While Black history gets extra spotlight during the month of February, it is being studied year-round at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
The museum is located on the banks of the Ohio River, where many enslaved people took their first steps on free land. The museum looks at the contributions of freedom fighters and historical figures who fought for independence, such as Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and more.
According to the National Park Service, Many freedom seekers used natural waterways such as rivers and man-made channels to reach independence, which is why Cincinnati was the landing place for many freedom seekers in the South.
Although slavery was illegal in Ohio, conductors of the Underground Railroad faced strikes.
“I was a conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t – I never derailed my train and I never lost a passenger,” Tubman said in 1898.
The museum was opened in 2004 and has welcomed 1.3 million guests since then.
“Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the culture, the stories of victory and the legacy of Black culture in America,” Woodrow Kevan, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, said in a statement. “Of the lessons learned during February, first and foremost, it should be that Black history is not just 28 days, but should be included daily in our lifelong learning. Black history is not a subset of history. Black History is American history.”
The theme for this year’s Black History Month is Black Resistance.
Groups celebrating Black History Month are incorporating this year’s theme as part of their commemoration.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is hosting an event This week the focus is on Black Resistance.
The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday.