June 19 - August 29, 2020
From the Museum:
“The Houston Museum of African American Culture will reopen its doors to the public on June 19, the Juneteenth national holiday weekend that celebrates the emancipation of African-Americans. The museum is excited to reopen with The Souls of Black Folk, which runs from June 19 through August 29. The exhibit gets its name from the famous 1903 W.E.B. Dubois book of essays on black life and race relations in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, but as the exhibition shows, the book might as well be about black life and race relations today
Curated by CEO Emeritus John Guess, Jr. the exhibition features works by more than 40 black artists, local and national, and makes the statement that black artists have been making for the past century; “We are here and we are resilient with our complicated souls intact.” The exhibit includes notable artists John Biggers, Rick Lowe, Floyd Newsum, Earlie Hudnall, Jamal Cyrus, Robert Pruitt, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Vicki Meek, Delita Martin, Kermit Oliver, Dominic Clay, Kaneem Smith, Danny Simmons, David McGee, Bert Long, Jr., Cedric Ingram, Michael Ray Charles, Carrie Mae Weems, Alonzo Williams and more.
Curator Guess noted, “ One of Dubois central tenants is the idea that a veil separates white and black America such that in many ways black people can see the opportunities through the veil that white people were privileged to have while white people could not see or would not see through the veil the opportunities that black people were denied. I wanted to emphasize how true that remains today.”
Despite the veil, Du Bois’ essays are an argument for, and a celebration of, the black spiritual and interior life that the Veil renders invisible to white America, and created the intellectual argument for the black freedom struggle in the twentieth century.
For HMAAC Board President Cindy Miles, “We wanted to reopen the museum with an exhibit for the times, with artists from the past but of these times too.”
According to Guess, “It is the seeming awareness today by white people that there IS a veil and a curiosity, if not intent, to see the reality of black life behind it that makes this period different from Dubois time and many of us more hopeful about its possibilities than we have been since the Civil Rights Movement.”
The exhibit is graciously sponsored by HEB, The Houston Endowment, Donna and Neal Wilcox, Adrian and Erin Patterson, Deborah Colton, Ramon Manning and the Black Arts Futures Fund.
The museum reopens during the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate negative impact on the African Americans community. HMAAC is keenly aware of this in reopening. The museum will fulfill CDC requirements in this new COVID-19 environment, reinventing the museum experience.
HMAAC will be implementing the following safety procedures to reopen:
HMAAC will be open on Friday & Saturday only and the hours will be 11-6 pm
We will open with 25% capacity and enforcing a maximum of 50 visitors allowed at one time
There will be an initial and periodic cleaning and antiseptic treatment of the building with hand-sanitizer stations
Masks for visitors and staff are required for entry
6ft distance between all visitors and follow the social distancing markers with one-way entrance and exit
Posted guidelines set forth by guest services and the museum store
It is important to remember that COVID-19 is still with us. Each of us plays a vital role in continuing to stop the spread and keep each other healthy.
HMAAC staff will continue to work with the City of Houston and health officials to monitor local data and trends to determine what further actions may be necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and support the opening of our economy in a responsible and sustainable way. Join us on Juneteenth.”
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