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Central Track, 1926. Courtesy DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, The Dallas Morning News Collection.

The African American Museum, Dallas kicks off 2024 with an array of activities honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday in January and celebrating Black History Month in February. They include a health and wellness fair, family/community day, musical concerts, an African American heritage bowl competition for local high schoolers, a Black sports hall of fame event and more.

The museum will also feature three ongoing exhibitions including Central Track: Crossroads of Deep Ellum, Seeing A World Blind Lemon Never Saw, and The Souls of Black Folk: Selections from the Billy R. Allen Folk Art Collection and The Decorative Arts Collection.

Also, visitors are encouraged to view the newly dedicated Texas Historical Marker, which commemorates the Hall of Negro Life that was constructed for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition at Fair Park in Dallas. The Hall, which celebrated the numerous achievements and deeds of the African American community in America, attracted more than 400,000 visitors over the course of the fair, with an estimated 60% of visitors being White. The African American Museum, Dallas now stands at the original site of the Hall of Negro Life. Museum leaders say they never intended to replace the Hall of Negro Life but to instead carry forward its mission.

The African American Museum, Dallas is located at 3536 Grand Ave. in Dallas’ historic Fair Park.

JANUARY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:

FREEDOM TO THINK: AN INTRODUCTION TO MALCOLM X’S USE OF THE LIBERAL ARTS
Saturday, Jan. 13, and Saturday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
African American Museum, Dallas, AT&T Auditorium
Free and open to the public


Ever wondered why Malcolm X continues to be such a capable thinker and communicator? Join University of Dalals graduate fellow Kevin A. Marshall and founder of the Dawam Center for Liberal Learning and the designer of several HBCU courses, for this exploration of truth and wisdom within diverse communities.

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM YOUTH CLASSICAL ARTIST COMPETITION
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at 4 p.m.
African American Museum, Dallas
Free and open to the public

Come experience an afternoon of brilliantly talented young instrumentalists. The competition winner will perform at the museum’s Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra concert on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 5 p.m. at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (see details in February listing). Requested dress is semi-formal attire.

REALIZING THE DREAM HEALTHY LIVING EXPO
Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
African American Museum, Dallas
Free and open to the public


With a mission to build strong families and community, the Realizing the Dream Healthy Living Expo will feature health screenings, wellness and financial literacy workshops, vendor marketplace, performances and more.

MUSIC UNDER THE DOME FEATURING MAHOGANY THE ARTIST
Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, at 7:30 p.m.
African American Museum, Dallas
Free and open to the public; register at aamdallas.org/events


Bringing jazz concerts to the heart of Fair Park, the three-part Music Under the Dome winter series kicks off with jazz sensation Mahogany The Artist. While admission is free, seating is limited and registration is required. Food and beverages will be available for sale.

FEBRUARY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:

SCOTT JOPLIN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF HOUSTON
Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at 5 p.m.
Black Academy of Arts and Letters Live, 1309 Canton St., Dallas, 75201
Tickets are $15 and $25 at the Museum and Ticketmaster.com


One of the nation's oldest contemporary majority African-American community orchestras, The Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra of Houston’s mission is to showcase Black artists and composers while setting an example to the Black community that orchestras can include people that look like them. Presented by the AAM with proceeds benefiting its youth programs, the orchestra’s seventh Dallas appearance will feature performances by the South Dallas Children’s Choir and the winners of the Youth Classical Artist Competition. The concert features an array of music – from classical and jazz, to blues and gospel, to contemporary music including hip-hop and more. This year’s event is in honor of Dr. Clark Joseph, minister of music and worship arts at St. John Church in Dallas. Event chair is Dr. Vivian Johnson.

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM FAMILY/COMMUNITY DAY AND READ-IN
Saturday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
African American Museum, Dallas
Free and open to the public


This free family-fun day will offer arts and crafts, a paint party, live music, exhibition trivia and documentary and film screenings throughout the day. The event will also feature the African American Read-In, presented by The Dock Bookshop in collaboration with the AAM.

TEXAS BLACK SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION LUNCHEON
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at 11:30 a.m.
Dallas Renaissance Hotel
2222 N. Stemmons Freeway Dallas
Tickets $125 at aamdallas.org/events


The Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame (TBSHOF), housed at the AAM, chronicles the sports history contributions made by African Americans. It was established in 1996 to honor Texas coaches and athletes of high character and achievement who have made recognizable contributions to African American culture and/or history. Each year, the general public submits nominees and a panel of judges (including sports media journalists) makes the final selection. The 2024 honorees for basketball are Jennifer Bell, Tamicha Jackson, Robert Pack Jr. and Retha Swindell; for football are Bobby Brooks, Lester Hayes, Nate Newton and Marvin Washington; for golf is Richard Bonner; for journalism is Roger B. Brown (posthumously); for Rodeo is Fred Whitfield; and coaching is Abron Young, Jr.

MUSIC UNDER THE DOME
Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at 7:30 p.m.
African American Museum, Dallas
Free and open to the public; register at aamdallas.org/events


Bringing jazz concerts to the heart of Fair Park, the three-part Music Under the Dome winter series kicks off with jazz sensation Mahogany The Artist. While admission is free, seating is limited and registration is required. Food and beverages will be available for sale.

Bringing jazz concerts to the heart of Fair Park, the three-part Music Under the Dome winter series continues with saxophonist /vocalist Rob Holbert. While admission is free, seating is limited and registration is required. Food and beverages will be available for sale.

Free and open to the public, the three exhibitions on view at the AAM are as follows:

CENTRAL TRACK: CROSSROADS OF DEEP ELLUM
Through May 30, 2024
Free and open to the public

Central Track: Crossroads of Deep Ellum focuses primarily on the 1920s and 1930s and features newspaper clippings, archival photographs, posters, and recordings of blues, jazz and popular music of the period. The exhibition unravels the growth and demise of North Central Avenue, in the area known as Central Track or Stringtown, which connects Deep Ellum to what was called Freedman Town after the Civil War. The area was later renamed Short North Dallas then Old North Dallas before being identified as Uptown. The exhibition raises questions about cultural identity difficult to reconcile, juxtaposing the harsh realities of racism to the vitality of a community that struggled to survive. While few photos have been found, numerous newspaper accounts bring to life a world little known and often overlooked that was destroyed in the 1940s to make way for North Central Expressway and the I-345 overpass.

SEEING A WORLD BLIND LEMON NEVER SAW
Through May 30, 2024
Free and open to the public

Seeing a World Blind Lemon Never Saw
presents a photographic series by Alan Govenar from 2021-2023. The exhibition explores rural East Texas, little-known places in Dallas and locations that the legendary blues singer, Blind Lemon Jefferson, visited or alluded to in his songs. Govenar’s compelling photographs of Jefferson’s environment are characterized with chromatic elegance and depth. The images encapsulate the spectrum of human experience. The photographs’ clear tonal contrast of light and shadow evokes a timeless quality that transcends the boundaries of time and gives Govenar’s photographs universal appeal.

THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK: SELECTIONS FROM THE BILLY R. ALLEN FOLK ART COLLECTION AND THE DECORATIVE ARTS COLLECTION
Lower level of the museum
Ongoing
Free and open to the public

Spotlighting folk and self-taught artists from Texas and beyond, the exhibition features works from the museum’s permanent folk art collection which is one of the largest collections in the country. Featured pieces include an 1821 coverlet made and signed by a 16-year-old enslaved girl, an 1888 crazy quilt, a desk made by slaves in 1830, an 1864 silver spoon made by a slave, and a chair designed by Charles Harrison, a 30-year industrial designer at Sears.

Season sponsors of the African American Museum, Dallas, are Atmos, Eugene McDermott Foundation, Fair Park First, Friendship West Baptist Church, Oncor, OVG360, NBC 5/Telemundo, State Fair of Texas, Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, and the City of Dallas’ Office of Arts and Culture.

HOURS.
Hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. NOTE: The museum will be open on Monday, Jan. 15 for Dr. King’s birthday. Free self-parking is available in nearby lots.

For more information, go to aamdallas.org or call 214-565-9026. For the latest updates, follow the Museum on Instagram and Facebook.

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About the African American Museum, Dallas
The African American 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.