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African American Heritage Louisville

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Always a center of culture and a hub of transportation, Louisville is a multicultural city with deep cosmopolitan roots stretching back centuries. From the African American experience that predates the history of the United States to the arrival of Asian and Jewish communities in the early Twentieth Century, to the most recent immigration of Hispanic and Latino communities, Louisville’s unique character continues to be remade by each influx of new people.

The African American Community

Louisville has been a center of African American cultural life for generations. From the enslaved builders who constructed Locust Grove to the abolitionists who risked their lives ferrying escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad that ran through Louisville, African Americans have had an immeasurable impact on the birth and growth of Louisville.

Evidence of this history is collected in the many historical markers that dot the traditionally African-American communities of Louisville like Berrytown, Parkland, Russell, and Smoketown. Visitors will find Louisville’s soulful roots on display throughout the year at annual events like The Corn Island Storytelling Festival and the West Louisville Appreciation Celebration and Family Reunion.

Multicultural Experience Itinerary

Louisville enjoys a deep and rich African American heritage that includes prominent people, places and events. Feel the rhythm of our city as you stroll through the memories, achievements and contributions of an important culture within American history.

Covering all aspects of the African American story, Multicultural Louisville includes visits to Locust Grove, a historic home built by enslaved African Americans, a stop at the nearby National Underground Railroad Freedom Center that charts the history of heroism during the abolition movement, as well as a tour of Division Street School, one of earliest schools for African Americans that remains today. At the Muhammad Ali Center you’ll be inspired to find the “Greatness Within,” as you learn about the life of Louisville’s most famous native son, his importance in the world of sports, and his impact on American culture.