The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Records, 1970-2013 | University of North Texas Special Collections
The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) Collection comprises the entire history of the organization, from its beginnings in 1978 at founder Curtis L. King's dining room table to the present. This includes documentation of thirty six seasons of theatrical and concert performances, visual art exhibits, guest lecturers, and community events, as well as the history of the organization, its different locations, and its search for funding from the City of Dallas.
Particular highlights of the collection include its annual tribute to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., entitled Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement, which has featured headliners such as Eartha Kitt, Jennifer Holliday, Erykah Badu, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, and CeCe Winans. Materials also describe TBAAL's engagement with Dallas K-12 students through its Youth Summer Arts program. The collection also documents other recurring events, such as Jazz at the Muse, Comedy at the Muse, Symphony in Black, and a number of events featuring gospel singers. There are also materials documenting the 1993 retrospective on the March on Washington, entitled I Remember..., musical tributes to Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin, and an evening with Ambassadors from Africa and the Caribbean.
Types of media include posters, flyers, and other promotional items for TBAAL's performances; news clippings documenting TBAAL's activities; architectural plans for its current facility in the Dallas Civic Center; Dallas City Council meeting minutes; press releases, grant applications, and correspondence with supporters and celebrities; photographs of performances, lectures, after-parties, and other events; and an extensive collection of audio/visual recordings of TBAAL productions.