By Carlos Marquez III
Senior News Reporter
The Calaboose Museum is a San Marcos museum which showcases African American history that is local to the area. The museum is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to appointments during the week for anyone interested in visiting. The museum has numerous exhibits detailing several issues in African American history such as slavery and the oppression of the Ku Klux Klan but is now adding a new exhibit to invite local artists to add their work to the museum’s collection.
In the 1980s, local social activist Johnnie Armstead began collecting various objects and belongings that illustrated African American culture. She then petitioned City Council that there needed to be a building available to exhibit African American history. She suggested that the museum be built within what was the first Hays County Jail. The jail was split into two sections, one being the “white jail” and the second being “the black jail” and Armstead decided that the “black jail” was the best place to house the museum and was founded in 1997. Historical figures of color such as historical blacksmith Ulysses Cephas, phenomenal musician Eddie Durham and NBA champion Lucious Jackson are featured at the museum.
The new exhibit will feature Texas State artists of color to help bridge historical and contemporary forms of art. Calaboose Museum Board Member Samuel Garcia junior says that the museum is looking forward to presenting the new exhibit in early May.
“You know we’re just really excited to work with young people,” Garcia said. “I think this is gonna be a first for us as far I know, working, collaborating with the university, intentionally. So we’re looking to get some really nice pieces in there, that shows off the talents but also that has a certain theme, themes around social, historical [and] political issues. So that it will speak to the history of the museum but also contemporary events. So I think it’s gonna be a really nice exhibit just because we get to really display, you know the talents that are out there and create a space for them to showcase their work.”
Garcia says that the museum serves as means of spotlighting history of people of color and encourages citizens to engage in important social issues which they hope to display through the new exhibits and various exhibits to come.