The Riley House – As a Community Museum and Educational Center
The John Gilmore Riley Center/Museum for African American History & Culture, Inc. is a historical and cultural gem that sits at the bottom of a hill in downtown Tallahassee, at the corner of Meridian and Jefferson Streets.
The Riley historic home represents the thriving black neighborhood, known as Smokey Hollow, that once existed in what is just east of downtown Tallahassee. It is especially significant when compared to other such historical sites in that it is the last vestige we have of the accomplishments of an entire group of people, the black middle class, which emerged in the latter part of the nineteenth century.
The mission and purpose of the John Gilmore Riley Center/Museum for African American History & Culture, Inc. is to discover, archive and illuminate the blended interrelationship of African American, Native American and European history and preserve African American landmarks and legacies throughout the State of Florida as an enduring public resource through tourism and education. Established in 1996, the museum’s programs provide an environment and means to encourage and empower participants to develop an awareness of and gain an appreciation for the educational and social contributions of African Americans to Florida’s history.