The African American Museum of Dallas sees the city through the lens of black life – CBS Dallas/Fort Worth
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If there’s one place that symbolizes Dallas’ headquarters for black history and culture, it might be the Museum of African America.
From centuries-old archives to images of black political and social movements as little as three or four decades ago, many aspects of black history are part of daily display under the domed structure of the Dallas African American Museum. The circular vaulted ceiling nestled next to a spiral staircase is a work of art in its own right, many have rated it.
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But what it contains is the real view that many come to see.
Within the gallery spaces of the museum located in Fair Park is a view of Dallas through the lens of black life; his era of segregated school athletic excellence to his celebration of black entertainment stars published in Fort Worth’s “Sepia Magazine” 60 to 70 years ago.
The museum presents itself as a repository of art, culture and community – with Dallas’ black history at the forefront.
Visitors wander through galleries of folk art created by black artists, soak up the sporting exploits of the era of racial segregation, view the collection of captured images of Dallas’ political and social advocates and activists.
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Robert Edison is the museum’s curator of education. He said, “The great scholar, Carter G Woodson, the father of black history, said there’s no such thing as ‘nigger history’, as he called it. It’s a missing part of American history. So what our museum does is present that missing part of American history as it relates to national, state, local, and international history.
The Dallas African American Museum opens five days a week. For nearly 50 years now, the museum itself has been a part of Dallas history.
But the museum was not the first exhibition space centered on the lives and achievements of black people. The Hall of Negro Life was part of the centennial celebration of Texas independence from Mexico.
But unfortunately the building was demolished.
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That story now resides inside the building that celebrates, remembers, and elevates Dallas’ black history located on the grounds of Fair Park.