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Celebrate Black History Month by Visiting These Ohio Museums

Published: February 13, 2023

Ohio is home to some of the best historical museums in the country, and with February recognized as Black History Month, now is an excellent opportunity to visit them. Whether you’re going to learn from them, to experience them, or as an alternative form of entertainment to gambling, making a trip to one of Ohio’s museums is a great way to gain useful knowledge about the history of our state and explore the rich role African Americans have played in it.

There is a museum close to you wherever you live in the state, even if you live far from a major city. In addition to the many excellent large museums featured below, a wide variety of local historical societies are spread all across Ohio’s 88 counties, and many of them hold Black History Month events that you and your family can enjoy together. 

As you take time out during this month to contemplate, honor, and celebrate the role African Americans have had in shaping our country and our state, try making a trip to one of these museums:

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Located in Cincinnati, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center houses exhibits that illuminate Ohio’s role in the history of the Underground Railroad. Ohio was home to many stops on the Railroad that ushered slaves to freedom. The museum’s permanent collection includes videos and other experiential exhibits that immerse guests in the experience of the Railroad and highlight stories of hardship and perseverance on the journey North. 

The Ohio History Center

The Ohio History Center, located in Columbus, is the headquarters of the Ohio History Connection, the nonprofit historical preservation and archeological society serving the entire state. In its museum, visitors will find exhibits that are suitable for all ages, including interactive experiences that allow both children and adults to experience life in the past. For Black History Month, a special Tea Room exhibit and film screening will be offered at the History Center itself, in addition to events at the History Connection’s other historical sites. 

Western Reserve Historical Society Cleveland History Center

Named after the historical area that now includes Cleveland, where the museum is located, the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Cleveland History Center offers exhibits that explore the history of Northeast Ohio, including the fully rideable Euclid Beach Carousel and an exhibit about Carl Stokes, the first African-American mayor of a major American city. For Black History Month, the museum will be featuring a happy hour in the museum, where visitors can sip drinks while they explore the collection of Allen E. Cole, the famous photographer of Cleveland’s African-American community. 

In addition to celebrating Ohio’s African American history, it is also important to raise awareness about the impact of problem gambling on the state’s African American community during Black History Month. African Americans are one of the fastest-growing demographics who are at increased risk for problem gambling. That’s why Before You Bet offers resources like the African American toolkit, which contains materials and a video to raise awareness about problem gambling in the African American community.

And if you are concerned about your own gambling or betting patterns, or those of a loved one, do not hesitate to call Ohio’s Problem Gambling Helpline. You can call 24/7 and speak with trained and understanding specialists offering free and confidential support. Call 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741. 

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