Museum of the Free People of Color

Museum of the Free People of Color

Museum of the Free People of Color
5
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.

Top ways to experience Museum of the Free People of Color and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Tremé
That sound? That flavor? That certain je ne sais quoi that lets you known you’re in “Nawlins” and nowhere else? It’s all good and in broad abundance on the streets of Tremé, where so much of what’s considered to be the very best of New Orleans culture and tradition is, put simply, just how people go about their daily lives in this historic part of town. As one of America’s oldest African-American neighborhoods and among the nation’s first established residential areas for free people of color, Tremé’s significant heritage and contribution cannot be understated. This is especially the case when considering some of Tremé’s most famous residents, most notably jazz great Louis Armstrong. For full flavored food, funky and jazzed up music, and vibrant street life presented with homegrown pride, you can’t beat a visit to Tremé.
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles27 reviews
Excellent
23
Very good
3
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0

TYsadventures
Brooklyn, NY889 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Solo
Who knew! A very small but growing museum that is expanding to include the history of civil rights and its history in N"awlins.
The museum has moved to 5909 St. Claude. The sidewalks and pavement around the building are horrible and dangerously littered with potholes making it extremely difficult to access for powerchairs. Once inside, the exhibits is a small curated collection of posters, pictures and a physical walk through the building where some of it happened. Very interesting and emotional.
There is a requested donation fee of $10 and the staff is very helpful.
Written 13 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ken R
82 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
I went there wanting to learn the story of the free non European. I got the truth and nothing but the truth. I was overjoyed to learn what people can do when unfettered by racist laws. I was also saddened to learn what happened when the United States took over and promoted their racist policies. I was reminded that Americans play the long game when it comes to eroding peoples rights.
Written 22 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan F
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Don't miss this museum, housed in a beautiful house in Treme, which tells a fascinating and central - if often overlooked - part of New Orleans history. The guides are absolutely superb - engaging, knowledgeable and welcoming. Highly recommended!
Written 2 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

smrees68
San Francisco6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Family
This museum is in the home of Beverly and Dwight McKenna, whose personal collection of books, letters, sculpture, paintings, tools, artifacts and more make it possible to imagine life in the prosperous years of the 1830s and 1840s. Ms. McKenna is a newspaper publisher, and her husband is a doctor, and they are descended from free people of color who settled in the Marigny district of New Orleans. This beautiful part of town is also called the Upper Treme. It's about a 20 minute walk from the foot of Esplanade.

Be sure to call to schedule your visit. A very modest $15 fee per person includes a personal guide. One of the museum staff or Ms. McKenna herself will take you on a tour. Their stories are ones they are eager to share, and the personal connection they have to the people and the place they live is profoundly moving.

Here is the page on their website where you can schedule a tour and visit:
http://www.lemuseedefpc.com/footsteps/tours/

Although I thought I had a fair understanding of American history, I was humbled by discovering so much that was new about the complex quilt of race relations in New Orleans over years both good and bad.

The highlights of their collection, in my eyes, included:

* the floor-to-ceiling petition to President Abraham Lincoln, dated Jan. 5, 1864, from 1,000 free men of color who were property owners, petitioning for the right to vote. Many had served in the Civil War. Some had held public office. Others were scholars, doctors and tradesmen.

* the document known as manumission papers that was a legal record of a slave's becoming a free man, which sometimes occurred when a slave bought his freedom from his master.

A rich description of the Museum appeared in the New Orleans Advocate newspaper on June 11, 2014. Source: http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/beaucoup/9112069-171/museum-spotlights-free-people-of

Worth noting is that the home itself is a gracious Greek revival style mansion, which looks even more beautiful under the canopy of grand trees that shade their home.

In brief, the power of the art and the artifacts of lives well lived under difficult conditions, in the home of the museum's founders, is sure to be a moving and educational experience for both adults and children.
Written 23 May 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wanderinghorse
Houston, TX21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
My husband and I were fortunate to receive a tour with museum owner and journalist Beverly McKenna. We called and set up an appointment with Mrs. McKenna directly using the number listed on the website. She met us promptly in the front court yard. The Greek revival home that serves as the museum is immaculate and has been restored to its original condition. The light fixtures, grand fire places, hard wood floors, and time appropriate furnishings are charming. I quickly came to see why this museum is also booked for special events.
Mrs. McKenna starts out the tour in the front foyer and works her way through the home. Each room, picture, and historical document has a story to tell. The experience is truly intimate. Mrs. McKenna shares pictures of her family and traces her own personal roots back to slavery. Although, the subject matter can be somber she tells the story of hope, pride, and resilience of the people of color.
If you are into historical architecture, arts, 19th century photography, history, or culture there is something for you to discover here.
FYI- If you make an appointment and are not able to make it for some reason, please call to cancel.
Written 15 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pam W
Palo Alto57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Friends
As a lifelong student of immigration history, this museum tour offered more unique history per minute than any other immigration learning experience I’ve attended in the past 50 years. I was astounded to learn that New Orleans creole history included a large population of black free people of color who at one time could claim an 80% literacy rates, were wealthy, held citizenship, held jobs across the spectrum from leaders, professionals, health care,politics, nuns, education, newspaper publishers as well as tailors, cobblers, builders and much much more. I also learned how white America intentionally and systematically stole away their rights. Kim, the tour guide, was extremely knowlegeable about each piece in the McKenna art and artifact collection gleaned from her work as curator of the collection. Run, don’t walk, to this oh-so-vauable and little known slice of history that defies the common slave tale narrative of blacks in America. I felt a deep sense of pride for blacks even though I am not one. Bravo!
Written 14 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MeaghanA
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Couples
I’m so glad we came to this museum; Kim is not simply a tour guide, she is a historian and clearly an expert in her field. She educated us about Free People of Colour before slavery became profitable; I walked away from her tour with a newfound understanding of this part of Louisiana’s history and the lasting effects still felt today. I will be following up with some of the books/documents she mentioned in her tour.

Kim also touched on the very unfortunate gentrification that has been occurring since Katrina; I found it very disturbing but was also heartened by her personal anecdote regarding property taxes in historically Black neighbourhoods. I think that everyone should take this tour when they visit New Orleans; we don’t have the right to enjoy this city’s offerings without at least minimal education on her history.

Thank you Kim for a great afternoon!
Written 26 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Irinalovestotravel
Austin, TX28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Friends
it was an interesting museum. after having a voodoo tour and learning about lives of the slaves prior to this museum, it was fascinating to hear how slaves got their freedom and started their businesses, were the apprentices, got their education, and fought for their rights in Louisiana. it's a small and privately owned museum. totally off the tourist path. requires reservations and has a guide.
Written 26 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Suzanne B
London, UK30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Couples
During a week long stay in New Orleans, my husband and I decided to visit this wonderful museum, following a recommendation from our hotel (the JW). We were so glad we did. The museum's owner (Mrs McKenna) gave us a personal tour and talk through each fascinating room, which we felt honoured and touched to experience. Each room has been lovingly restored with interesting paintings and excellent information adorning each wall. There is so much history and information to take in here and all of it important and relevant to people of all cultures. The museum is on Esplanade Ave, easy to access via bus or taxi. Well worth a visit for a more intimate museum experience.
Written 11 August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel Chick
California5,279 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
An authentic home whose first floor was turned into a museum about the Free People of Color of New Orleans during the times of slavery. Beautiful and authentic artwork from that era and historical information about the Code Noir (Black Code, etc.) detailed how African-Americans and Africans from that era were to be treated in NOLA (could be for all of Louisiana as well, but not entirely sure), authentic freedom papers, documents, paintings, portraits, etc.

If you are interested in what life was like for Free People of Color in New Orleans, or really, just more information about the topic of Free Persons of Color during the times of slavery, then this museum is a place that one absolutely must visit. So much history was provided that gave you a slight sense of what it must have been like for both enslaved people and free people of color. I found it fascinating and informative. It is a very small museum, so you can see everything easily in an hour. The owner/donor of the museum was also present that day, and she had so much knowledge about the topic as a whole. There was a person dressed in garments from that era who also told us information about Free Persons of Color while using the vernacular and manner of speaking of that time as well.

If you are like me and want to know more about your roots in general, definitely check out this place. Or, if you are not very familiar with the topic of Free People of Color in New Orleans, then this is definitely the place to be to learn all there is to know about the topic.
Written 27 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 24
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

MUSEUM OF THE FREE PEOPLE OF COLOR (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

All New Orleans HotelsNew Orleans Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in New Orleans
All things to do in New Orleans
Day Trips in New Orleans
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire