Located in downtown, right by the Great American Ball Park and the Ohio River, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a history museum that focuses on slavery and racism in general. Getting to it, it is a short walk from Government Square.
The underground railroad refers to the system of places that allowed slaves to escape from the South, to freedom in the North, and in some cases, all the way to Canada. It was not a real railroad, but slaves going from place to place, with help from abolitionists (those who want to abolish slavery in the US) and other allies. It was done in secret, hence the underground part, as it was against the law to help slaves escape.
The main part was on the 3rd floor, From Slavery to Freedom, tells the story of slavery from its beginning in the Americas, to its end after the Civil War. There are really good descriptions and artifacts that tell the story, including various uprisings and issues that would lead to the Civil War. Also included, are small sections on Native Americans and the start of the Women's Rights Movement. Easily, this is the main reason to visit this museum.
Another part that should be visited, is Invisible: Slavery Today. This gets into human trafficking and other forms of slavery that continues to the present day. This would include sweat shops, housekeeping, working in the fields and others. And it happens in a bunch of countries, including the US. There are stories of the victims, and how they overcame it. Plus ways to fight it. While not as extensive as From Slavery to Freedom, the fact that it raises awareness to the issue, is enough reason to make it a must-see.
Between the 2 parts, there is the Freedom Flame on a balcony, and view of the Ohio River. The river once served as the Mason-Dixon Line, which was the boundary between North and South. And made it the line between being a slave and being free.
There is also a slave pen, where slaves were stored before being sold. This was an actual building, that got transported into the museum. And there may be temporary exhibitions that may be worth a look.
This museum is a definite must-see, for any visitor to Cincinnati, as we should never forget this horrible chapter in American history. And how slavery continues to happen to this day, sometimes right under our noses.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.