Chattanooga African American Heritage Museum & Bessie Smith Cultural Center

The Chattanooga African American Heritage Museum has a long history of service and commitment to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

More than twenty-five years ago, a group of visionary leaders held the first meeting of the African American Heritage Council at the Central City Complex.

The first museum was located at 1001 MLK Boulevard and the ResearchCenter was located at 730 East MLK Boulevard where several folks worked with Roy Noel collecting items for documentation and preservation.

Presently the museum is at it's new 200 East MLK Boulevard. This gave it the welcome elbow room so that the vision museum founders can be brought into reality.

One of the stated goals of this Chattanooga museum was to showcase the many contributions of African Americans to the development of Chattanooga, TN. It also strives to promote a general growth in education for the African American community.

The formation of the museum, like other similar museums in the country, were attempts to compensate for the failure of America's educational system to provide for the adequate inclusion of the role African Americans played in American culture and history.


Read more


Latitude: 35.0446 Longitude: -85.306449 Elevation: 686 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Dr. Everlena Holmes

Seasons Open

Open Year Round

Hours Open

Monday through Friday: 10am to 5pmEST; Saturday: Noon to 4pmEST; Sunday Closed


Bessie Smith Cultual Center Fees: Adults: $7, Senior Citizens and Students $5, Children (6-12 Yrs. Old) $3, Members & Children 5 & under free

ADA Accessibility Notes

The Chattanooga African American Museum & Bessie Smith Cultural Center is fully accessible. If you have special needs, call (423) 266-8658 prior to your visit.

Leave a Comment