By Becky Mayad | Contributor
The African American Museum is back in full force with an array of exciting offerings for this summer – including exhibitions focused on triumphant Black men, the tears Black and white women cry today and in American history, and Confederate currency depicturing enslaved men and women.
Also making its return is the beloved Texas Black Invitational Rodeo (on a new date – July 31) and the Labor Day Fair Park Blues & Jazz Fest along with summer camps, indoor concerts, Juneteenth programming and virtual courses on African American history. The Museum is located at 3536 Grand Ave. in Dallas’ historic Fair Park.
NOTE: The African American Museum is a City of Dallas facility with safety protocols in place. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
Headlining the season is the Smithsonian Institution’s Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth, a traveling exhibition that heralds the achievements of notable African American men from across the decades and highlights the deep parallels between past and present. The Museum’s lineup also includes the following upcoming and ongoing exhibitions:
MEN OF CHANGE: POWER. TRIUMPH. TRUTH.
June 26-Sept. 12 at the Museum
This powerful, immersive exhibition uses art, photography, stories, quotes and historical materials to affirm the power of the African American journey and, ultimately, the American experience. Men of Change profiles revolutionary men – Muhammad Ali, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kendrick Lamar, Lebron James and more – who have altered the history and culture of this country.
Seven categories – Storytellers, Myth-Breakers, Fathering, Community, Imagining, Catalysts and Loving – present different views of men most think they know. Men of Change was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and made possible through the generous support of the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.
BECOMING FEATURING ARTIST VALERIE GILLESPIE
June 24-Sept. 25 at the Museum
Becoming is an aesthetic exploration of the truth and illusion behind the often times unfortunate actions that stem from human nature. Gillespie explains that “Our skin is what binds us physically, yet separates us emotionally. Through the use of pigment and skin tone, a visual representation of the pain of being the other is portrayed in each piece through the lens of an African American mother. In strength and with one’s emotions guarded, pain is oftentimes overlooked or ignored. The masks we wear daily contribute to the seclusion and loneliness of what it feels like to be Black in America. Becoming is a visual journey of the bold and beautiful elements that define African American women.”
TEARS: WEAPONIZED, DEVALUED AND RECONCILED?
Now through June 24 at the Museum
Tears: Weaponized, Devalued and Reconcile? is an artistic examination of the tears Black and white women cry and have cried today and in American history. It is a comparison and contrast of the value placed upon those tears and the faces which they fall down. The value of these tears, or the lack thereof, is an indicator of just how far there is to go toward fulfilling the vision of being a place where all are created and valued as equals.
CONFEDERATE CURRENCY: THE COLOR OF MONEY
Now through July 24 at the Museum
The Confederate Currency: Color of Money exhibition investigates the importance of slavery in the economy of the South. Acclaimed artist John W. Jones has researched and documented over 126 images of slavery depicted on Confederate and Southern States money. The juxtaposition of the framed Confederate currencies, which the acrylic paintings inspired the slave images on the currencies, makes a very powerful statement on the contributions of enslaved Africans to the American economy.
Below is a list of camps, Juneteenth activities and special events:
June 14-July 16 (five-week camp session)
$350 for five-week session or free to children who qualify for the free-or-reduced school lunch program
Register by calling 214-565-9026
Limited to 25 children ages 8-15, the summer camps will consist of art, science, reading, financial literacy, music, theater and writing.
COMMUNITY AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY COURSE (Virtual)
Thursdays, June 6 – July 8, 7-9 p.m.
$100 or FREE for Museum members
Register by calling Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney at 214-565-9026, ext. 313 or emailing email@example.com.
This thematic course covers the African past to recent events and provides enrollees a broad interpretive look at the major events and issues in the African American experience.
JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL AND PROGRAMMING
Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19
All events FREE. Tickets required for the “History of Juneteenth” presentation, limited to 35. Register at EventBrite.com
The two-day Juneteenth celebration includes a presentation on the history of Juneteenth, a Juneteenth festival in the courtyard, and streaming gallery tours of Tears and the Confederate Currency: Color of Money exhibitions.
Friday, June 18 at 2 p.m. – Streaming video tours on Facebook
Saturday, June 19 – CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH WITH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM
Noon-5 p.m. A Juneteenth Tradition: “Barbecue and Red Soda Water” (food for purchase in the courtyard)
1-3 p.m. Steel Drums music performance by Janelle Allen
1-3 p.m. Gallery Scavenger Hunt for children ages 8-12
2-3 p.m. “History of Juneteenth” a presentation with Don and Jocelyn Pinkard in Gallery A
3-4:30 p.m. Music by Clover the Violinist
SUMMER MUSIC UNDER THE DOME
June 24, July 29 and Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
FREE but limited to 70. Register at EventBrite.com
Bringing summer jazz concerts to the heart of Fair Park, the three-part Summer Music Under the Dome series kicks off Thursday, June 24, at 7:30 p.m. with Candace Mahogany and continues Thursday, July 29, with Herbie K. Johnson and Rob Holbert on Thursday, Aug. 26. While admission is free, seating is limited and registration is required. Food and beverages will be available for sale.
32ND TEXAS BLACK INVITATIONAL RODEO
Saturday, July 31, at 7 p.m. at Fair Park Coliseum, 1438 Coliseum Dr. in historic Fair Park
Reserved tickets $10 and box seats $25 in advance (plus applicable fees)
Tickets available at fairparktix.com and at the door
Presented by the African American Museum, Dallas, the Texas Black Invitational Rodeo offers up an exciting night as approximately 300 African American cowboys and cowgirls compete for significant cash prizes in bronc and bull riding, calf and steer roping, barrel racing, a Pony Express relay race and more. Kicking off with the Grand Entry Parade, this fast-paced sporting event provides guests with their first glimpse of the historical contributions that African Americans contributed to the settling of the western United States. The family-friendly event also includes on-field kids activities.
5th FAIR PARK BLUES & JAZZ FESTIVAL
Saturday, September 4, from 5-10 p.m. on the front lawn of the Museum
Tickets $15 in advance and $20 at the door (plus applicable fees)
(NOTE: Tickets are not yet on sale, but they will be available in advance at fairparktix.com or at the door)
Round up the family, grab a blanket and lawn chairs and head to this popular Labor Day annual music festival featuring some of Texas’ best blues and jazz greats. Proceeds benefit the African American Museum’s youth educational program. Lineup to be announced at a later date.
Sponsors of the African American Museum, Dallas, are Atmos, Eugene McDermott Foundation, Fair Park First and Spectra Venue Management, Friendship West Baptist Church, Oncor, State Fair of Texas, and the City of Dallas’ Office of Arts and Culture. Media partners for Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth are WFAA, Texas Metro News, Garland Journal, IMessenger, 97.9 The Beat and Majic 94.5.
Media partners for the 32nd Texas Black Invitational Rodeo are Fox 4 and More 27.
GROUPS, HOURS, SENIOR DAYS AND MORE Admission is free on Thursdays for seniors 65 and older. African American Museum members also receive free admission. For details and to purchase individual, group and school field-trip tickets, please go to aamdallas.org or call 214-565-9026.
HOURS. The African American Museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon-5 p.m. For more information, go to aamdallas.org or call214-565-9026.
About the African American Museum, Dallas. The African America Museum, Dallas was founded in 1974 as a part of Bishop College. The Museum has operated independently since 1979. For more than 40 years, the African American Museum has stood as a cultural beacon in Dallas and the Southwestern United States. Located in Dallas’ historic Fair Park, the African American Museum is the only museum in the Southwestern United States devoted to the collection, preservation and display of African American artistic, cultural and historical materials that relate to the African-American experience. The African American Museum incorporates a wide variety of visual art forms and historical documents that portray the African American experience in the United States, Southwest, and Dallas. The Museum has a small, but rich collection of African art, African-American fine art and one of the largest African American folk-art collections in the United States. Learn more at aamdallas.org.