Philadelphia Cultural Sites

Philadelphia Cultural Sites

As one of the oldest and largest cities with African-American residents, Philadelphia Cultural Sites have accumulated over decades to present much of the best things to enjoy about Black Life — museums, libraries, monuments, murals, theatre, dance, recording studios and black colleges.

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African American Museum of Philadelphia

All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers & Sailors
DESCRIPTION: This notable 18-foot column of 12 life-size figures honors three centuries of African-American veterans. In 1994, it was moved from Fairmont Park to this prominent location in Center City.
DAYS & HOURS: 24/7 public access
ADDRESS: Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: limited street parking nearby
RAPID TRANSIT: 19th Street & Market SEPTA Station

Philadelphia International Records
DESCRIPTION: Though the relationship between Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff began in the 1960s, the record company began releasing albums in the 1970s. The musical legacy of this great institution, now called Gamble-Huff Music, prevails at this location — see The Sound Of Philadelphia.
ADMISSION: by appt only
DAYS & HOURS: no tours
ADDRESS: 309 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: Paid lots nearby
RAPID TRANSIT: Lombard-South SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-985-0900
WEBSITE: http://www.gamble-huffmusic.com

Philadelphia Walk of Fame
DESCRIPTION: Stroll the city’s walk of musical legends and see bronze plaques of native and immigrant Philadelphians who composed, sang or produced Jazz, Blues, R&B, Rock, Classical, Opera, Hip-Hop, Country, Big Band, and Gospel music. The honoree list currently includes: Marian Anderson, Pearl Bailey, Thom Bell, Boyz II Men, Solomon Burke, Chubby Checker, John Coltrane, The Delphonics, Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, Phyllis Hyman, Patti LaBelle, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergras, Bessie Smith, The Stylistics, McCoy Tyner, Grover Washington Jr, and Ethel Waters.
DAYS & HOURS: 24/7 public access
ADDRESS: South Broad Street between Walnut & Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: Paid lots nearby
RAPID TRANSIT: Walnut-Locust SEPTA Station
WEBSITE: http://www.philadelphiamusicalliance.com

Blue Horizon Boxing Club
DESCRIPTION: Founded by Veronica Michael, a black female boxing promoter, it is one of the great boxing clubs in the nation. Voted by Ring magazine to be the nation’s #1 boxing venue. Legendary prize-fighters, like Joe Frazier, have trained here before some of their biggest paydays. Call or check their calendar for boxing events. It also hosts wedding receptions, parties and cabarets.
ADMISSION: event dependent
DAYS & HOURS: event dependent
ADDRESS: 1312-16 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: Girard SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-763-0500
WEBSITE: http://www.legendarybluehorizon.com

Freedom Theatre
DESCRIPTION: Founded 1966 by John E Allen, Jr. and Robert E Leslie. Originally a three floor mansion, this distinguished venue has trained thousands of actors and presented several hundred plays, including the Lorraine Hansberry standard, A Raisin in the Sun.
ADMISSION: start at $25
DAYS & HOURS: shows typically start at 8p
ADDRESS: 1346 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: Girard SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-765-2793
WEBSITE: http://www.freedomtheatre.org

Kappa Alpha Psi International Headquarters
DESCRIPTION: Founded 1911 at Indiana University, the renown fraternity’s world headquarters has been located in this building since 1991.
ADMISSION: by appt
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 2322 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: Susquehanna-Dauphin SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-228-7184
WEBSITE: http://www.kappaalphapsi1911.com

Charles Blockson Afro-American Collection
DESCRIPTION: It contains over 40,000 African-American history documents and artifacts. The collection features books, slave narratives, photographs, sheet music and original recordings.
ADMISSION: free
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 1330 West Berks Street, Sullivan Hall at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: Cecil Moore SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-204-6632
WEBSITE: http://www.library.temple.edu

Philadanco
DESCRIPTION: Founded by Executive & Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown in 1970, this widely acclaimed dance troupe known for dramatic innovation and thrilling dancer training; this professional troupe travels internationally and nation about 40 dates in the year, so check their calendar; they perform locally at the Kimmel Performing Arts Center.
ADMISSION: varies by performance
DAYS & HOURS: 8p at Kimmel Arts Center
ADDRESS: 9 North Preston Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: 40th Street SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-387-8200
WEBSITE: http://www.philadanco.org

Bushfire Theater of Performing Arts
DESCRIPTION: This beloved theater produces local and national plays. Youth and adult acting classes are available. Notice the Walk Of Fame in front, which has plaque tributes to Black actors from stage, cinema and TV such as Dorothy Dandridge, Paul Robeson, Ira Aldridge and John Amos.
ADMISSION: varies by play or workshop
DAYS & HOURS: varies by play or workshop
ADDRESS: 52nd and Locust Streets, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: 52nd Street SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-747-9230
WEBSITE: http://www.bushfiretheatre.org

Balch Institution for Ethnic Studies
DESCRIPTION: A multicultural library, archives, museum, and education center with an extensive collection of manuscripts, documents and artifacts relating to African-American history.
ADMISSION: small fee and Free on Saturdays 10a-Noon
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 10a-4p
ADDRESS: 18 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: 8th and Market Street SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-925-8090
WEBSITE: http://www.balchinstitute.org

Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
DESCRIPTION: Having over 2,100 murals, Philadelphia is the undisputed mural capital of America; the city is filled with portraits of national and community heroes, including Grover Washington and 4 African American Heavyweight Boxing champions. To schedule a 2-hour tour, visit Thomas Eakins House.
ADMISSION: small fee
DAYS & HOURS: Saturday-Sunday Apr-Nov 12:30p, Wednesday May-Nov 10a
ADDRESS: 1729 Mount Vernon Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: Spring Garden SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-685-0750
WEBSITE: http://www.muralarts.org

Rennie Harris – Puremovement
DESCRIPTION: This hip-hop dance company was founded in 1992 by Rennie Harris. This acclaimed dance troupe tours nationally and internationally as they present popping, locking, stepping, break, house and other electrifying dance styles that represent the essence of hip-hop.
ADMISSION: event dependent
DAYS & HOURS: event dependent
ADDRESS: 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: garages nearby
RAPID TRANSIT: 15th Street SEPTA Station and Suburban SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-382-8191
WEBSITE: http://www.rhpm.org

Philadelphia Tribune
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1884 by Christopher Perry who remained publisher until 1921. The oldest continuously published African American newspaper in America. The 1st edition was hand-printed at 725 Sansom Street. The Tribune is still the primary voice of African American interests in Philadelphia and has won many awards over the years from the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
ADDRESS: 520-26 South 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PHONE: 215-893-4611
WEBSITE: http://www.phila-tribune.com

Lincoln University
DESCRIPTION: One of the oldest HBCUs, it was founded in 1854 and first called Ashmun Institute. It is located 45 miles southwest of Philadelphia, distinguished alumni include Thurgood Marshall, Kwame Nkrumah, Roscoe Lee Brown and Langston Hughes. The University admitted women students in 1952, and formally associated with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1972 as a state-related university. During its first 100 years, Lincoln graduated 20% of the Black physicians and more than 10% of the Black attorneys in the United States. Its alumni have headed over 35 colleges and universities and scores of prominent churchesenrolls approximately 2,000 students.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri call to schedule at visit
ADDRESS: 1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln, PA MAP
PARKING: on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: N.A.
PHONE: 484-365-8000
WEBSITE: http://www.lincoln.edu

Cheyney University
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1837, it is the oldest historically Black college and located 24 miles outside Philadelphia; At its founding, the university was named the African Institute. However, the name was changed several weeks later to the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY); in subsequent years, the university was renamed Cheyney Training School for Teachers (1914), Cheyney State Teacher’s College (1951), Cheyney State College (1959), and now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (1983); today the school has ~1,319 undergraduate and 117 graduate students.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri tours by schedule available at 10a and 1p
ADDRESS: Cheyney Road at Creek Road, Cheyney, PA MAP
PARKING: on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: N.A.
PHONE: 610-399-2275
WEBSITE: http://www.cheyney.edu

Radio Stations

  90.1 FM  Temple University – Jazz
  98.9 FM  WUSL – R&B, Hip Hop, DJ talk shows
103.9 FM  WPHI – Hip Hop, R&B
105.3 FM  WDAS – Tom Joyner, Old & New School R&B, Hip Hop
106.1 FM  WJJZ – Jazz

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