The George Washington Carver Complex

1165 Angelina St Austin

A Window Into Six Square/The George Washington Carver Complex
Six Square | Austin's Black Cultural District
Written By Six Square | Austin's Black Cultural District

Six Square is the nexus of thriving Black arts and culture in Central East Austin. We re-animate cultural spaces, connect community, and honor the past, present, and future of Austin’s Black Cultural District.

Known as the “Drumbeat of the Black Community,” the Carver Complex is an institution that works to collect and preserve the historical and cultural experiences of African Americans locally and nationally. The complex consists of the George Washington Carver Museum, the Carver Branch Library, and the Carver Genealogy Center. The original museum was established in 1980, and was able to expand to include a variety of creative spaces in 2007, such as four galleries, a theatre, and a dance studio. The galleries showcase historical moments throughout the history of Austin, from the collaboration of the African American and Hispanic populations during the Civil Rights movement, to the preservation and display of historical items from the original L.C. Anderson High School, the Black high school located in East Austin during segregation. The Carver Museum also houses pieces from renowned African-American sculptor Selma Burke, known most famously for her depiction of President Truman on the dime coin. The namesake of the museum, Dr. George Washington Carver, is showcased around the museum, and his scientific work, art, and life history are prominent throughout the building.

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One of the museum’s most unique installations celebrates Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, which was the day in which black slaves in Texas were notified of the news of their emancipation in 1865. The outdoor installation includes a timeline of African slaves arrival in the United States and culminates in the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln in January of 1863. The park also is home to five large statues depicting the moment when African American slaves learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865. The George Washington Carver Museum, Carver Branch Library, and Genealogy Center has served as a hub for black history, creativity, and community convening since its inception, and will continue to be a beacon for historical documentation of the black experience in Austin.

Cover photo: courtesy of Six Square

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