Discussion | Activism and Aperture: Houston through the Lens of Black Power, 1967

Activism and Aperture: Houston through the Lens of Black Power, 1967

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power, this panel discussion examines the pivotal year of 1967 in U.S. history and the rise of Black Power in Houston. The program was organized in collaboration with the African American History Research Center—Gregory Campus, Houston Public Library.

When activist Stokely Carmichael visited Houston in April 1967 to give speeches about Black Power, residents were variously terrified and emboldened into action, both by the idea of Black Power and college students’ demands for racial justice. The tension exploded on May 16, when police fired thousands of rounds of ammunition at a men’s dormitory at Texas Southern University and arrested nearly 500 students in the middle of the night, claiming the students were rioting. Civil-rights leader James Forman characterized the subsequent arrest of five Black TSU students charged with murdering a White police officer—and the “Long, Hot Summer” that followed—as an attempt to “intimidate militants and silence the rage of the [B]lack community.”


  • Introduced by Lisa Volpe, curator of photography, MFAH
  • Ray Carrington, photographer and retired teacher, Jack Yates High School, Houston
  • Malachi Crawford, assistant professor of history, Prairie View A&M University
  • Brittany Levingston, curatorial assistant, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC
  • Moderator: Danielle Burns Wilson, curator and art director, Project Row Houses, Houston

Plan Your Visit This program is included with general admission. The discussion takes place in Brown Auditorium Theater in the Law Building, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The exhibition is on view in the Beck Building. On Saturdays, the Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Related Event at Rothko Chapel | Sunday, January 15, 3 p.m.
“Images & Words: Media’s Influence on the Struggle for Civil Rights”
Rothko Chapel Annual MLK Birthday Observance 
Speakers: Lisa Volpe, curator of photography, MFAH; Michal Raz-Russo, program director, Gordon Parks Foundation; Devin Allen, Baltimore-based photographer; moderator Tony Diaz, Houston-based writer and activist. 
More Information

Safety Guidelines Masks are recommended in MFAH auditoriums. In the interest of your personal safety and community health, please observe all precautions set forth by the MFAH—learn more here.

Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services; Samuel H. Kress Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; Houston Junior Woman's Club; Sharon G. Dies; Sterling-Turner Foundation; Susan Vaughan Foundation; and additional generous donors.

“Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power” is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in collaboration with the Gordon Parks Foundation.

Generous support for the exhibition and opening celebration provided by:
Anne Levy Charitable Trust/Jean Karotkin

Dr. Ruth Simmons
Drs. Jakeen and Garfield Johnson
Simin and Gaurdie Banister
Drs. Annette and Anthony Brissett/Nicholas Stuart and Zsavon Butler
DIR Inc./Drs. Russell H. and Rosalind C. Jackson
Wendy and Mavis Kelsey/Fan and Peter Morris
Karen and Ramon Manning 
Merinda Watkins-Martin and Reginald Martin


Caroline Wiess Law Building
1001 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005
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