History museum

‘Black Survival Guide’ opens at the History Museum | Way of life

Aafter the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4 1968, protests were held around the world. Civil unrest in Wilmington, Delaware was followed by a nine-month National Guard occupation that left an indelible mark on the community.

At the time, a pamphlet titled “Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot” was widely circulated in the black community.

The guide says the police and media response will be followed by business closures, power outages and travel restrictions.

Provisions – food, water and basic medical supplies – should be gathered, and those under siege should also know how to provide basic care in the event of a medical emergency, the brochure advises.

Today, an exhibit of the same name combining historic newspaper photographs with images from the pamphlet is on display at the El Paso History Museum.

The Delaware Art Museum exhibit features the work of commissioned artist Hank Willis Thomas.

The artist has incorporated a unique visual experience by combining images and text on 13 retroreflective screens, activating the pages of the survival guide when a flash of light captures the News Journal photographs below.

“Her work is thought-provoking and innovative,” museum director Erica Marin said in a statement.

“We look forward to community interaction with the exhibit and hope that constructive and educational dialogues will emerge.”

Programs that will accompany the exhibit include talks about solidarity between the Black and Mexican communities of El Paso, workshops, a family day, a community charrette and a fashion show featuring Imperial Legacy and Ni en More.

Visitors can participate in the exhibit across the city by scanning QR codes placed in Downtown and Downtown El Paso to highlight our city’s black history.

The exhibit will remain on display through July at the museum, 510 N. Santa Fe downtown.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.

Program and information: 915-212-0320; epmuseumofhistory.org