By Shawn S. Lealos
This month, February, is Black History Month and there might not be a better place to honor the annual celebration than in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. North Texas has a number of great museums and centers that honors the role of African Americans as a part of American History. Whether you’re looking for a special event taking place during Black History Month or looking for a place to go in honor of the month, there is something for everyone. Here’s a look at the best ways to celebrate Black History Month in the DFW area.
Paul Ortiz – Public Lecture & Book Signing
Brown-Lupton University Union
2901 Stadium Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76129
Paul Ortiz is the award-winning author of the book, “An African American and Latinx History of the United States,” a historical book that argues that the “Global South” was important in the development of America. It also discusses the Jim Crow racial segregation and speaks on how the plight of the African American, Latinx and Indigenous people helped define the working class joining forces to battle imperialism – all told from the point of view of African American and Latinx activists. Ortiz will appear at Texas Christian University’s Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom on February 15 to talk about his book and autograph copies. This is a free event but online reservations are suggested.
African American Museum of Dallas
3536 Grand Ave.
Dallas, TX 75210
A perfect place to go to celebrate Black History Month in the DFW area is at the African American Museum in Dallas. Founded in 1974, the museum was once part of the historically black Bishop College until it shut its doors in 1988. The museum has operated independently since 1979, so it’s lasted much longer than the college it started in and is the only black history museum of its kind in the entire southwestern. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays but is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
4466 S. Marsalis Ave.
Dallas, TX 75216
The Pan-African Connection is a bookstore, art gallery and resource center in Dallas. The center advertises itself as the closest a person can get to Africa without actually boarding an airplane. The store has a huge assortment of books based on African history, healthcare, psychology, spirituality, philosophy, and religion. They also have fiction novels, children’s books and educational materials. It isn’t just a bookstore though, as they also sell African clothing, hair and body products, and African art work that will look good in anyone’s home or office.
2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75215
Anyone celebrating Black History Month in Dallas has to make a stop at the Martin Luther King Community Center. This is located in Dallas and is part of the historic Fair Park district in South Dallas. There are five buildings on the campus, which include the Martin Luther King Branch Library, a ChildCareGroup, the Foremost Family Health Center and a Recreation Center that doubles as a Senior Citizen Center. The center opened in 1969 to be an all-encompassing community center providing assistance and help to everyone in need. The center was named after Dr. King in 1975.
2618 Warren Ave.
Dallas, TX 75215
There is a huge piece of African American history in the Dallas area. One great way to celebrate Black History Month is by visiting the Juanita Craft House. Craft was a civil rights organizer and public servant that helped integrate two different Dallas universities (University of Texas Law School and North Texas State University), the Texas State Fair in 1954, several theaters in Dallas, and a number of restaurants and lunch counters. Craft was elected to the Dallas City Council at the age of 73 and ultimately had a park named after her. Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. are among those who visited the house in the Wheatley Place Historic District. The Juanita Craft House is open to tours by appointment.