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1. Texas Southern University
TSU was founded in 1947 so that many African American Texans could utilize their veteranís educational benefits; since then Hispanic Americans have also availed themselves to this tremendous educational institution; the Thurgood Marshall School of Law has graduated more than 50% of practicing African American lawyers in Texas; 100% of a recent School of Pharmacy class passed the national pharmacy license exam; also features an upcoming School of Business on this well maintained campus (photos) of 10,000 students; world renowned artist John Biggers teaches in the School of Art named in his honor (photo); Carol H Simms Sculpture Garden in the center of the campus is also a must visit (photo); TSU was recently ranked by US News & World Report as one of the nationís best universities; 3100 Cleburne Street; 713-313-7011

2. The Traditional African Art Gallery
Contains a collection of African art acquired over the past four decades; composed of over 200 works from East, Central and West Africa, the collection is varied and vast enough in it scope to allow the study of true African traditions and concepts; Robert J Terry Library, Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne; 713-313-7149

3. Barbara Jordon and Mickey Leland Archives
Robert J Terry Library is home to archives which chronicle local, state, national and international achievements of TSUís most famous alumnae who also represented the 18th District in the US Congress; Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) was the first African American from Texas elected to the US Congress after Reconstruction; a masterful orator, debate team captain and constitutional scholar she is best remembered nationally when arguing for the impeachment of Richard Nixon and delivering the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic Convention; perhaps her greatest compliment is the respect received from arch-conservative rivals who dared not to publicly debate her; due to multiple sclerosis she retired from the US Congress after three terms in 1979; Mickey Leland (1944-1989); before he died during a humanitarian mission to Ethiopia, he filled Barbara Jordanís seat and went on to chair the Congressional Black Caucus for the 99th US Congress; he successfully pushed for stronger sanctions that helped lead to the collapse of Apartheid; a federal office building downtown (photo) named in his honor since; TSU Campus at 3100 Cleburne Street; 713-313-7011

4. Project Row Houses
This collective of 22 restored "Shotgun" row houses is nurturing and reaffirming shelter for artists-in-residence, community services, and community galleries for primarily African American art; a major urban revitalization success story; guided tours available by appt; 2658 Delmar Blvd; 713-533-1003

5. Shape Community Center
A staple in the Third Ward with its indoor community programs and summer youth programs; each year the Shape (photo) is the proud coordinator of the cityís Kwanzaa Celebration and the annual Pan-African Cultural Festival attended by thousands; 3815 Live Oak; 713-521-0641

6. The Ensemble Theatre
The late George Hawkins founded this theatre in 1976 as a touring company with a mission to preserve African American artistic expression, entertain and enrich a diverse community; the theatre enjoyed overwhelming growth in the 1980s when it moved to its current home and has since become a distinguished resident theatre able to purchase its facility in 1995; after a complete recent renovation this $4 million theater and performers can hold its own with any regional theatre in the nation a sample of their performances which appeal to all ages and across cultures includes: Tap Dance Kid, Black Nativity, Johnny B. Goode, and Black Eagles, fee-based workshops and master classes offered for children to gain confidence and enhance creativity by participating in theatre and for students to refine their theatrical skills; year round season with limited parking nearby; 3535 Main; 713- 520-0055

7. Community Artists Collective
This nearly block long building stone building is home for many African American artists and their exhibits; to see exhibits and artists schedule an appointment by call 11a-3p, Tue-Sat; sometimes the collective hosts fundraising events as well;
1501 Elgin at La Branch; 713-523-1616

8. African Cultural Exchange
Exchange cultural arts and educational programs between African countries and the Americas; presents history of Africa from antiquity to modern times; with children programs are accessible regardless of race or creed; Pearl of the Nile Valley performers fulfill objectives of the exchange with rites of passage, youth soccer, after-school cultural arts programs, sponsor of the Africa Day Festival in early May; founder and president Nanteza Kakembo; 9-5pm Mon-Fri; 4101 San Jacinto, #224; 713-521-1797

9. Ancestral Films
View those hard to find independent African, European, Latin American, Middleeastern, Asian, and North American films at Rice University Media Center or the Museum of Fine Arts for screening times; founding director Mohammed Kamara; 2508 Shakespeare Road, #5; 713-527-9548

10. M.E.D.I.A. Performing Arts Center
Checkout Afro-jazz and community art exhibits; most performances are in the nearby Houston Community College; popular with students; also located here is Kuumba House This non-profit multi-cultural arts center hosts theatrical, musical, and dance productions; children and adults can take African dance or introductory tap, ballet, Jazz and tumbling classes; 3412 LaBranch, Suite 10; 713-526-7966 and Kuumba House 713-524-1079


11. Julia C Hester House
Founded in 1943, this United Way memberís mission is to enhance the quality of life for Fifth ward residents. It provides after school, youth basketball, flag football, soccer, baseball, and golf, a high tech academy, summer camp, field trips, and a "swinging senior citizen programs for free or reduced cost; donations appreciated; 2020 Solo; 713-672-2573

13. American Cowboy Museum
The more than a century-old Taylor-Stevenson several hundred acre ranch is not an idealized version of a cowboy museum; instead it is home to a special museum focusing on African American cowboys and cowgirls; you can easily spend an afternoon here; because it is a working ranch managed by the family its not a good idea to just "drop in", please call to arrange an appointment for a tour, party, horseback riding, petting zoo, and leathercraft display; 11822 Almeda in south Houston; 713-433-4441

14. Magic Johnson Theatre
3rd in the cineplex chain built by former basketball great Magic Johnson; 12 screen, 3,500 seats built theatre that anchors a mall; new stadium-style seating for unobstructed viewing, sparkling facilities and attentive polite staff to serve another underserved community; Northline Mall

15. Houston Ebony Music Society / Houston Ebony Opera Guild
A company of classical singers based on Houston's African American community and committed to the expansion of opportunities for participation in and exposure to opera, traditional Negro spirituals and other classical music genres; performance of opera, choral music and other styles year-round; Christ Church Cathedral, 117 Texas Avenue; 713-529-7664

16. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston features art from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas from antiquity to the present. It also includes an outdoor sculpture garden, the Glassell School of Art, many temporary exhibitions and public programs, and weekly showings of Hollywood classics and foreign films; 1001 Bissonnet; 713-639-7300

17. Children's Museum of Houston
This museum ignites a life-long passion for learning in children through interactive exhibits and innovative programming in the areas of science and technology, history and culture, health and human development, and the arts; most appropriate for children up to age 12 and their parents; 1500 Binz; 713-522-1138

18. NASA Space Center
Must see! The Saturn Rocket used to lift the earliest American craft into space is jaw-dropping before entering the IMAX theatre, visit the wall along the Astronaut Gallery to see African American astronauts in their mission publicity photos: Guion S Bluford, first mission Aug 30-Sep 5, 1983; the late Ronald E McNair, first mission Feb 3-11, 1984 and the ill-fated Challenger mission; pilot Charles F. Bolden, first mission Jan 12-18, 1986; Mae C Jamison, first mission Sep 12-20, 1992; Bernard A Harris, first mission Apr 26-May 6, 1993; Winston E Scott, Jr, first mission Jan 11-20, 1996; Robert L Curbeam, Jr, first mission Aug 7-19, 1997; open daily, parking and admission fees; 1601 NASA Road; 281-244-2100 

19. Mickey Leland Library & Museum
George Thomas "Mickey" Leland Library and Museum of African History, Culture and Social Change, was created in 1996; for your reading comfort has a sitting library with a tea room; the center works with the community to preserve and interpret African history, natural history, and cultural materials beyond the walls of the library. The library also support research, collect speeches of well known orators, generate publications, display exhibitions, and other educational activities to advance the public's understanding and appreciation of Black art, history and culture with particular emphasis on the work of the late Congressman George Thomas "Mickey" Leland; weekdays by appt and weekends 10a-2p; 5407 Chenevert Suite 102; 713-524-3334

(713) 364-2484

 

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