Past Exhibitions


Get on Board: Stories of the Los Angeles to Houston Freedom Ride

Get on Board: Stories of the Los Angeles to Houston Freedom Ride shares the seldom heard story of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sponsored Freedom Ride from Los Angeles, California to Houston, Texas. On August 9, 1961, Los Angeles students Charles Berrard, Marjorie Dunson, Robert Farrell, Robert Kaufman, Ellen Kleiman, Pat Kovner, Ronald LaBostrie, Steven McNichols, Beverly Radcliffe, Steven Sanfield and Joseph Stevenson boarded a train headed to Houston. The group's assignment was to aid members of the Houston Progressive Youth Association (PYA) to nonviolently desegregate Houston's Union Station Coffee Shop and then proceed to Jackson, Mississippi to join the scores of other Freedom Riders converging on the city to nonviolently protest racially segregated public travel facilities throughout the American South.

Instead, these California Freedom Riders were arrested for unlawful assembly while trying to desegregate Houston's Union Station coffee shop with PYA members and Texas Southern University students Herbert Hamilton, Willie Handy, Holly Hogrobrooks, John Hutchins, Eddie Jones, Robert E. Jones and Marian Moody. The story of their journey, arrest, brutal treatment in jail, and subsequent court trial is an important chapter in the unique civil rights history of Texas and places it within the pantheon of events key to the struggle for racial equality in the United States.

Get on Board also recounts the experiences of many other Californians that joined the Freedom Rides of 1961. Over 450 individuals participated in the 1961 Freedom Rides. Get on Board: Stories of the Los Angeles to Houston Freedom Ride commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides. It celebrates the courage and optimism that inspired these American heroes, both black and white, to leave their schools, families, and homes to secure the promise of freedom and liberty for all Americans.


The Barack Obama Story: Selected Prints and Memorabilia from the Collection of Jacqueline Hill

The Barack Obama Story presents one woman's passion for collecting art that honors a man who bares the weight of being President of the United States and perhaps the heavier historic burden of being the first African-American President. The exhibit features over 40 works on paper and canvas commemorating the historic election and presidential campaigns of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

September 5, 2015 to October 31 2015 Art Exhibit by Maime Hansberry "UNDERGROUND RAILROAD"

"Performance Portraits" by jazz photographer Bob Barry
An exhibit of portrait photographs of jazz performers and notables taken by photographer Bob Barry. In Great Room foyer.

Remembering WSBREC
The exhibit Remembering WSBREC presents a visual interpretation of Dr. Mayme A. Clayton's converted garage where MCLM was started in 1975 as the Western States Black Educational & Research Center (WSBREC). The exhibit presents a sampling of MCLM's vast collection holdings of over 2 million items. Featured within the exhibition are photographs, art, pamphlets, books, periodicals and artifacts relating to the African-American experience. On exhibit until December 20, 2015.