All Articles Tagged "museums"
Across the country, there are many museums promoting, preserving, and honoring the history and culture of African-Americans. With a focus on art, music, technology, history, and even firefighters, here are ten amazing places to check out if you want a little more culture in your life.
African-American Museum, Dallas, TX
As one of the only museums of its kind in the Southwestern United States, the African-American Museum in Dallas was founded in 1974 at Bishop College, a HBCU that closed in 1988. It ran independently starting in 1979, constructed a new facility that opened in, and houses one of the largest African-American Folk Art collections in the US.
(Forbes) — “You take a mouth off someone, you’ll be surprised how they look,” says artist Jason “Borbay” Borbet, considering the painting in front of him. “It’s a very different person.” The mouth in question belongs to Hillary Clinton. Her image rests upside-down in the middle of a colorful collage that Borbay has painted to depict another Empire State power broker: Jay-Z. The rest of the canvas is covered with headlines pulled from The New York Post, along with a few images—Clinton, Beyoncé and a presidential seal—upon all of which a rendering of the rapper is superimposed. “Jay-Z’s got this big personality, but he’s so low key. It’s almost like he’s always sitting,” says Borbay, lowering himself into an explanatory crouch, “and about to stand up.”
A new museum is in the works that will celebrate the contributions blacks have made to popular music: The National Museum of African American Music, which will be in Nashville, Tennessee. A city that is well-known for its rich musical history, this new museum will fulfill a desire for greater diversity in the locale’s offerings that has been expressed by many tourists. Board chairman for the project Henry Hicks told ABC News: “With the focus on music and the more than 40 genres of music that African Americans contributed to in a meaningful way, it really becomes a museum of American music and allows us to tell the story of American music.” This will be the first museum to focus specifically on the music history of African-Americans — but it is not the only one that preserves the legacy of our greats. Here are more important repositories of our rich past that offer (or will when completed) a wonderful window on black achievement. Keep these destinations in mind for future educational adventures.
The National Museum of African American Music
Estimated Date of Opening: 2013
The National Museum of African American Music will be the first museum of its kind dedicated to the historical contributions of blacks in the United States to popular music. At a cost of $47.5 million, the museum intends to bring together the many artists, companies, styles and cultural movements that have both influenced and been influenced by black music.
Slavery. Universally, the word makes people cringe. The notorious era of the European slave trade not only distorted many cultures in Africa; it also psychologically scarred African-Americans so severely that our present community continues to suffer from these wounds. Its effects are so profound that most people do not want to examine slavery’s roots. Sculptor Vinnie Bagwell has an ample understanding of this reaction.
“People ask why can’t we just get over it [slavery] already? Because we haven’t addressed it,” she told The Atlanta Post. Despite this, to help the process she has chosen to tell the hidden stories of enslaved Africans in New York. Bagwell has created the sculptures for a commemorative installation called the Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden, a preservation project planned by the city of Yonkers. A work in progress, when completed the Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden will house images of men, women, and children tenderly sculpted by this home-grown native.
(Washington Post) – Back in 1962, Frank Smith Jr. left Morehouse College in Atlanta and went to Mississippi as a civil rights activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In Holly Springs, he met a man who turned out to be the descendant of an African American Civil War veteran. “I found it ironic that a guy whose grandfather had fought to end slavery and preserve the Union was still being treated like a second-class citizen, not even allowed to vote,” Smith told me recently. “So I started reading about the soldiers.” A seed was planted that would become the African American Civil War Museum and Memorial, which Smith founded in Washington in 1998. On Monday, nearly 50 years after that chance encounter in Mississippi, he’ll preside over the dedication of the museum’s expansion into a renovated school building at 1925 Vermont Ave. NW. It is the largest museum of its kind in the country and the only national memorial to black soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
(Chicago Sun Times) — While sorting through old records in the Burr Oak cemetery office, employees found a handful of old brochures asking for donations to the “Emmett Till Historical Museum and Mausoleum.” Former manager Carolyn Towns, sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for dismembering a corpse and theft, wanted to build a museum on the grounds where Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, are buried. That’s what she promised Mrs. Mobley. “We have so much history here, and we want to highlight all the prominent African Americans buried at the cemetery,” Towns said in 2004. But Towns’ arrest two years ago halted any plans she made to build a museum for Till and his mother in the historic black cemetery near Alsip. It wasn’t clear during the Cook County sheriff’s investigation at the cemetery how much money Towns ever collected for any Emmett Till memorial.
(Crain’s) — After yet another year of in which local cultural institutions were threatened by proposed deep budget cuts from the city, nearly all the money was restored in the final budget for this fiscal year. The cultural institutions group—made up of all the arts groups in city-owned building ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island—received an initial restoration of $20.5 million of its proposed $33.7 million cut. Sources say Mayor Bloomberg is going to put in an additional $10 million from discretionary funds, nearly fully restoring the CIGs funding.
(DC Centric) — Pedestrians in Chinatown are inundated with advertising and gimmicks, from free burritos to digital billboards. And joining the marketing blitz on a recent sweltering Saturday afternoon was a group of young black men handing out coupons — wearing orange prison jumpsuits. They were employees of the National Museum of Crime & Punishment. Some passersby politely took the coupons; most ignored or avoided them. But given the stereotypes associated with black men and crime, others took offense at the sight of black men being hired to wear the jumpsuits. “It’s got kind of a rough edge to it,” said Wes Brown of D.C., who first saw the men last year. He said they’re dressed “like criminals” and “people see them and probably think that.”
(AJC) — Visitors will again be able to see the pulpit and sit in the sanctuary where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached. Bernice King and Martin Luther King III will join Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Friday in celebrating the reopening of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Heritage Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall, which closed in 2007 for a major project to restore them to their 1960s appearance.
(The Root) — David Adjaye is the most famous black architect in the world. In fact, he may be the only famous black architect in the world. The tall, slim, ebony-handsome Londoner shrugs off his celebrity status and prefers to talk about his work. But big wins create big stars. Adjaye teamed up with New York firm Davis Brody Bond Aedas to beat out a slew of big names, including fellow Brit Norman Foster, for the commission to build the $500 million National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will rise on the National Mall next to the Washington Monument between now and 2015. His team stood out, not just for its heavily African-influenced design for the new museum, Adjaye believes, but because he pitched the museum as a celebration of black achievement rather than as a lamentation on slavery. Adjaye has had a meteoric rise in a business that is often called “an old man’s profession.” Conquering the complex bouillon of art history, design, structural engineering and human behavior — and, most, important, the connections and schmoozing that it takes to put up a building — can take a lifetime. Frank Gehry and Foster are 82; Moshe Safdie is 77. Yet at age 45, Adjaye has already earned a designation that puts him in a category that he dislikes: “starchitect.”