Perseverance, Strength and Faith

The River Road African American Museum, located in the historic district of Donaldsonville, Louisiana is the premier facilitiy in the South to focus on the history and heritage of
African Americans along the Mississippi River.
The River Road African American Museum exhibits include Free People of Color; African Influences on Louisiana Cuisine; Rural Roots of Jazz; Black Doctors of the River Road; Louisiana Black Inventors; Folk Artists; Louisiana Underground Railroad; Reconstruction Period; History of Education in Plantation Country and Slave Inventories
Visit the River Road African American Museum and learn about the past in order to understand the future.
Learn about the story of the River Road African American Museum from its beginning to our future plans. Here also you find is our vision/mission statements and a letter from the founder/director of the museum, Kathe Hambrick.


With over 300 years of history, the legacy and importance of Africans in America to the growth of the South, the United States and the world is evident through the collection and exhibits of rare artifacts found at the museum.

We invite you to view a glimpse of the exhibits we offer at the River Road African American Museum here on our website. History awaits you.

Discover how Gordon was successful in finding his way.

Octave Johnson was once enslaved by S. Contrell of St. James Parish and sold for $2400. He became a member of the distinguished Corp d’ Afrique. Which way to freedom did he travel?
YOU ARE ENSLAVED. Your family has been working on a sugarcane plantation in south Louisiana for three generations. There has been talk of freedom for years, but everyone who has tried it, was captured and punished. Your mother was recently sold to a cotton plantation in Texas, your father to a tobacco plantation in Virginia. You feel all alone. Word is going around that a group is leaving tonight. You begin to wonder. Are they going up river to Canada, or down river to New Orleans where some of you are already free? How many rivers and bayous will you have to cross? What will you eat? I've heard that there are alligators, water moccasins, black bears and pattyrollers out there. Maybe you'll make it far enough into the cypress swamp and find shelter with the maroons, maybe not. Freedom means a hard dangerous trek... Are you going? ...asks the museum volunteer... Do you try it?

Experience the interactive kiosk and learn how others on the Louisiana underground trek to freedom found their way.


406 Charles Street  |  Donaldsonville, LA 70346
Phone: 225.474.5553  |
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