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