There are stories to tell.

From its home at Center in the Square in Downtown Roanoke, the Harrison Museum of African American Culture specializes in telling stories of the African American experience. These stories surround us in Roanoke streets and neighborhoods every day, but some are forgotten and nearly erased from the landscape. It’s time to act before we lose them completely. In partnership with a team of city leaders, we’re reaching into Roanoke’s public spaces to engage and enlighten, remember difficult pasts and celebrate achievements.

About Us

Our Goal

Under the leadership of the Harrison Museum and Roanoke Vice-Mayor Trish White-Boyd, a seven-person committee is actively raising funds to initiate a public history project. Together, we’ll surface the hidden histories of the African American experience in Roanoke.

Initial projects include a partnership with Richmond-based Hidden in Plain Site (HiPS) that will gather and communicate virtual-reality based remembrances. We’ll start with five “easy to overlook sites important to the African American experience.”

In addition to this structural framework for ongoing work, the committee is raising funds for a memorial sculpture at the newly named Lacks Plaza.

A dignified sculpture will commemorate the ongoing and long unrecognized contributions of Roanoke native Henrietta Lacks, who unknowingly provided the world with the HeLa cell, fueling decades of life-saving and life changing research.

Our phase one funding goal: $160,000

Join Us


You can donate online with a credit card or PayPal account. Or, you easily make a donation by sending a check in support of the project.

  • Make the check payable to Harrison Museum of African American Culture.
  • Mention Henrietta Lacks /Hidden in Plain Site on the memo line

Harrison Museum of African American Culture
PO BOX 21054
Roanoke, VA 24018

See our list of donors here.
See the appreciation ad from The Roanoke Tribune

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Stay in touch

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As we grow this effort, there will be opportunities for involvement. Consider volunteering for the Harrison Museum of African American Culture.

News & Events

Our Progress

So far we’ve raised $90,000. We’re more than halfway there. Your contributions are a meaningful way to acknowledge and remember the full history of our place.