Operating Hours
Tues - Sat
1 PM - 5 PM
 523 Harrison Ave., N.W.
Roanoke, VA 24016
(540) 345-4818


Aletha Bolden (right)
Executive Director
Email address: asbolden@harrisonmuseum.org
(540) 345-4818

Donna Davis (left)
Executive Assistant
Email address: dwdavis@harrisonmuseum.org
(540) 345-4818


The Harrison Museum Sponsors various events throughout the year to raise funds for the museum and to raise awareness of the achievements of African Americans as well as support for local artists and businesses. 

One of the most popular events for the Harrison Museum is the  Henry Street Heritage Festival. The Henry Street Heritage Festival is held the last Saturday in September. It is a festive celebration of African American heritage showcasing performing and visual arts, children's activities, traditional foods and Afro centric gifts. Organizations also share valuable health, membership and cultural information with festive attendees.

for more information call  (540)345-4818. E-mail inquiries: dwdavis@harrisonmuseum.org.


Memorabilia, photographs, and objects relating to the African-American experience in the Roanoke Valley form an extensive portion of the Harrison Museum Permanent Collection. Oral stories and recollections as told by elders highlight the culture and significance of the valley's black communities. These oral histories enhance the materials found in the museum's archives. In addition, African and contemporary art are an integral part of the permanent collection.

Guided tours with mini-lectures available for groups of 10 or more upon written request.

Tuesday - Saturday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

West African Wisdom: Adinkra Symbols & Meanings

African symbols known as adinkra are ubiquitous in Ghana, a beautiful West African country on the Atlantic, situated between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo. On cloth and walls, in pottery and logos, everywhere these Asante tribe symbols can be found.


"What I hear, I keep"

symbol of wisdom, knowledge and prudence

The implied meaning of the phrase "mate masie" is "I understand". Understanding means wisdom and knowledge, but it also represents the prudence of taking into consideration what another person has said.



"Chief of the adinkra symbols"

symbol of greatness, charisma and leadership

This symbol is said to have played an inspiring role in the designing of other symbols. it signifies the importance of playing a leadership role.




"return and get it"

symbol of importance of learning from the past


Annual Events and Special Programs:

Henry Street Heritage Festival
As an annual special event Harrison Museum presents the Henry Street Heritage Festival on the last Saturday in September. The purpose of the festival is to showcase the rich heritage and culture of African Americans through the presentation of the performing arts, visual arts and crafts, children's activities and ethnic and traditional foods. The festival includes live performances (music dance and drama) art exhibits encompassing a variety of mediums and a sampling of both African and African American cuisine.

This year's 14th Henry St. Heritage Festival will be held on Saturday, September 27, 2003. For information on sponsorship, vending, or performing, send e-mail to festival@harrisonmuseum.org.

Museum Store and Gift Shop

Features books, cards, art, games, puzzles, jewelry, accessories, gift wrap, and African carvings, statues, and gift items. We accept Visa and MasterCard.

From 581
take exit 4W(Orange Ave. W)
take a left at first light onto Gainesboro Rd.;
go 3 blocks up;
take a right onto Harrison Ave.;
Harrison Museum is 3 blocks up at 523 Harrison Avenue.
Donations and Wish List:

for a printable version of a contribution form.
Color copier
4 (new) Pentium Processor PC's
1 Lap Top
1 Full Page Scanner
2 Color Laser Printers
1 Large Work Table
4 Large Flat File Cabinets
4 Fire Proof Four Drawer File Cabinets
1 Lamination Machine
executive chairs
couch mirror
round work table