African American Museum of Iowa

55 12th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 - United States





The African American Museum of Iowa is a statewide museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and teaching Iowa’s African American history. As Iowa’s leading educational resource on the topic, we educate more than 30,000 people each year through museum tours, traveling exhibits, research services, youth and adult education programs, and community and fundraising events.


Endless Possibilities
Permanent Exhibit

Trace Iowa’s African American history from its origins in western Africa to the present—through slavery, the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement—at the African American Museum of Iowa’s permanent exhibit, Endless Possibilities.

Along the journey you’ll explore the diversity of Western Africa, the torturous journey aboard a slave ship, the quest for freedom, the struggle for equality, and the unique history of African American communities across Iowa.

Untangling the Roots
Opens September 7, 2019

Explore the cultural and historical roots of beauty ideals surrounding African American hair, from the historical effects of slavery and colonialism, to modern issues of cultural appropriation and backlash against natural hairstyles in the workplace. Visitors will have the opportunity to engage with Iowa's African American history through oral histories from local hairstylists, hands on interactives, and curated objects from beauty schools and salons across the state.


Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.