Kentucky Derby Museum is honored to participate in Louisville Tourism’s Unfiltered Truth Collection. In 2021, the Museum enlarged its Black Heritage in Racing Exhibit and moved it to a prominent location on the first floor. This move was done thanks to generous sponsorship by the James Graham Brown Foundation and Churchill Downs. While the exhibit has been a part of the Museum since 1993, this move was necessary to pay proper homage to the many African Americans who played an integral role throughout the history of the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred racing.
On the Black Heritage in Racing Tour, you’ll discover some of the most important African American figures in horse racing - from the jockey only known as Simon to two-time Derby winner Jimmy Winkfield. You’ll also visit locations throughout Churchill Downs while hearing about their incredible legacy. The tour wraps up in the Black Heritage in Racing Exhibit where you’ll learn how African American trainers, horse owners, and jockeys continue to shape the future of racing today.
Black Heritage in Racing Tour Schedule:
Prices starting at $15
To select your General Admission and Tour time:
Kentucky Derby Museum
1 hour 30 minutes
Recommended for ages 13+
Not Wheelchair accessible
Approximately .75 miles of walking
The Black Heritage in Racing traveling exhibit serves as a companion piece to the Black Heritage in Racing permanent exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Beginning in the era of settler colonialism in what would eventually become the United States, the exhibit details how enslaved Africans laid the foundation for horse racing in this part of the world. The exhibit continues by showing how crucial Black Americans were to the early success of the Kentucky Derby; how the era of segregation and Jim Crow drove African Americans from the industry; telling the stories of Black Americans that served as primary caretakers for horses in the 20th century and detailing the initiatives of the Black community to increase the participation of African Americans in the industry in the modern era.