From the Smithsonian

New Texas museum exhibition celebrates Black men who've changed the world for the better

Texas museum exhibit celebrates Black men who've changed the world

LeBron James, "Men of Change," African American Museum
LeBron James portrait, part of the Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Photo courtesy of The Smithsonian
African American Museum presents Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth
Bayard Rustin (left), one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a key organizer of the March on Washington, with Cleveland Robinson. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution
August Wilson, "Men of Change," African American Museum
August Wilson, photo by David Cooper.   Photo courtesy of The Smithsonian
Alfred Conteh-Ryan Coogler, "Men of Change," African American Museum
Home Team - original artwork of Hollywood director Ryan Coogler by Alfred Conteh. Photo courtesy of The Smithsonian
Father and Son on the Beach, "Men of Change," African American Museum
Untitled photograph of father and son at Lake Michigan, 1946-1948. Photo by Wayne F. Miller.  Photo courtesy of The Smithsonian
LeBron James, "Men of Change," African American Museum
African American Museum presents Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth
August Wilson, "Men of Change," African American Museum
Alfred Conteh-Ryan Coogler, "Men of Change," African American Museum
Father and Son on the Beach, "Men of Change," African American Museum

A highly acclaimed traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution is making a summer stop at the African American Museum in Dallas. "Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth." went on view June 26 and runs until September 12.

The exhibition presents "the narrative of a nation through the profiles of significant African American men who are icons in the country’s historical and cultural landscape," the museum says in a release.

These include contemporary celebrities — superstars like LeBron James, Muhammad Ali, and Kendrick Lamar — as well as luminaries in science, business, religion, politics, and the Civil Rights movement. Some are well known, others are off the radar. Collectively, they've touched millions of lives directly and indirectly, the museum says.

Each biography is paired with original artwork by a noted artist that spotlights the subjects’ legacies and impact on the country. The work of artists Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, Robert Pruitt, Tariku Shiferaw, Devan Shimoyama, and more is included.

"The exhibition weaves a collective tapestry of what it is to be an African American man, past and present, and the legacy that only strengthens across generations," the museum says.

Created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), organizers assembled a diverse group of artists, advisors, academics, curators, and museum professionals to determine the men chosen as "Men of Change." Phillip E. Collins is the local guest curator for the exhibition. 

“We hope that by experiencing 'Men of Change,' visitors will see a lesson for us all, regardless of gender, race, or nationality,” says Myriam Springuel, director of SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations, in the release. “In these men we see an absolute ideal and a well of inspiration that encourages us to become our best selves.”

The men also serve as metaphors, representing the numerous men and the broader community that shaped them into important change agents. 

“The African American Museum, Dallas is very proud to bring 'Men of Change' to the people of North Texas and showcase the momentous stories of extraordinary African American men who have changed our world for the better,” says Dr. Harry Robinson, Jr., president and CEO of the African American Museum, Dallas, in the release. “This is an inspiring lesson in American history that must be shared.”

Admission to the museum, 3536 Grand Ave., is free. For more information, visit the museum's website.