Established in 2015, the Caviel Museum of African American History has served the community as a place to celebrate art, culture and identity.
Linda Strong helps to run the museum now alongside other members and community leaders within the Lubbock Roots Historical Arts Council. The museum’s building was formerly owned by the Caviel family who ran a local pharmacy. Strong shared that growing up, her family did business with the Caviel’s. When they were nearing retirement, Strong said the Caviel’s agreed to hand over the building to them if it were to be turned into a museum.
Creating the museum was a vision brought to light by her late brother, community leader and activist, Eric Strong.
“My brother and some of his friends started the roots historical arts council because they wanted to see someone who looked like us doing something great,” said Strong. “All the role models we saw were a different ethnicity, that’s how we got started.”
In addition to artwork from Africa and antiques donated by community members, currently hanging on the walls of the museum’s gallery are pieces by Texas Tech University student and Ghana native, Patrick Quarm, as well as artist Alex Bostic.
The building alone is teeming with a rich history, but down the road stands another Roots treasure: where the council meets and hosts different events for community members.
“Roots is a, like I say, an organization designed to bring the arts to the under-served here in Lubbock. You just need to come see us, just come and see us and judge for yourself,” said Strong.
So, what began as a simple idea to promote the arts and culture in Lubbock, has now become an important part of the city’s history.
“Our goal is to bring hope to this community, to bring tourism to this community and to bring art and culture to the general public, cause people love art and culture. Even people who think they don’t, they actually love it, they just don’t know they love it,” Eric Strong shared in an interview with KLBK in January of 2015.
Today, his sister is proud of the legacy he has left behind:
“There’s a lot of work to be done. The visionary is gone, but long live the vision. Long live the vision.”
The museum is open Mon., Tues., Thurs. and Friday. To contact them for a private tour or to bring a group of students by, call in advance: 806-773-6046.
The museum is open to the public each First Friday Art Trail.