Texas has a rich and evolving African American history—from the abolition of slavery on Juneteenth to Barbara Jordan’s leadership in the Civil Rights Movement; Dave Harris, the first African American pilot to fly a commercial airline; and Ron Kirk, the first African American mayor of a major Texas city. Events and exhibits are planned across Texas to celebrate Black History Month, but here are a few highlighted events.
Austin: Feb. 16
This free family-friendly event at the George Washington Carver Museum features activities, crafts, fun, and games in celebration of Black History Month. The Carver celebrates historically black colleges and universities as a pillar in the African American community with a college fair.
San Angelo: Feb. 24
The Fort Concho Buffalo Soldier Living History Unit hosts a celebration of the history and heritage of the African American soldiers who served at forts, including Fort Concho, across the United States.
Dallas: Feb. 23
Housed at the African American Museum,The Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame was established to chronicle the sports history contributions made by African Americans who are either Texans by birth or by athletic participation (collegiate or professional), and who have made recognizable contributions to African American culture and/or history.
Palacios: Feb. 16
Palacios Community Coalition presents local speakers at the City by the Sea Museum to show contributions made and being made by the African American community of Palacios. Topics include the Historical Site Marker and Sanford Community Center. Tours may be provided upon request.
These museums always house a wealth of information about African American history and culture in Texas.
African American Museum, 3536 Grand Ave., Dallas
Brazos Valley African American Museum, 500 W Pruitt St., Bryan
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, 3816 Caroline St., Houston
Calaboose African American Museum, 200 Martin Luther King Dr., San Marcos
George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St., Austin
Houston Museum of African American Culture, 4807 Caroline, Houston
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd., San Antonio
National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame, 2029 North Main St., Fort Worth
San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, 430 N. Cherry St., San Antonio
Denton: Feb. 1-March 8
Featuring photographs, facsimiles of landmark documents, and quotations by Dr. King and others engaged in the struggle for civil rights, this Humanities Texas traveling exhibition at the Denton Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum surveys the Civil Rights Movement from the emergence of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 through the 1990s.
San Antonio: Feb. 1-28
This exhibition at Palo Alto College’s Ozuna Library addresses the question posed by African American poet Countee Cullen in 1926: “What is Africa to me?” This exhibition provides examples from 45 20th century African American artists—both trained and untrained, including unknown Africans and Haitians—that visually respond to this question through photographs, posters, and concise texts. This month, the library will also be hosting lunch and learn sessions with San Antonio Commanders football player Marlon Smith and award-winning author Morgan Jerkins.
Denton: Feb. 1-March 8
Through renowned photojournalist James “Spider” Martin’s camera and the words of Congressman John Lewis, former head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), March to Freedom follows a determined group of marchers, both black and white, as they tried on three different occasions in March 1965 to take their cause to the steps of the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery. The exhibition was created by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin and the LBJ Presidential Library, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Bryan: Feb. 1-28
The Department of Multicultural Services at Texas A&M University announce a month of activities for Black History Month, including free admission all month long to the Brazos Valley African American Museum, presentations exploring how African Americans have influenced the field of STEM and Engineering, a film screening of Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, a dinner uncovering the history of soul food, and more.
Fort Worth: Feb. 2-23
Dave Harris was the very first African American pilot to fly for a commercial airline when he joined the American Airlines team in 1964 and blazed a trail for black men and women in the aviation industry. Make “Wings of Gratitude” written notes at the American Airlines CR Smith Museum to thank Captain Harris and American Airlines for being agents of change.
Austin: Feb. 28
Pop in to the Bullock Museum with your young Texans (ages 2-5) at 10 a.m. to dive into stories and create art inspired by African American creativity and invention. The program is free for members or with exhibit admission.