Just ahead of Black History Month in February, a new and innovative mobile exhibition, Facing the Rising Sun: The Journey of African American Homesteaders in New Mexico, Vision, Belief, and Sovereign Ownership presented by the African American Museum & Cultural Center of New Mexico will make its first stop at the Albuquerque Museum this Saturday, January 22.
Facing the Rising Sun is a high-tech exhibit telling the story and honoring the legacy of the first African American families to homestead New Mexico. Facing the Rising Sun is a partnership between the African American Museum & Cultural Center of New Mexico (AAMCCNM) and the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts & Culture, with design and fabrication by Electric Playhouse.
The exhibit will be open from January 22 to July 10. The exhibit examines the history of African American homesteading in our nation and state. It highlights the history of several families homesteading in three significant areas in New Mexico – Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Vado. Family histories included in the exhibit are those of Boyer & Fuller; Collins; Holsome; Lewis – Outley – Ballou; Pettes; and Williams.
“The collaboration with the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts & Culture shows their commitment to inclusion of the diverse histories of the state and allows for visibility of this history to the total New Mexico,” said Rita Powdrell, executive director of AAMCCNM. “The goal of this project is to showcase the history of homesteading, the history of the land, people and community.”
The story of African American settlement in New Mexico revolves around federal legislation that helped families through various homesteading acts beginning in 1862. Following six family histories, interactive structures allow the visitor to physically step into the world of homesteading in New Mexico through documents that demonstrate identity.