The Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum features exhibits which tell authentic stories about African American life in Central Illinois past and present.

Special events and private guided tours can be made outside of general admission times.
Please call the office to schedule your event,
(217) 391-6323, Toll Free (877) 757-2247.

On-going Exhibits


  • Arts for the Ages
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., A Commemoration
  • The Juneteenth Timeline
  • The Middle Passage, an Interactive Slave Ship Experience
  • “Something So Horrible,” Springfield 1908 Race Riot
  • Negro Leagues Baseball in Central Illinois
  • Illinois African American Pioneer Families
  • Illinois Freedom Project
  • “Follow the Recipe,” African American Cooking from Slavery to Today
  • Oak Ridge Cemetery, The Colored Section

Arts for the Ages

Screenshot 2023-02-15 at 1.48.33 PM

An Art Exhibit of Springfield Public Schools District 186 Students

Location: Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum

Dates: February 18, 2023 through March 31, 2023

Martin Luther King Jr.,  A Commemoration

Nobel Foundation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Nobel Foundation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum is proud to present, 'Martin Luther King Jr.: A Commemoration'

The second reinstall of this exhibit has been done to celebrate the life and legacy of our Dr. King. You will be sure to find illuminating details about his childhood and assistance in the fight for racial and social equity.

It can be viewed at the AAHM from now until April 15, 2023.


This timeline commemorates pivotal moments in American and Springfield history and displays how freedom and justice have been delayed and denied for its Black residents. Although significant strides have been made towards the assurance that all Americans can exercise their basic human rights, this timeline shows that there is still work to do.

Lincoln Leadership Prize Reciepients

You are cordially invited to visit our newest exhibit at the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum which features three recipients of the Lincoln Leadership Prize:  Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Little Rock Nine and Neil deGrasse Tyson.  The Prize honors those individuals who, through their beliefs, actions, and deeds, exemplify the spirit of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.  Come visit our exhibit and be inspired by these extraordinary individuals.  Thank you.

The Illinois Freedom Project

Illinois Freedom Project

The Illinois Freedom Project exhibition is an outgrowth of an educational program that engages young people with African American history in Illinois. The exhibition traces Black Illinoisans’ struggles for freedom from the French Colonial era to early-20th-century Chicago. The Illinois Freedom Project provides a glimpse into the struggles and victories of African Americans in Illinois.

Follow the Recipe Exhibit by Kathryn Harris

Introducing, Follow the Recipe, a new exhibit at the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum. Curated (from her private collection) by local historian, former librarian and AAHM Board Member, Kathryn Harris, this exhibit pays homage to the variety and richness of African American cuisine with a look through an array of "Soulfood" cookbooks on display. Museum open W-Sat Noon to 4 p.m.

Early African American Pioneers of Central Illinois

“Something So Horrible” - Springfield, Illinois 1908 Race Riots


The Middle Passage

Featuring "The Door of No Return" - A special interactive audio-visual experience exhibit, designed ed by Jim Betts, an instructor at LLCC and retired Scenic Department Head at Paramount Studios. Figures designs by Alice Boykin. Narratives on the History of Slavery and the Middle Passage, and an artistic presentation of Mother Africa by Korbin "Kas" King. 

Exhibit sponsored by the Rotary Club of Springfield South, the Springfield Area Arts Council, ALPLM, and LLCC.