Our history

About Brazos Valley African American Museum

The African American National Heritage Society (dba) Brazos Valley African American Museum was built on the site of one of the original black schools in the Brazos Valley. It was the brain child of retired educator, Mrs. Mell Pruitt and became officially recognized and functioning in 1999. The museum is the first establishment of its kind to promote the history of African American citizens in the Brazos Valley. The museum opened its doors to the public on July 22, 2006.


The mission of the African American National Heritage Society is to explore, develop, preserve and present the cultural history and heritage of African Americans.


It is the vision that schools, families and educators will visit the museum and use the archival records. The Society's Museum will promote individual and community awareness, understanding, pride, and respect for the contributions that African Americans have made in the past and present to the American experience.


  • Gather, organize, analyze, and assemble artifacts, letters, documents, oral histories and make these materials available to all interested persons, schools, churches and organizations
  • Cultivate a climate of awareness that promotes an understanding of the values of African Americans
  • Acquire and manage the archival records of the Society's Museum.

Appreciation Banquet

The Annual Appreciation Banquet recognizes outstanding community citizens and museum supporters. This event is intended to recognize the accomplishments of individuals in our community, but is also the major fundraiser for the Museum whose budget is dependent on the success of the banquet. The banquet helps the Brazos Valley African American Museum to operate the museum, offer programs for the community and school children, bring in new exhibits, provide staff development opportunities, and conduct school outreach and activities during the summer months.

We want you to be part of our museum, experience its beauty and this is why we offer several ways to let you engage with us to help maintain and develop the museum. Whether you are a student aspiring to a career in social work, or a business person who loves to preserve and care about the local history, or a couple looking to get married in an awesome traditional way, we have everything for all of you. Become a member today!

Our Board Members

Our Staff

  • Mary Hess

  • Reagan Smith

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