NEWS

New Installation Brings Black Girl Magic to Uptown Park

Experience the evolution of Black women at The Museum for Black Girls through January.

By Shelby Stewart October 20, 2021

 

Collage of notable Black women at The Museum For Black Girls pop-up. 

“Black Girl Magic” is the motto that materialized into a movement, celebrating the beauty of Black women and girls. By definition, the expression is used for positivity and empowerment. Now, Houstonians can see the concept manifested in the form of a pop-up museum in Uptown Park.

“There are so many layers and levels to Black women,” says artist and founder Charlie Billingsley. “We deserve to have a museum in our honor.” 

The pop-up exhibition, dubbed The Museum for Black Girls, was founded by Billingsley in 2018, and the concept has reached over 100,000 people on social media. Billingsley calls the project “a celebration of self-love,” where she and other artists curate a space that showcases the uniqueness of Black women.

“Black Girl Magic,’ is more than a buzz-phrase or trend — it is the essence of Black girls and women,” Billingsley says in a statement.

In 2019, Billingsley transformed a friend’s boutique into a vibrant gallery, filled with displays illustrating the shared Black woman experience, from youth to adulthood. After an overwhelmingly positive response, she expanded the project into an immersive, multiroom installation.

“A lot of my work has been centered around the beauty of Black women,” Billingsley tells Houstonia. “The idea started as a gallery for my birthday, but I wanted to be intentional and make it interactive, so I decided to do a tribute to Black girl magic. People loved it so much, we kept extending it.”

After hosting successful pop-ups in Denver, Billingsley chose Houston as the concept’s next destination.

 

The founder believes there is strength in community and that confidence manifests itself in nurturing environments, which led her to tap fellow Black female artists to help fill the museum. The Museum for Black Girls enlists the help of 10 women of color who create interactive installations and performances. Aunjanee Niblett, TJ Hudson, Kayla Washington, and Kaylee Bender are among the artists announced to be featured during the Houston pop-up. 

The Museum for Black Girls works against monolithic ideas of Black womanhood by showcasing the evolution of Black women, from the beginning until now. Billingsley says the museum “was created to celebrate and educate everyone about our journey, from our past to present state of liberation.” Past exhibits have channeled the nostalgia of the Black girl experience, featuring hair salon chairs, grandma’s kitchen, and tributes to Beyoncé. 

“We’re happy, we’re beautiful, we’re all of these different things. When you come into the museum for Black girls, you can be the awkward Black girl, and that’s okay,” she says. 

The pop-up will remain in Houston through January. Tickets for the Houston museum are on sale now, starting at $32 for adults and $15 for kids. 

The Museum for Black Girls, 1141 Uptown Park Blvd. Hours, Thursday and Friday, 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m, Saturday and Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. For more information, visit, https://www.themuseumforblackgirls.com

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