High Point Museum commemorates Black History Month

"February is Black History Month, or National African American History Month. It is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. 
The High Point Museum will be hosting a couple of documentary screenings and have two different exhibits on display. One of the exhibits, Pieces of the Past: The Art of Gwendolyn Jones Magee, will be open until February 21. This exhibition brings noted quilter and High Point native Gwendolyn Jones Magee’s art to her hometown and explores the history she created through her art. It features six quilts. Magee’s art brings history to life through detailed threadwork, vibrant fabrics and countless hours of research and design. This exhibit was curated by the UNCG History Department’s Museum Studies Class of 2015. Guided tours are available for adult, family and student groups, contact the Museum for reservations.

In conjunction with that exhibit, the Museum will show the full length “documentary “Gwen Magee: Threads of History." It was created in 2011 by Anne Cremieux and Geraldine Chouard. Magee passed away just days after the footage was captured. The documentary gives insight into the artist and how she thought, felt and created her quilts. The screenings will be Saturdays, February 14 and 21 at 10:30 am at the Museum.

The other exhibit is a collection from Raymond Payne, Rabbit Quarter Ministries. It includes a variety of African American artifacts showcasing significant parts of history. It will be display throughout February.

“There are many African American stories in High Point’s history, and these are just a few we are highlighting during this year’s celebration of Black History Month,” Edith Brady, Museum Director, said.

The High Point Museum has a variety of African American items and photos on display including a reproduction of John Coltrane’s 1937 fifth grade school report for Negro History Month; stained glass window and pulpit from First Baptist Church on Washington Street; and items from desegregation.

The High Point Historical Society released its second book in a series of five that focuses on African American history in High Point. Entitled “Our Roots, Our Branches, Our Fruits of Knowledge – Black Schools of High Point & Surrounding Area 1868-1968,” it is authored by local author and historian, Glenn Chavis. The book is available in the Museum Store for $20.95 plus tax.

The High Point Museum also has two online exhibits – Melzetta Williams: A Teacher’s Recollections and A Pathway to Opportunity – focusing on African American experiences in High Point.

The High Point Museum, located at 1859 E. Lexington Ave., is open Wednesday through Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and the Historical Park is open Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 885-1859 or visit our website www.highpointmuseum.org.

The High Point Museum is dedicated to sharing Greater High Point’s history, providing perspective for current issues, and strengthening the sense of community. Our work is guided by our core values of connection, diversity, fun, and innovation."

- A Press Release

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