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Expansion at Derby Museum to Focus on Black Heritage

Expansion at Derby Museum to Focus on Black Heritage

Exhibit moving to prominent location with larger footprint, more artifacts, artwork on display

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 25, 2021) – Construction is underway on the first floor of Kentucky Derby Museum, where an expanded Black Heritage in Racing exhibit will open at the end of March.

The exhibit, a permanent display inside the Museum since 1993, documents the stories and contributions of Black horsemen in the sport of horse racing. With support from Churchill Downs and the James Graham Brown Foundation, the Black Heritage in Racing exhibit will move from the second floor to a larger and more prominent location on the first floor of the Museum.

The new exhibit space is just under 930 square feet, which is 20 times larger than the current exhibit space. This increased footprint will allow the Museum to display more of its collection of artifacts pertaining to Black History in the sport, add new components such as oral history interviews and artwork, and provide visitors the best experience possible. The exhibit walks guests through Black Heritage in horse racing history, from the early days when Black horsemen dominated the sport, to the Jim Crow era that led to the exclusion of Black jockeys, and to modern times.

Black Heritage in Racing Collection


The Black Heritage in Racing Collection at the Museum features several components, including the expanded exhibit, a new tour, and “Proud of My Calling,” a monthly, 60-minute live acting performance that brings the stories of Black horsemen to life. A Black Heritage in Racing traveling exhibit will be created to travel to museums, community centers, visitor centers and churches. Additionally, the Museum’s Education Team teaches thousands of students each year through two programs focusing on Black Heritage in Racing during field trips, in-school teaching and virtual learning.

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