An upcoming student-curated exhibit at University of Houston Libraries features the student organization Afro Americans for Black Liberation (AABL) and its success in the inception of the UH African American Studies Program in 1969.
Forged by Protest: Student Organization Afro Americans for Black Liberation (AABL) and the Genesis of the UH African American Studies Program was curated by Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH) scholar Saron Regassa as an analog component of a digital project aiming to make the history of AABL accessible as an online resource. The exhibit is a collaboration between the UH department of African American Studies and UH Libraries.
In 1967, a UH sophomore, Gene Locke, created the student organization Committee for Better Race Relations (COBRR), which soon became Afro Americans for Black Liberation (AABL, pronounced “able”). On February 7, 1969, AABL presented their “10 Demands” to UH president Philip G. Hoffman, and throughout the semester, AABL rallied for support on campus. Among the demands was a call for a “Department of Afro-American Studies.” AABL’s activities led to the establishment of the UH Afro-American Program (now the department of African American Studies) later that year, making UH the first state university in Texas with such a program and one of the first in the nation. The UH African American Studies Program was granted departmental status in 2021. Tara T. Green joined the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) as founding chair of the department of African American Studies in 2022.
As part of the REACH project, Regassa is researching the history of AABL using archives across UH Special Collections, from student publications to UH administration records, and using the primary sources, provided the context and description for the exhibit. REACH is a year-long introductory research experience for undergraduates in humanities disciplines, and is supported by the Cougar Initiative to Engage and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards (OURMA). REACH connects students to existing UH digital humanities projects and allows them to develop research skills through mentored, first-hand scholarly inquiry and through participation in OURMA research programming. REACH participants will present their research at Undergraduate Research Day in April 2023.
The exhibit will be on display at MD Anderson Library from February 13 through March 13.
This week, visitors to the University of Houston MD Anderson Library will notice a suite of banners in the atrium. The Banner Project, created by Houston activists Sara Fernandez and JD Doyle, is a pop-up exhibit featuring pivotal moments in Houston’s LGBT history from the 1930s to present day.
2022 marks the sixth year that UH Libraries has partnered with the creators to host the banners, sparking discussion, reflection, and awareness across campus and in the community. The banners will remain on display through October in honor of LGBT History Month, and on October 11, National Coming Out Day, staff from Special Collections will host an informational table in the atrium from 11am – 5pm, featuring archival materials from the LGBT History Research Collection. The Banner Project creators Fernandez and Doyle will be attending, as well as representatives from the UH LGBTQ Resource Center.
Paintings and collages have been installed on the 2nd floor of MD Anderson Library near Special Collections, adding to the current exhibit featuring works of Texas-born artist Dorothy Hood (1918-2000).
In collaboration with Public Art of the University of Houston System and the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST), University of Houston Libraries will display Dorothy Hood: The Edge of Being through March 2023, along with additional exhibit locations at UH and University of Houston-Clear Lake. Visitors interested in an immersive look at Hood’s personal archives are encouraged to contact head of Special Collections Christian Kelleher.
Artworks include The Terrible Parade, Black Vessel, Sound From Within, Thorns, Primal Edge, and others.
University of Houston Libraries invites visitors to explore our book display celebrating Pride Month, located in MD Anderson Library. Selections comprise a variety of nonfiction and fiction, with historical and contemporary perspectives.
Featured books include:
After Homosexual: The Legacies of Gay Liberation (2014), Carolyn D’Cruz and Mark Pendleton
Feminism is Queer: The Intimate Connection Between Queer and Feminist Theory (2010), Mimi Marinucci
Not Straight, Not White: Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis (2016), Kevin J. Mumford
University of Houston Libraries invites visitors to explore our book display celebrating women’s history, located in MD Anderson Library. Selections comprise a variety of nonfiction and fiction, with historical and contemporary perspectives.
Featured books include:
Why I Am Not a Feminist (2017), Jessa Crispin
“…demands nothing less than the total dismantling of a system of oppression” (Melville House).
This Is Not Chick Lit (2006), ed. Elizabeth Merrick
A collection of original short stories from American women writers (Random House).
Ladies Coupé (2001), Anita Nair
“The story of a woman’s search for strength and independence” (Penguin India).
American Daughter (1986), Era Bell Thompson
In this autobiography, Thompson describes her life in early twentieth-century North Dakota (Minnesota Historical Society Press).
Style & Status: Selling Beauty to African American Women, 1920-1975 (2007), Susannah Walker
“This book analyzes an often overlooked facet of twentieth-century consumer society as it explores the political, social, and racial implications of the business devoted to producing and marketing beauty products for African American women” (University Press of Kentucky).
University of Houston Libraries invites visitors to explore our book display honoring African American history, located in MD Anderson Library. Selections comprise both legacy and contemporary perspectives.
Featured books include:
I Can’t Date Jesus (2018), Michael Arceneaux
“…a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul-searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity” (Simon & Schuster).
The Riot Inside Me (2005), Wanda Coleman
Coleman’s second collection of nonfiction prose includes essays, memoirs, interviews, and reports “at the bloody crossroads where art and politics, the personal and the political, and LA and the larger world meet and trade blows before resuming their separate paths” (Godine).
Bone Black (1996), bell hooks
“Stitching together girlhood memories with the finest threads of innocence, feminist intellectual bell hooks presents a powerfully intimate account of growing up in the South” (Henry Holt).
To Write in the Light of Freedom (2015), eds. William Sturkey and Jon Hale
“…offers a glimpse into the hearts of the African American youths who attended the Mississippi Freedom Schools in 1964″ (University Press of Mississippi).
The Chiffon Trenches (2020), André Leon Talley
“Discover what truly happens behind the scenes in the world of high fashion in this detailed, storied memoir from style icon, bestselling author, and former Vogue creative director Andre Leon Talley” (Ballantine).
Artworks and archives of prominent Houston artist Dorothy Hood are on display at University of Houston Libraries Special Collections in an exhibit organized by Public Art of the University of Houston System in collaboration with the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST) and UH Libraries.
From the Public Art of UH website: “As an artist, Texas-born Dorothy Hood (1918-2000) was best known for abstract works layered with a variety of materials, motifs and meanings. During her long career, her canvases and works on paper often referenced physical and mental landscapes as well as the connections between inner and outer worlds. Hood’s work was liminal, seamlessly moving between big concepts and the deeply personal.”
Visitors interested in an immersive look at Hood’s personal archives are encouraged to contact head of Special Collections Christian Kelleher.
A screening of Laurie MacDonald’s 2001 film Eyeopeners along with her rarely-seen documentary of the 1986 New Music America (NMA) Festival in Houston will be shown in the back patio of Brasil Café: 2604 Dunlavy St. Houston, TX 77098 on October 20 at 7 pm.
The event is part of a collaboration between University of Houston Libraries Special Collections and The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. The exhibit UNREAL ESTATES: Houston’s Visionary Art Environments will be open to the public at the Flatland Gallery (next door to Brasil Café) during the event.
The documentary is part of the New Music America Collection in the Performing and Visual Arts Research Collection at UH Special Collections.
The 1986 New Music America Festival, which gave rise to the Houston Art Car Parade, comprises a large part of the collection. Donated by the late Michael Galbreth of The Art Guys, the collection features correspondence, posters, programs, photos, and artwork documenting NMA, a peripatetic festival of experimental music. The festival was, at that time, the largest new music celebration in the world. Its origin was New York City, and in subsequent years, the festival traveled to major cities across the US, landing in Houston in 1986.
Mary Manning, university archivist and curator of the Performing Arts Research Collection, will exhibit items from the NMA collection at the Orange Show event.
This month, visitors to the University of Houston MD Anderson Library will notice a suite of banners displayed in the atrium. Known as The Banner Project and created by Houston activist Sara Fernandez, the pop-up exhibit features pivotal points in Houston’s LGBT history from the 1930s to present day.
2021 marks the fifth year that UH Libraries has partnered with Fernandez to host the banners, which were produced by graphic designer Kirk Baxter. A new addition includes Houston Splash Galveston (1988), bringing the total banner count to 47.
The Banner Project is on display in conjunction with October 11, which is National Coming Out Day.
The Architecture, Design, and Art Library is pleased to announce its virtual pop-up programming for the spring semester. Each pop-up consists of curated art books on view and prize drawings on Instagram.
Theme: Black History Month
Theme: Valentine’s Day
Theme: International Women’s Day
Theme: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Theme: National Photography Month