Black history in the Cincy Region

Following Black History month in the U.S. in February, we explore the ways in which the Cincy Region is honouring Black culture and history

The Cincy Region played a considerable part in the abolition of slavery across the U.S., with the Ohio River acting as a demarcation point between southern slave states and the ‘free states’ in the north. Visitors can learn more about the historic significance of the region through poignant exhibits, educational tours and inspirational storytelling.

cincy rail

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Described as ‘a beacon of light for inclusive freedom around the globe’ this museum recounts the history of the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses for fugitive slaves established across the U.S. and teaches the importance of inclusion, social justice and diversity. Permanent and special exhibits include ‘From Slavery to Freedom’ and ‘Invisible: Slavery Today’.

cincy walk

Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame

The sound of jazz, funk and soul is synonymous with the Cincy Region thanks in part to historic King Records, which helped launch the career of icons like James Brown. Retrace the steps of music greats on the free Black Music Walk of Fame along the riverfront and relive the Cincy sound through interactive and augmented reality experiences. New stars are added each year.

‘Moving Chains’

Imagine the sound of colossal chains churning directly above you. That’s what will happen in Charles Gaines’s ‘Moving Chains’, a 110-foot kinetic sculpture that explores the enduring implications of the northern states’ dual role in maintaining and abolishing slavery. This summer, the work — which contains nine custom-made chains, each weighing over 1,600 pounds  — will travel from New York City to Cincinnati along the Ohio River for the final chapter of the multi-site public art commission.

cincy tour

Covington Black History Tour

This self-guided walking tour around Covington, Kentucky, highlights African American history and accomplishments. Points of interest include the Carneal House, complete with stone tunnel, said to have been used to aid escaped slaves on their way to freedom in Ohio. Visitors will also pass poignant murals and the James Bradley Statue, a former slave who successfully campaigned for a formal “race-blind” college admissions policy.

*main image courtesy of DRAWN TO THE IMAGE