The McNay Art Museum is taking a look into the painful past of African Americans in a powerful new exhibition, "Something to Say: The McNay Presents 100 Years of African American Art' which opens this weekend and runs through early May, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Harriett Kelley, who, along with her husband Harmon holds one of the leading collections of African American art and who has agreed to lend the McNay many of the works in her collection, says it provides a glimpse into African American life in the early and mid Twentieth Century.
"One painting, you look through a keyhole and see a rent party," she said. "This is how African Americans, when they didn't have the money to pay the rent, they would get together and have a party, and people would contribute."
And she says other paintings reflect powerful and wealthy African Americans, breaking the stereotype and demonstrating how people could overcome the Jim Crow laws that were in place during much of the period covered by the exhibition.
She says the exhibition carries a message to all Americans today
."That African Americans were significant, and played a very important part in the history of this country," she said.
"This tells the story of our lives."