I was really disappointed in the Freedom Center overall, I can see why they have difficulty attracting visitors. Most of the displays that have to do with the history of slavery in the United States seem juvenile, underdesigned, and a bit dated -- even though the museum itself is rather new. "Underground Railroad" is a bit of a misnomer, because the part of the museum devoted to the underground railroad is actually quite small.
One of the most moving exhibits is found at the very beginning of the museum, the slave cabin. Being able to walk inside the cabin really paints the picture for you of the absolutely horrific conditions, and what the imprisoned slaves were experiencing. Unfortunately, our visit was marred by one of the museum workers (who appear to be elderly volunteers) who got too preachy and political about the repercussions of slavery today. Not that she didn't have a valid point, but it was clear that not everyone shared her perspective and it made people uncomfortable. One poor couple was the last left near her, and they struggled for a few minutes to graciously get away. I don't think many people expect to come to a place like this to be yelled at.
Bring headphones to make the most of the free iPod touch audio guides, otherwise you find yourself too connected to the device and not really experiencing the exhibits. With headphones, you can let the device hang and listen to the narration while you look around. The production quality of the various films in little theaters varied greatly. The best one was the Ohio river escape, with an introduction by Oprah Winfrey. It was one of the few times where the feelings of fear, anxiety, courage, were conveyed in a way that allowed the museumgoer to truly empathize with the plight of the runaway slave. The worst was midnight decision, which had all the polish of a Rescue 911 reenactment.
The absolute best portion of the entire museum was the exhibit on the third floor about slavery today. It was much more engaging, told personal stories about people enslaved, had more sensory stimulation, and resulted in a more moving, connective experience. You walk away from that exhibit with tears in your eyes, thinking about ways that you can do more to contribute to the cause. And that's what you'd expect from a place called Freedom Center.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.