Focusing on black Americans' participation in world's fairs, Emancipation expositions, and early black grassroots museums, Negro Building traces the evolution of black public history from the Civil War through the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Mabel O. Wilson gives voice to the figures that conceived the curatorial content-Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, A. Philip Randolph, Horace Cayton and Margaret Burroughs. As the 2015 opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., approaches, the book reveals why the black cities of Chicago and Detroit became the sites of major black historical museums rather than the nation's capital-until now.