The museum, a dream of Mr. James Josey, is open only by appointment. The portraits of many outstanding African Americans from the city have been painted by E. Herron on the walls of the building.
Galveston has rich ties in African-American history as the birthplace of the Juneteenth holiday and as the site of many firsts in Texas for the African-American community.
While many people think slavery ended on September 22, 1862 – the date Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation – many slaves weren’t freed until much later when news of the proclamation reached their towns.
The last of those slaves lived in the South and were freed on June 19, 1865 after the Emancipation Proclamation was read on a harbor pier in Galveston.
The celebration that took place that day in Galveston eventually became known as the “Juneteenth” holiday and is now celebrated in more than 40 states.