About Us

About Us

General Museum Information:

Mission

The Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum located on the corners of North 27 and West Center Streets opened its door and its heart to the community, city, and state in 1987. Based on the premise that a people who know their history will grow to love and appreciate themselves more, the Society is striving to create a bright future out of a heart-breaking past.

The mission of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum is to document and preserve the historical heritage of African descent in Wisconsin. The Museum exhibits, collects and disseminates materials depicting this heritage. Serving as a resource center for all people interested in Wisconsin’s rich African American heritage, the Museum’s purpose is to encourage and promote family community and cultural activities.

The Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum (WBHS/M) is the only institution dedicated in the State dedicated to the business of preserving Wisconsin’s African American History. The Society is also an affiliated member of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin

History

Our Founding Director, Clayborn Benson III produced the documentary called Black Communities. The three-part documentary (USA, Wisconsin and Milwaukee) was the inspiration for establishing the Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum in 1987. In 1988, the Museum became an affiliated member of The State Historical Society. The building, constructed in 1898, was the Engine No. 2 Fire Station. It was converted into the Center Street Library in 1928.

Tour Information

Wisconsin Black Historical Society/ Museum
2620 West Center Street, Milwaukee, WI 53206
Phone: 414-372-7677
Contact us by email: tours@wbhsm.org

HOURS OF OPERATION:
Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Morning scheduled tours are available beginning at 9:00 a.m.
The Museum is closed the following holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Walk-ins are acceptable, but please call ahead because we have a small staff.

ADMISSION:
Members – Free
Children 12 and Under – $5.00
General Admission – $5.00
Senior Citizens – $5.00
College Students – $5.00

GROUP TOUR INFORMATION:
To schedule a group tour, visitors should call the museum at least 2-3 weeks in advance
414-372-7677 fax us a tour request form to 414-372-4888.

Visitor Information

2620 West Center Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53206
Phone: 414-372-7677
FAX: 414-372-4888

Group Tours: Tours are designed for schools and organizations are available for groups. Attendees will be guided through the museum to review existing exhibits and artifacts related to Wisconsin’s African American History. The tour also includes questions to get the audience thinking about what it was like to live in Wisconsin during that time.

Hall Rental: The Wisconsin Black Historical Society/ Museum is the perfect setting for weddings, class reunions, family reunions, anniversaries, meetings and any other special occasion or event. All events can also include a guided tour upon request.

Research Inquiries: If you need assistance in completing a research project related to Wisconsin’s African American History please feel free to contact our office at 414-372-7677 for assistance.

Artifact Donation: The Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum welcomes the donations of individuals and corporations to help fulfill the mission of preserving the history of Blacks in Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin. The scope of the current collection of the museum includes materials related to the following:

Working in Wisconsin, Economic base of the city, Businesses, Manufacturing, Labor, Transportation, Development, Living in Wisconsin, Family life, Community, Neighborhoods, Religious life, Sports, Crime, Recreation, Education, Individuals and their contributions, Art, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Government in Metropolitan Milwaukee, Politics, Citizen Action Movement, Urban Planning and Education.