African American Heritage Museum

by Hayley Lynch | Nov 19, 2015
African American Heritage Museum African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey

Ralph E. Hunter Sr. found a copy of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman when he was in a North Carolina antique shop. Inspired by this find and other culturally linked items he began collecting, Hunter eventually transformed his hobby into an entire museum of historical African American relics.

In 2002, when Hunter landed a space in Buena Vista Township, the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey was officially established. With donations of material from nearby residents in locations like Atlantic City, the museum was able to secure its name as renowned outlet for African American memorabilia.

Permanent exhibits, such as “Portraits of a People,” carved a path for the over 3,000 pieces that now reside in the museum in order to portray the journey that African Americans have been on throughout the decades.. AAHMSNJ has also grown to include two locations, the one in Newtonville as well as one in Atlantic City.

Along with the solidified collections, the AAHMSNJ hosts temporary and traveling ones like the current “Jet Black, Brown and Tan on the Beach,” an assortment of pictures from Missouri Avenue Beach in Atlantic City that was once an all African American beach. Beyond just items of the past, the museum also features work by today’s local African American artists.

For information on visiting the museum visit:

Photo credit: Artistan /

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