Griot Museum of Black History
The museum, housed in a handsome brick building, opened in 1997 as The Black World History Wax Museum, and twelve years later, changed the name to more accurately reflect its mission: to collect, preserve, and share the stories, culture, and history of African Americans—particularly those with a regional connection to American history. Griot (pronounced “GREE-OH”) refers to the respected member of the community in some African countries who collects, preserves and shares the community's stories, objects, and cultural traditions. To that end, the museum illuminates the stories of notable African Americans through life-size wax figures, art, artifacts and memorabilia, including Carter G. Woodson, Josephine Baker (shown here), Dred and Harriet Scott, Elizabeth Keckley, William Wells Brown, James Milton Turner, Clark Terry, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Earl. E. Nance Sr., Miles Davis, Madame C.J. Walker, York, Percy Green, Macler Shepard, Chief Sherman George, and others. The history of blacks in America began, of course, with the monumental injustice of slavery, and the museum's interpretive program includes an authentic slave cabin from Jonesburg, Missouri. Visitors can solve puzzles, view documentary videos, and “board” a scale model section of a ship that replicates those used to transport Africans to America during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, as well as see traveling exhibits. The museum's gift shop offers Afrocentric clothing, jewelry, figurines, sculptures, books, videos, and greeting cards. Open W-Sa 10 am-5 pm. Admission $7.50 adults, $3.75 children 5-12. www.thegriotmuseum.com, 2505 St. Louis Ave., 314.241.7057.