Black History Month

Black History Month

Throughout the past month, it has been affirming to see the celebrations, examinations, and conversations marking Black History Month shared through social media, virtual programming, and art. This national commemoration is an important moment to engage with and honor the history of Black people and culture. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art continues thoughtful and sustained programming throughout the year as Black History is more than just a month. Below are a selection of opportunities to learn about Black history and celebrate black voices all year long.

READ / WATCH / LOOK / LISTEN

Kemper Museum Uses Contemporary Art To Connect Two Centuries Of Missouri’s History | El Museo Kemper Utiliza El Arte Contemporáneo Para Conectar Dos Siglos De Historia Del Estado De Missouri

KCUR's Laura Spencer interviews the organizers of Contemporary Art and the Missouri Bicentennial.

"Making The Invisible Visible" through Music, Art, and Poetry.

Kansas City-based musician and Classical KC host Robert McNichols Jr. speaks with Jade Powers, Assistant Curator at Kemper Museum, about The Underground Railroad and the exhibit "Selections from Night Coming Tenderly, Black" by photographer Dawoud Bey. You’ll also hear an oratorio based on the writings of William Still from composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell.

Dawoud Bey | Art Begins With an Idea on TEDxMET

Dawoud Bey tells the story of his experience visiting the exhibition, Harlem on My Mind, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the body of work he created in response, Harlem, USA, which was created and exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in the 1970s. Bey’s work is on view at Kemper Museum through March 7.

Post Civil War Photo Negatives Document African Americans Building New Lives In Leavenworth

KCUR spoke with Assistant Curator Jade Powers about an exhibition currently on display at the Black Archives Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri featuring a series of black-and-white portraits from a Leavenworth, Kansas photo studio taken in the late 19th and early 20th Century.

Joiri Minaya Artist Talk

Dominican Republic-raised New York-based Black Latinx artist Joiri Minaya (born 1990) is the artist who created Kemper Museum’s fifth commissioned Atrium Projects “Divergences." Minaya’s work focuses on decolonizing imposed histories, cultures, and ideas. For this Atrium Project installation, she was inspired by the idealized Midwest, complete with lush greenery and river scenes, having made a site visit to Quindaro Townsite in January 2020. Her work is on view at Kemper Museum through July 18.

Museum of the African Diaspora YouTube Channel

Find a variety of short videos and virtual content, including the series: Art History Crash Course: Art & Artists of the African Diaspora.

National Museum of African American History and Culture YouTube Channel

Find a variety of short videos and recordings of past programs.

LOCAL RESOURCES

American Jazz Museum

Located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films, and programs.

Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City

The Black Archives of Mid-America collects, preserves and makes available to the public materials documenting the social, economic, political and cultural histories of persons of African American descent in the central United States, with particular emphasis in the Kansas City, Missouri region. 

Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum

Quindaro, Kansas was established in 1856 on the south bank of the Missouri River by abolitionists who purchased the land from the Wyandotte American Indian’s federal registrar. It was developed as a Free State port of entry into Kansas Territory, and was the home of the earliest historically Black college west of the Mississippi River and Douglass Hospital, a medical facility and training site for aspiring African American doctors and nurses. Housed in the historic Vernon Multi-Purpose Center, the museum houses archeological ruins of the Underground Railroad that serve as a monument to racial harmony and to freedom as well as artifacts and documents that tell the story of the town and people of Quindaro.