Wow. The Bessie Smith Cultural Center was so much more than we expected. And they’re continuing to expand!
The space is full of high-quality displays presenting aspects of African American history, with a focus on local Chattanooga history. They have informative videos, interactive kiosks, and full-scale scenes that help you imagine yourself in a night club, at a lunch counter, in a barber shop, and more. There is more here than you would expect from the unpretentious exterior. Allow yourself more time to explore than you would think. You finish your self-led tour with an awesome art collection.
The center is wheelchair accessible with parking to the left side of the building, and a ramp to the right. The restrooms to the left of the reception desk were accessible as well. We can’t wait to return when the left side of the museum is completed with more emphasis on Bessie Smith and blues music.
Thanks to Chattanooga Tourism Co. for helping make our visit possible!