As the second largest city in Texas, San Antonio is a tourist’s paradise. The city is known for its rich history, which is prevalent in museums, local markets, food, and local architecture throughout San Antonio. Black culture and heritage also adds to the multicultural richness of the city. From arts and culture to food and wine, here are some places to check out during your next trip to San Antonio.
San Pedro Creek Culture Park and St. James AME Church
San Pedro Creek Culture Park is a four-phase plan that aims to preserve San Pedro Creek and provide a healthy ecosystem for wildlife, while also highlighting the Indigenous people that once inhabited that land. The cultural story and lineage of the park has only gotten richer through a miraculous and unexpected find. In 2020, during construction for the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, structure foundations of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church were unearthed at the west end of downtown San Antonio. The church, which was the first Black church for formerly enslaved people in San Antonio, dates back to 1875. Since the excavation, The Conservation Society of San Antonio is working with the public to determine how to best commemorate the history of St. James AME Church.
San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum
This nonprofit organization is taking a grassroots approach to uncovering, preserving, interpreting and disseminating artifacts pertinent to the history of African Americans in San Antonio. San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum is known for hosting enriching community events to help aid in their mission. SAAACAM’s recurring event, Story Time in the Park, is held every first Tuesday at Hemisfair where “young explorers learn and play around the theme of being different while being included. A short story is shared followed by a hands-on learning activity.” To help celebrate Juneteenth, SAAACAM is hosting a few events including “Freedom: A Gospel Celebration of Juneteenth.” The celebration, which takes place June 19 from 5-7 p.m. at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in downtown San Antonio, is a collaboration with the Gospel Haus and Museum and features the San Antonio Gospel Heritage Choir.
Located in the Plaza de Armas Building, Culture Commons is a gallery and exhibit hall that features visual exhibits, performances, speakers, and workshops centered around the local art and culture of San Antonio. SInce January, Culture Commons has featured an exhibit titled, “Between Yesterday & Tomorrow: Perspectives from Black Contemporary Artists of San Antonio.” The exhibit covers a variety of themes relevant to the Black experience such as history and identity, family dynamics, spirituality and resistance, by way of artistic mediums including photography, mixed media, drawing and sculpture.
“The goal was to drive the collective vision of Black contemporary artists as documentarians of the historical and social conscience of their time,” Barbara Felix, curator of the exhibit, said. “When the individual selected works came together in the gallery, I realized the prospect of this show was coming to fruition in a way that beautifully celebrates each artist and their vision.”
“Between Yesterday & Tomorrow: Perspectives from Black Contemporary Artists of San Antonio” is open until November 17, 2023.
For wine lovers who want to taste what Texas Hill Wine Country has to offer, Kai-Simone Winery is the perfect place to start. The winery, which opened in 2019, offers wine tastings, delicious food, and calming scenery.