, a day can be filled visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site; Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King gave his first sermon; Hammonds House Museum for African American fine art; and the Sweet Auburn Historic District, a rich historical neighborhood that was home to Alonzo Herndon’s Atlanta Mutual, the city’s first black-owned insurance company, as well as other black-owned business, newspapers, nightclubs and churches, including the Bethel AME and First Congregational.
The Big Apple is home to one of the largest landmarks in black culture—the Apollo Theater. Name the artist and chances are their roots can be traced back to the Apollo. Ella Fitzgerald was discovered on amateur night. Duke Ellington and Count Basie were regular headliners in the swing era, and Moms Mabry, Red Foxx and Richard Pryor launched new brands of comedy from the same stage. Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, The Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Lauryn Hill and Ne-Yo to name a few all got their start at the Apollo. If you go a few blocks north from the theater, you’ll find the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the leading center for the preservation of Black history. Leave Harlem and head over to Queens to learn about one of America’s purest art form, jazz, at the Louis Armstrong House Museum.