Embracing our storied past. Welcoming our future with open arms.

African-American cultural heritage is integral to the framework of Mobile's past, present and future. Propelled by over 300 years of stories, culture and traditions, our city is honored to share every single one with you.

  • Africatown Heritage House In Mobile, AL

    Clotilda: The Exhibition at Africatown Heritage House

    One of our most poignant stories is that of the Clotilda. In 1860, 52 years after the international slave trade had been outlawed, the secretly outfitted schooner Clotilda was used to smuggle 110 enslaved Africans into the United States, landing along the banks of the Mobile River. In an attempt to conceal the crime, the schooner was burned and scuttled.  The Clotilda is the last known slave ship in the United States. In 2019 the schooner was discovered in the waterways just north of downtown Mobile.  On July 8, the History Museum of Mobile will open the long-awaited exhibit Clotilda: The Exhibition in the newly constructed Africatown Heritage House. The exhibit contains artifacts from the schooner and tell the story of the extraordinary people who survived enslavement and founded a town of free people called Africatown.   

    Capacity is very limited and timed entry tickets are required. To make sure you’re able to experience Clotilda: The Exhibition on your preferred day, please purchase tickets online in advance of your visit. Click here to purchase tickets!


    Tuesday – Saturday: 10 AM to 5 PM
    Sunday – Monday: CLOSED

  • Festival

    Mobile's cultural heritage is always proudly on display. To join the festivities, visit our African American Heritage Festivals page. Stay tuned for more details! 

  • Historic Avenue Cultural Center

    Historic Avenue Cultural Center

    Since its opening on October 4, 2023, the Historical Avenue Cultural Center has played a vital role in enriching the city's cultural landscape. Originally established as the Davis Avenue branch of the Mobile Public Library in 1931, the building served as an educational hub for Mobile's Black community during the segregation era. Once Mobile became integrated, the library closed and facilitated historical documents and images. In 1992, the building was renamed the National African American Archives. Once again, the building underwent a renovation in 2018, courtesy of the Mobile County Commission's exhibits. Officially reopening on October 4, 2023, as the Historical Avenue Cultural Center, it currently hosts the captivating "REMEMBERING THE AVENUE" exhibit, created by the Alabama Contemporary Art Center. The exhibit is open to visitors until December 2024.   


    Tuesday – Saturday: 10 AM to 5 PM
    Sunday – Monday: CLOSED

  • Van for the Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Tour in Mobile, AL

    Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail

    “You can’t know where you are going unless you know where you’ve been.”  This is how the late Dora Franklin Finley began all her stories.  The architect of the Dora Franklin Finley African American Heritage Trail wanted to share all the contributions that African Americans made to Mobile with the world.  Her vision lives on today with a heritage trail that encompasses 40 points of interest, each celebrated with a historical marker.  When you tour the DFFAAHT, you will be introduced to Africatown, Stone Street Baptist Church established in 1807 and regarded as the mother church of all African American Baptist churches in Alabama, and the home of Betty Hunter who established a successful hack service in 1876.  You will be introduced to historical figures like Wallace Turnage, the inspiration for the book “A Slave No More.”  You will learn about Mobile’s great baseball legends including Leroy Robert “Satchal” Paige and “Hammering” Hank Aaron.  You will see the great historic churches and schools that played such important roles in the fabric of the African American communities.

    To learn more about the African American experience in Mobile, there are a variety of tours that you can take from the storytellers of Africatown.  Walking tours, driving tours, boat tours and step-on guides are available.  Our heritage tours give you the opportunity to meet our storytellers and experience the many contributions African Americans have made to Mobile’s story. 

  • Excelsior Band Creole Firehouse In Mobile, AL

    Creole Firehouse

    There is no story richer in Mobile’s history than that of Creole Fire Station #1.  Founded in 1819 by Mobile’s Creole community, it is Alabama’s first volunteer fire department.  Located on the west side of downtown Mobile, the volunteer firemen, all free men of color, had a reputation for having the fastest response time of all the fire companies in the city.  Creole Fire Station’s volunteer firemen used rejected racehorses to pull their horse-drawn equipment and would literally race to fires. They were always the first to arrive and were known for their bravery in fighting fires.  In 1869 renowned architect James H. Hutchisson designed the building that housed Creole Fire Station #1.  The newly constructed fire station served as the cultural and business center for Creole Society, hosting over 200 wedding receptions and serving as home to the Excelsior Band.  In 1888 the City of Mobile Fire Department absorbed Creole Fire Station #1.  In 1926 the fire station closed it’s doors and in 1970 the volunteer fire company disbanded.  The legacy of Creole Fire Station #1 still lives on in Mobile.  If you look at the list of firefighters, you will see many of Mobile’s original Creole family names listed among the firefighters today.  Creole Fire Station #1 has been lovingly restored and is now a private residence.  It is a stop on the DFFAAHT.


  • The Excelsior Band Of Mobile, AL

    Our Hometown Sound

    One of the best stories in Mobile is the story of the beloved Excelsior Band.  This African American brass band is believed to be the oldest marching jazz band in the United States.  The band was founded on November 23, 1883, by John Alexander Pope, fire chief of the Creole Fire Station #1, to celebrate the birth of his son.  The band marched in their first Mardi Gras parade in 1884 and still leads Mobile’s parades each and every year.  The Excelsior Band has been awarded the Alabama Folk Heritage Award by the Alabama State Council of the Arts, inducted into the Gulf Coast Ethnic Heritage Jazz Festival Hall of Fame, lead the Alabama Bicentennial Parade in 2019, and was recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as a National Heritage Fellow in 2022.  It only takes listening to that iconic four-note blast from the trumpet player to know that the Excelsior Band is in the house!  Da-da-daaaa-da!  

  • As you move through the streets of our city, don’t miss the stories that surround you.  In Mardi Gras Park stop and view the original footings of Fort Conde, constructed in 1711 by African American and Native American enslaved people and five free men of color who worked as brick masons during construction.  In Cooper Riverside Park pause for a moment to read the prestigious UNESCO marker placed on the banks of the Mobile River. This is a site of memory for the Slave Route: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage trail honoring the memory of the ancestors.  For a more current history lesson, check out Unity Park, dedicated to former mayor Joseph Langan and civil rights leader John LeFlore, champions of desegregation in Mobile.  And the newest point-of-pride for our city is the mural located at Government and Bayou Streets.  The mural honors the legacy of the Figures family, leaders in justice and equality.