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Black Cowboys exhibit at African American Museum, Dallas

Celebrating Black History Month in Dallas-Fort Worth

Kid-friendly events and exhibits honoring Black history and culture

Black History Month each February offers an abundance of opportunities to celebrate Black history and culture and continue an ongoing conversation with your kids about the African-American experience. Here we’ve assembled some of the top local kid-friendly exhibits and events—ranging from dance performances to rodeos and library read-ins.

Historical Exhibits

Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII
Produced by The National WWII Museum, the exhibit features artifacts, photographs and oral histories illustrates how hopes for securing equality inspired many to enlist, the discouraging reality of the segregated non-combat roles given to black recruits, and the continuing fight for “Double Victory” that laid the groundwork for the modern Civil Rights Movement. Learn more at righttofightexhibit.org.

Where: Irving Archives & Museum, 801 W. Irving Boulevard, Irving
When: On view through April 14. Open 10am–4pm Wednesday through Saturday and noon–4pm Sunday
Cost: $7 adults, $5 for seniors, military members and children; free for children 3 and younger.

Black Cowboys: An American Story
With more than 50 artifacts, photographs, documents and films, the exhibition explores the lives and work of the numerous Black men, women and children – enslaved and free – who labored on the ranches of Texas and participated in cattle drives before the Civil War through the turn of the 20th century.

Stay tuned for updates on related activities tailored for kids, including a rodeo camp with a mechanical bull and chuck wagon, and a ranch-style buggy for rides around Fair Park. Also, a special presentation is expected be made focusing on the Buffalo Soldiers.

Where: African American Museum, 3536 Grand Ave., Dallas; enter through gate 5
When: Through April 15. Museum open Tuesday–Friday 11am–5pm; Saturday 10am–5pm; closed Sunday and Monday
Cost: Free admission

Performances and Events

Bill Pickett Invitation Rodeo
This rodeo series honoring Black cowboys and cowgirls is named for Bill Pickett (1870–1932) who gained notoriety as the inventor of rodeo steer wrestling, or bulldogging, in Wild West shows. Read more about him here. Get your tickets to see this Western adventure rodeo with historical re-enactments.

Where: Cowtown Coliseum, 121 E. Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth
When: February 18, at 1:30pm and 7:30pm.

Cost: From $25 for adults; $15 for kids; $60 for VIP seats.
Plan ahead: Future rodeo dates are May 13, June 17 and August 19.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Cultural Awareness
DBDT presents its annual performance series both on stage and broadcast virtually. This year’s classic work, Games by Donald McKayle, evokes childhood nostalgia, and Tribute by Matthew Rushing pays homage to decades of legendary Dancestors. Watch the trailer and an excerpt of Tribute here.

Where: Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St., Dallas
When: Friday–Saturday, February 17–18 at 7:30pm; stream or watch on demand February 18–20
Cost: Seats from $35; $25 per household to watch from home.
Plan ahead: In-person and virtual tickets are available for these season performances: Dancing Beyond Borders March 4 in Fort Worth and March 25 in Richardson; Rising Excellence on April 21–22 in Dallas; Spring Celebration May 19–20 in Dallas, and DBDT Academy’s The Big Dance June 4 in Dallas.

African American Read-In
This worldwide annual event, established by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1990, showcases children’s literature created by African American books and authors.
– Check with your local library for upcoming programs, such as Irving Public Library’s event, on Sunday, February 19, featuring storyteller Toni Simmons from 2–4pm.
– The Dallas Public Library hosts a full schedule of Black History Month programming at its branches, including dance performances, craft kits and more programs for teens and adults. Click through to find what’s happening at the branch closest to you.
– Register online at dallasisd.org/ReadinDay to join Dallas ISD’s African American Read-In on Saturday, March 4 from 9am–2pm.

Did we leave out a great event or exhibit? Let us know at editorial@dfwchild.com.

Top image from Black Cowboys exhibition: Hector Bazy, courtesy of Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution