Founded in 1974, and updated with a new building in 2012, the Black Archives of Mid-America showcases public materials that document the social, economic, political and cultural histories of African Americans in the central United States, in particular Kansas City.
In addition to being open for public browsing, the archives support researchers who need access to the facilities for various projects and also provide educational programming to interested parties - all in collaboration for more public awareness of the space and the people whose lives are documented within its walls.
See what it's like to work at the Black Archives in the video below!
Unlike many archives and museums that focus on prominent people and events, the Black Archives of Mid-America shines a spotlight on everyday people, businesses, and institutions in Kansas City. Here you can get a glimpse into the daily lives of African Americans throughout Kansas City's history. Locals also have the opportunity to delve deeper into their own personal histories, whether that's through older family and friends, or just getting to know a bit more about the place they call home.
This video explains more about what the archives have to offer.
Hours are somewhat limited during the week, so it's recommended to contact the archives ahead of time, especially if you're with a group of people. In addition to the public collection, there are many things to do or see here! The permanent exhibition at the archives, "With My Eyes No Longer Blind," tells the story of African-Americans in Kansas City from the early 1800s to the post-civil rights era. There are also monthly workshops focusing on well-being, and free public courses offered by licensed judges and attorneys. For an interesting and informational experience, a visit to the Black Archives of Mid-America is a must-do.
Cover image is property of the Black Archives of Mid-America and is in the public domain.