Black Classicists in Texas consists of three exhibitions, each located at a different cultural venue in central Austin: the Benson Latin American Collection on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, the Downs-Jones Library at Huston-Tillotson University, and the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.
The three exhibits are divided thematically, and each can be viewed on its own. For the best experience, we recommend taking a self-guided tour to experience all three venues, as well as other historical sites of Austin’s Black community. Can’t visit Austin? We have you covered. You can explore the exhibit materials online or even take a 3-D digital tour!
Stop inside the Benson Latin American Collection Rare Books and Manuscripts room to learn about the 20th century debates over Black education. By featuring the still-resonant words of Black educators, set against archival documents of time, the Benson exhibit tells the interwoven story of Classics and Black education in Central Texas. And learn about how UT’s current Classics department has been reckoning with the field’s complicated past while fashioning an exciting and equitable future.
Head over to Austin’s east side, the historic neighborhood of the Black community, and the city’s first institution of higher education, Huston-Tillotson University. Here, in the middle of the Downs-Jones Library, the display spotlights the figures who founded and shaped the institution, including R.S. Lovinggood, classicist and first president of Samuel Huston College, and other central players in the University’s history.
Make your way to the atrium of the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, where the exhibit collects traces of the classroom experience of Latin students at Sam Huston College and Anderson High School and documents the changing landscape of Latin teaching in Austin today. While at the Carver, take in the various exhibits showcasing Austin’s Black history as well as works by contemporary Black artists.
All three exhibitions are free. For visiting hours, please click on the links above to go to each institution’s website; you can also find directions there or follow our self-guided tour.