African American History & Literature Gallery | Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council

African American History & Literature Gallery

P.O. Box 541
Benton Harbor, MI


Tel: 805-501-3673

African American History & Literature Gallery
725 Broadway
Benton Harbor, MI. 49022

The African American History and Literature Gallery, founded in 2018 by Sharon and Emanuel Brown, is celebrating its fifth year as a valued presence in the Benton Harbor community.

The mission of the African American History and Literature Gallery is to engage communities in fostering unity in differences and developing an appreciation for the African American experience through the arts, history, and culture. The gallery strives to be an integral asset to the region's cultural backdrop by making a meaningful impact on visitors' lives by understanding how local history is essential to America's history.

Through a strong community commitment and an unwavering willingness to help shape the lives of the young and those not so young, the gallery serves the communities of diverse families and individuals in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, as well as the surrounding areas, through its active engagement with local public and private schools, church organizations, clubs, class reunions, businesses, and other member organizations.

Its collections include books, magazines, memorabilia, painting, prints, and other culturally relevant artifacts. Programs include opportunities for teachers and the community to study and conduct research, for families to participate in fun learning activities, and for adults to participate in fireside chats. The gallery also runs tours for school groups, youth programs, faith-based community organizations, and tourist groups from outside the area.

Educators utilizing the gallery as a resource have noted measurable growth, understanding, and retention among students who consistently participated in the gallery's history instruction programs. In the aftermath of social injustice, citizens have often used the gallery as a safe and invaluable space to engage in sensitive dialogue, addressing concerns on issues of racial disparities.

The Browns said that they are “thankful for other regional cultural entities that have influenced and defined the gallery's effectiveness in becoming a community institution and a viable self-development tool focused on bringing enlightenment, awareness, and a spirit of healing to all willing and open to share in the journey.”

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