Search St. Louis for Black Historical Sites
Explore these rich cultural sites to honor the people they represent. At each visit, scan the QR code to enter into a raffle and upload photos. The more sites you visit, the more raffle entries you'll have, and the better your chances to win. Grand prizes will be tickets to the Griot Museum or Blues Museum in St. Louis.
12188 Old Big Bend Rd. Kirkwood, MO 63122
The oldest African American cemetery west of the Mississippi, and one of five slave burial grounds in the state, established in 1866. African American soldiers from the Civil War are interred here with a monument to honor all the veterans.
Father Dickson Cemetery
845 S. Sappington Rd. Crestwood, MO 63126
Named for abolitionist Moses Dickson, it is the resting place of Black veterans, former slaves, and those who helped the Underground Railroad. Also buried here is James Milton Turner, an educator who helped form Lincoln University, the first degree-granting HBCU in the US.
New Coldwater Burying Ground Memorial Park
13711 Old Halls Ferry Rd. Black Jack 63033
Established in 1886, it was owned by African-Americans and reserved for African-Americans during that time. Some of the purchasers of the land were formerly enslaved. Not to be confused with the nearby Coldwater Creek Cemetery.
Scott Joplin House
2658 Delmar Blvd., U City, MO 63103
Musician and composer, Joplin, posthumously was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Best known for “The Entertainer” and “Maple Leaf Rag,” Joplin also wrote the opera Treemonisha, recently produced by Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Faust Park 15185 Olive Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63017
The oldest surviving schoolhouse for Black children in Missouri, this one-room school operated from 1894 all the way to 1950! Black residents had to sue the Chesterfield School District to have it built.
First Baptist Church
3100 Bell Ave St. Louis, MO 63106
One of First Baptist’s early ministers was John Berry Meachum, a former slave who bought his freedom and that of his family. Many of his congregation were slaves. Meachum opened the “Candle Tallow School” a secret operation to teach Blacks. First Baptist has served the community for over 200 years.
George Washington Carver Statue
4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110
George Washington Carver Garden (Park map image)
Carver was born a slave in Diamond Grove, MO. He was the first Black to attend the Iowa Agricultural College. In addition to teaching the world the versatility of the peanut, Carver developed the concept of crop rotation still used today and championed sustainable agriculture. A visionary scientist and humanitarian.
Frankie Freeman Statue
101 N. Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102 in Keiner Plaza
Frankie “Muse” Freeman graduated second in her class from Howard University Law School. She spearheaded an NAACP case against the St. Louis Housing Authority and won. In 1964 she was appointed the first female member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, and served as commissioner for sixteen years. Her biography “A Song of Faith and Hope” is available in the SLCL catalog.
Freedom Suits Memorial
East side Civil Courts Bldg. N Tucker Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63101
A bronze statue honors over 300 slaves who sued their owners for freedom. The memorial was designed by Preston Jackson. St. Louis Circuit Judge David Mason told PBS “the slave was…a freedom fighter from the start.”
Mary Meachum Freedom’s Crossing
St Louis Riverfront Trail, St. Louis, MO 63147
Mary Meachum was a staunch abolitionist who, along with her husband, educated freed slaves. Meachum was arrested in 1855 helping slaves escape to Illinois, a free state. Freedom’s Crossing is the only officially acknowledged part of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom west of the Mississippi.
Pillars of the Valley
2167 Market St, St. Louis, MO 63103
Created in memory of the predominantly Black neighborhood of Mill Creek Valley taken in the name of urban renewal in the 1950s. Successful businesses and thriving churches were torn down, and 20,000 residents were displaced. The sculptor/artist is Damon Davis, a native of East St. Louis.
4206 Kennerly Ave, St. Louis, MO 63113
The park is named in honor of Charlton Tandy, who was born to former slaves. He fought in the Civil War for the Missouri State Militia. After the war, he championed education for Blacks in public schools, supported immigrants from the Jim Crow south, and urged Blacks to vote and run for office.
Annie Malone House
2612 Annie Malone Dr, St. Louis, MO 63113
Cosmetics entrepreneur and founder of the Poro (Beauty) College, Annie Malone generously provided a permanent building for the St. Louis Colored Orphans Home in 1922. The building was renamed in her honor in 1946. It continues its mission as a children and family service center.
Old Stone Meeting House
2250 North Geyer Road, Frontenac, MO 63131
One of the first ministers of this building (aka Des Peres Presbyterian Church) was Elijah Parish Lovejoy. Lovejoy was an abolitionist and editor of the St. Louis Observer, a staunch anti-slavery newspaper. This building is believed to be a stop on the Underground Railroad.
10630 Country View Dr, Creve Coeur, MO 63141
Dr. H.P. Venable was a pioneering ophthalmologist who worked and taught at Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Venable was the first African American to join Washington University staff, and tirelessly fought for civil rights and better Black health care. He fought an eminent domain challenge for the land where the park stands. It was re-dedicated in his honor 2019.
Tina Turner’s Star St. Louis Walk of Fame
6300 Block of Delmar Blvd, 63130
The multi-talented Turner was a musician, actor, and author. Her stunning career spanned decades from her fractious marriage to Ike Turner to a major comeback with “Private Dancer” in 1984. Turner continually reinvented herself. See “I, Tina” or the documentary “Tina” released in 2021 for details on her inspiring talent and resilience.
Chuck Berry Statue
6539 Delmar Blvd, U City, MO 63130
The originator of rock & roll with his extraordinary guitar work and songwriting, Chuck Berry was also the first rock star, for his charismatic performances featuring the duck-walk and his pompadour. An international icon who changed the music world forever – two recent docs are in the SLCL collection “Chuck Berry Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” and “Chuck Berry the Original King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
Vashon High School
3035 Cass Ave, St. Louis, MO 63106
Named after George Vashon, the first African American graduate of Oberlin College and John Vashon, his son, who was an educator in St. Louis for more than three decades. Vashon was revered for both academics and athletics. When Mill Creek was demolished in the name of urban renewal, the original Vashon High School building became Harris Stowe Teacher’s College at 3026 Laclede, and is still part of the campus as the Henry Givens Admin. Building.
Sumner High School
4248 Cottage Ave, St. Louis, MO 63113
Due to segregation, Sumner was the only African American high school in St. Louis until 1927. It has produced many extraordinary individuals including tennis player Arthur Ashe, opera singer Grace Bumbry, politician Bill Clay, comedian Dick Gregory, broadcaster Julius Hunter, four-star general Roscoe Robinson Jr, basketball player Marshall Rogers, and Margaret Bush Wilson, the first Black woman to head the board of the NAACP.
Harriet and Dred Scott Statue
Arch Grounds 11 N 4th St, St. Louis, MO 63102
Dred Scott’s first lawsuit for his freedom was argued in St. Louis’ Old Courthouse. He won the initial trial, but due to appeals on both sides, litigation continued for eleven years. When Scott’s case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, he lost 7 to 2. The court’s decision caused a cataclysmic rift between citizens over slavery. Abraham Lincoln was elected president, and S. Carolina seceded from the Union precipitating the Civil War. Scott was granted his hard won freedom in 1857.