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Black History Art Exhibit on Display at Bowie State University

January 14, 2012

Through the work of 24 various artists from an organization called the National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (NAAHBCU), the stories of the struggle for civil rights as well as contemporary issues affecting African-Americans are creatively re-told in paintings, prints and photographs, sculpture and a multi-media video installation. 

"The uniqueness of the show is that it has a historical perspective as well as a contemporary focus on issues that citizens are working to resolve today," said Professor Clayton Lang, curator of the exhibit and associate professor in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. "It is important for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to know the stories depicted in the exhibit, especially those who were not there to witness it. There is something for everybody."

The exhibit entitled "The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas" begins with a painting that recalls the first steps toward citizenship in the form of sharecropping, which began during the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War. Another piece pays homage to those who built the architectural forms of their oppressors and their own communities through the use of builders' tools.

Well-known stories are portrayed in various forms such as the trial of the Scottsboro boys and the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, which ended school segregation. Another painting tells the story of the Little Rock 9 and how integration of schools had to be reinforced by the National Guard.

Other, not so well-known stories are told in the exhibit such as the case of Browder vs. Gayle involving four women who challenged segregation on buses in Alabama before the famous case of Rosa Parks. The exhibit offers something for the novice and the seasoned historian.

Contemporary issues are also depicted in photographs that show the efforts of one activist to address the problems of incarceration and premature death in urban communities. There are images that offer hope for the future and provide evidence that society is changing for the better.


10 - 11:50 a.m.   
2 - 7 p.m.

 12 - 7 p.m.

10 - 11:50 a.m.   
2 - 5 p.m.

12 - 2 p.m.
5 - 7 p.m.

10 - 12 p.m.
2 - 4:30 p.m.

Fine and Performing Arts Center Gallery, Room 2138 
Bowie State University
14000 Jericho Park Road
Bowie, MD 20715 

Click here for a photo gallery of the exhibit.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular gallery hours. Special accommodations are available for groups or classes interested in scheduling a tour. For more information, call 301-860-3769.

Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds who seek a higher quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The University places special emphasis on the science, technology, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit the website at