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Friday, April 19, 2024 — Houston, TX

See and be seen: Black history at Houston museums

William Liu / Thresher

By Margo Gee     2/20/24 9:51pm

Celebrate Black History Month by checking out the best Black art and museums Houston has to offer, from local artists and beyond.

Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

After an exhibition of his portraits of the Obama family last year, Kehinde Wiley has returned to the MFAH. His newest body of work, “An Archaeology of Silence,” juxtaposes the life-giving nature of portraiture with the harsh reality of systemic violence against Black and Brown people, centering his subjects in elegant repose on beautifully lush backgrounds. Make sure to pick up a University Partnership Program card from the Office of Student Activities if you are interested in attending with free admission.

THIS WAY: A Houston Group Show at Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston

The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston has a plethora of offerings this Black History Month. In the museum itself, catch the opening of “THIS WAY: A Houston Group Show” showcasing the history of Houston Freedmen’s Town, a community of formerly enslaved people located in what is now the Fourth Ward. At POST Houston, the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston is hosting The Reading Room, a pop-up reference library of Black art with its own wealth of events. 

Buffalo Soldier National Museum

The Buffalo Soldier National Museum exists to center the efforts and experiences of Black Americans in the military over the course of America’s establishment and into the present day. Current exhibitions include showcases of the uniforms of Buffalo Soldiers, tools that were used in the field and the story of Cathay Williams, a Black woman who served as a Buffalo Soldier for two years until she was discovered to be a woman. The museum also has several historical reenactments scheduled for Black History Month. 

The Houston Museum of African American Culture

Created in celebration of Black art and culture in Houston, Texas and beyond, the Houston Museum of African American Culture is opening two exhibitions this Black History Month. “Pervs, Preppers, and the High Chaparral: Michael Abramson’s Chicago South Side Photographs” showcases the booming nightlife of Chicago’s South Side during the 1970s, and The Bert Long Jr. Gallery Spring Survey Exhibition features a display of newer Houston-based artists, one of whom will be awarded a solo exhibition in the gallery next summer. 

The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection at Holocaust Museum Houston

Compiled over the course of a 50-year marriage and considered one of the most comprehensive collections of Black art outside of the Smithsonian Institution, the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection illustrates the lives of Black Americans with art pieces, rare books and more. The collection spans nearly five centuries, beginning prior to the establishment of the U.S. and continuing into the present day. 

Rice University’s Calendar of Black History Month Events

Rice staff has also compiled a list of Black events to attend in and around campus, including speakers that will be coming to Sewall Hall, and films being shown by Rice Cinema. This list includes off-campus events, so be sure to check locations for the latest lectures and exhibits. Signs with QR codes to the full list of events are posted around campus.

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