Richard Allen Cultural Center

Richard Allen Cultural Center

The Richard Allen Cultural Center opened in 1992 to highlight African-American history in Leavenworth, Kansas.

In 1992, the museum opened in the former home of U.S. Army Captain William Bly, a Buffalo Soldier during World War I. The home is decorated to look as it would have in the early 1900s.

In 2002, an addition was built to the front of the original home to display more items teaching about African-American history in Kansas. One display includes prints of original photographic plate negatives donated to the museum, called the Black Dignity Photos from the Mary Everhard collection.

The photographs are African-American pioneers who lived in and around the Leavenworth area from 1870s to 1920s. Other items include military artifacts from African-American soldiers who served on Fort Leavenworth, including Colin Powell.

The Richard Allen Cultural Center also contains a Ku Klux Klan costume and photographs depicting KKK activities in Leavenworth. One artifact is a news article discussing the public lynching of an African-American citizen of Leavenworth, Fred Alexander.

In 2016 a bronze bust of Cathay Williams, featuring information about her and with a small rose garden around it, was unveiled outside the Richard Allen Cultural Center.

Cathay Williams was an African-American soldier who enlisted in the United States Army under the pseudonym William Cathay. She was the first Black woman to enlist, and the only documented to serve in the United States Army posing as a man.

The Richard Allen Cultural Center seeks to preserve these pieces of Leavenworth, Kansas history so that they are not forgotten.