NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Black History Month is a time during which we typically recognize the many achievements of African Americans. But for many people this year may be more meaningful than ever — especially in light of the recent Black Lives Matter movement, which brought worldwide attention to ongoing racial injustices — and was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
And it’s that movement which prompted the opening of a new pop-up museum in Dallas.READ MORE: Dallas Carter Alum Sha'Carri Richardson Notches Win At Olympic Trials
The BLK Experience Museum at Dallas’ Urban Arts Center is a pop-up museum celebrating Black lives and Black excellence.
Jiles R. King II is producing executive director at the Urban Arts Collective.
He says when the death of George Floyd last year became a catalyst for change and sparked a worldwide movement by people of all races — he knew that he couldn’t celebrate Black History Month this year in the usual ways.
“Many people ask what’s so special about George Floyd,” says King. “George Floyd was the lynchpin that literally pulled and exploded — that said Black lives have to matter. This is the last time we can go through this, and we can have no more. And so when I saw that, I said, as an artist and as a cultural curator, I have to put something together.”
So he transformed his performance venue — located in the heart of Oak Cliff — into a place where people of all races and backgrounds might come to celebrate Black heritage and excellence.
So, how does this February seem to differ from past years? “There’s a resurgence,” says King. “It feels very much like what I read during the Harlem Renaissance when everyone was promoting Black lives and Black history, and it was definitely a coming together of all cultures.”READ MORE: Nebraska Sending State Troopers To Help At Southern Texas Border
The museum is comprised of eight interactive rooms — each designed by artists with their own interpretation of the Black experience.
“It’s not just about Black Lives Matter. It’s really about the Black experience, and we don’t want to get pigeon-holed just only talking about the protests,” says King. “We want to talk about the excellence and the struggle and the history and the different nuances of Black lives.”
It’s a museum designed to inform and enlighten — but King says, above all, he hopes those who share in the experience leave there feeling “elevated.”
“I really want them to feel that someone has seen them and seen the experience, no matter what culture you come from. But we’re all in this thing together and we’re all making these strides together,” says King.
The museum is located at 807 Hutchins Rd. in Dallas, and it’s open every Thursday through Sunday during the month of February.
Entrance times will be staggered to uphold social distancing protocols, temperatures will be taken at the door, and only 10 visitors are allowed during each time slot, so buying tickets in advance is suggested. Ticket prices range from $7-$15.MORE NEWS: Texas Deputy Constable's Wife, Stepdaughter Shot During Home Invasion, Police Say