There's a lot about your community you can learn from behind the handlebars of an electric bike — especially when you know where to look!
That's why we're celebrating Black History Month by highlighting some of the fascinating and inspiring cultural sites in our riders' own backyards.
Feel free to hit up as many sites as you want in one day or break it out over a weekend or two. And remember, some locations may have restricted hours due to COVID-19, so plan your trip ahead of time.
1. Northwest African American Museum
No dive into the Black history of Seattle would be complete without a trip to the Central District, home of the Northwest African American Museum, which documents the art, history, and culture of the region’s Black community.
While the museum is currently hosting virtual programming amid COVID-19, check out their schedule for upcoming pop-up events. And of course, while you’re there you can explore out next spot, located just steps away …
2300 S Massachusetts St, Seattle, WA 98144
2. Jimi Hendrix Park
Guitar god Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle and the city continues to honor the most influential musician to ever emerge from the Pacific Northwest. Throughout his career, Hendrix set a new, higher standard for rock music that continues to inspire new artists today.
Just outside the Northwest African American Museum, you can find the sprawling Jimi Hendrix Park, which features a public art installation dedicated to the iconic musician, complete with lyrics from his 1967 song "Little Wing."
2400 S Massachusetts St, Seattle, WA 98144
3. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
Named after the celebrated Harlem Renaissance-era poet, the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute is a go-to spot for Black arts and culture.
It's also the home of LANGSTON, a nonprofit organization that hosts a mix of both in-person and virtual events.
Want to take a deeper dive into the Central District? The Black Heritage Society of Washington State has launched a virtual tour that can help you find more key places to visit.
104 17th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
4. Jimi Hendrix Statue
Want more Hendrix? Who doesn't?!
Ride north about three miles to Capitol Hill, where you can find a bronze statue of Hendrix depicting him in the middle of a fiery solo. It's also a popular spot to snag a selfie or two ...
1604 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122
5. August Wilson Way Portal
As the home of the Space Needle and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle Center is undoubtedly the most well-visited spot in Seattle. But beyond the usual tourist draws, it also includes a tribute to August Wilson, “theater’s poet of Black America."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, who lived in Seattle until his death in 2005, is honored with a 12-foot tall, 3,000 lb. memorial. It bears the titles of the 10 plays he wrote that took their audiences through a hundred years of Black History, decade by decade, including “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and the seminal work “Fences.”
155 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109
1. The Anacostia Community Museum
While Anacostia is becoming a growing hotspot in D.C.’s cycling scene thanks to the 20-mile Riverwalk Trail, it's perhaps best-known for its impressive history — not to mention some very important residents. Abolitionist icon Fredrick Douglass and Motown trailblazer Marvin Gaye were both known to call this southeast neighborhood home.
Today, the Anacostia Community Museum preserves the neighborhood’s legacy and features an ongoing outdoor exhibit in its plaza.
1901 Fort Place SE Washington, DC 20020
2. The National Museum of African American History
Opened in 2016, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture brings Black history to life with interactive exhibits and thousands of diverse artifacts, ranging from abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s hymn book to funk musician George Clinton’s Mothership.
Don’t forget to grab lunch at the Sweet Home Cafe, which serves dishes that reflect Black culinary history from across the U.S.
1400 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20560
3. The Lincoln Memorial
Head northwest by about a mile and you’ll reach the Lincoln Memorial. This was the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic address before the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.
After you lock up your bike, you can climb the steps and find the exact spot he spoke marked by an engraved stone bearing the immortal words “I Have a Dream,” which the National Park Service added in 2003 to mark the 40th anniversary of his speech.
2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20002
4. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a powerful tribute to the Civil Rights Leader.
At the base of the installation, you can find “The Stone of Hope,” an awe-inspiring, 30 ft. tall granite engraving of Dr. King. It symbolizes a key line from the "I Have A Dream" speech: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
1964 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20003
5. The Howard Theater
Washington, D.C. is the birthplace of jazz legend Duke Ellington, but the home he grew up in is now a private residence. You can still pay tribute to “Sir Duke” by visiting some of the spots he used to play, including the historic Howard Theater. And while you won't be able to see him perform in person, a bronze statue of the famed musician is located right outside.
620 T St NW, Washington, DC 20001
1. Museum of the African Diaspora
The Museum of the African Diaspora is a stunning modern art museum that “celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.”
This must-visit site in the Yerba Buena arts district also gives its visitors a chance to witness history in the making, offering frequent exhibits highlighting the groundbreaking work of emerging artists.
685 Mission St (at 3rd) San Francisco, CA 94105
2. The Presidio
During the late 19th century, the Presidio was a permanent operating station for the 24th Infantry and 9th Cavalry of the U.S. Army — two of the first all-Black regiments popularly known as “the Buffalo Soldiers.”
While these groundbreaking enlistees are widely recognized for their brave service in military combat, they also made history as some of the nation’s earliest park rangers.
Their contributions are recognized throughout the Presidio, including at the San Francisco National Cemetery, which serves as the final resting place for 460 Buffalo Soldiers.
1 Lincoln Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129
3. African American Museum and Library at Oakland
The African American Museum and Library at Oakland features rotating exhibits and a massive oral history archive showcasing over 80 years of Northern California’s Black history on video.
Stop by during regular operating hours to enjoy a self-guided tour.
659 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612
4. Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park
Ride just a quarter of a mile north, and you can visit the Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park in downtown Oakland, which hosts a massive, 52-foot long monument to “the Champions for Humanity.”
Among those cast in bronze are Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, and Civil Rights leader Ralph Abernathy. The monument also recognizes some of the city’s local heroes, like Marcus Foster, the Oakland Unified School District's first Black superintendent, and Royal Towns, one of Oakland’s first Black firefighters.
1900 Rashida Muhammad St, Oakland, CA 94612
5. Sproul Plaza
Berkeley was a hub for activism during the ‘60s and 70s, with popular cultural centers like the Rainbow Room drawing key figures in Black history to the Bay Area, including authors James Baldwin and Maya Angelou as well as Shirley Chisolm, the first Black woman elected to Congress and first Black presidential candidate.
In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza to voice his opposition to the Vietnam war before a crowd of over 7,000 people. Today, this spot on campus remains a public square, hosting new generations of activists eager to make their voices heard.
1 Cross-Sproul Path, Berkeley, CA 94720
We'd love to see the locations you're visiting in honor of Black History Month! Tag us on social media @RadPowerBikes, using the hashtag #RideRad