Where Culture and ​Comm​unity Thrive


From left, Greg Wagner, Huntington’s director of cultural affairs; Barry Lites, Huntington African American Museum board chairman; Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth; Irene Moore, museum board vice chairwoman, and Beverly Gorham, museum secretary, at the proposed site of the Huntington African American Museum on Dec. 19. Credit: Barry Sloan

Who Are We

We are a passionate community committed ​to creating an African American museum ​that embodies the spirit of unity, education, ​and celebration. Our endeavor is rooted in ​a shared vision to honor the profound ​history, cultural richness, and diverse ​contributions of African Americans.

As a collective, we believe in the power of ​storytelling to preserve heritage and ignite ​understanding. Our dedicated team ​comprises historians, educators, artists, ​community leaders, and advocates who are ​driven by a common goal: to curate a ​museum that serves as a vibrant tapestry of ​the African American experience.

What We Do

Dedicated to preserving and honoring the stories that define us, we strive to ​create an immersive experience that educates, enlightens, and inspires. ​Through engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs, ​we aim to foster understanding, appreciation, and unity within our diverse ​community.

The Mission of the Huntington African American Museum is to provide a forum for those interested in African-American History and culture to explore and celebrate the contributions of African Americans’ lifestyle, culture, art and traditions through education, exhibits and programs with an emphasis on Huntington’s African American History.

The museum will highlight a collection of African American artifacts, documents, photographs, and other archival collections that will educate visitors of all ages about Huntington’s African American history and culture.

“Legacy is not what’s left tomorrow when you’re gone. It’s what you give, create, impact and contribute today while you’re here that then happens to live on.”

Rasheed Ogunlaru

Request for Proposal:


Please find the RFP for the ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS planned for the Huntington African American Museum. Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

Board of Directors

Barry D. Lites, Esq

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Irene Moore

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Beverly Gorham

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Melisa Rousseau

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Kevin Thorbourne

Glenda Jackson

Rev. Larry Jennings

Veronique Bailey

Huntington’s Outstanding Individuals

Peter Crippen


Pioneer of the African American community in Huntington, Peter Crippen made his way to Huntington from Virginia and purchased a grist mill, the oldest industrial building in North America, and made it his home. The home remained in his family for over 100 years through 2019. Mr. Crippen was a founding member of Bethel AME Church, the first African American church in Huntington.


Jupiter Hammon


A lifelong enslaved person and an American writer, Jupiter Hammon is acknowledged as “the father of African American poetry.” His poems were first published in 1761, the first African American published poet in North America. Beyond his groundbreaking poetry, he also authored prose, served as a preacher, and worked as a commercial clerk for the Lloyd family on what is now known as Lloyd Neck, New York.


Booker Washington


An American educator, author, and orator, served as the predominant leader in the African American community and contemporary Black elite from 1890 to 1915. For many years, Huntington was Mr. Washington’s summer home.


Alice Coltrane


Alice Coltrane stands as one of this country’s leading women in jazz. A skilled pianist and one of the rare jazz harpists in history, Alice Coltrane lived in Huntington with her husband, John, as an accomplished American musician, composer, bandleader, and Hindu spiritual leader.


John William Coltrane


A lifelong Huntington resident and iconic American jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer, he stands as a pivotal and highly praised figure in the realms of jazz and 20th-century music.


Samuel Ballton

1838 -1917

An enslaved person-turned Union Army veteran, Samuel Ballton traveled north to Huntington and made it his home. As a real estate developer in the Greenlawn section of Huntington, many of the homes he developed stand to this day. As a prolific farmer, he earned the moniker “the Greenlawn Pickle King” in 1899 by cultivating 1.5 million cucumbers-turned-pickles in a single season.


Contact Us

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23 Green Street, Suite 209 Huntington