FAMU professor Pays for a on-campus Black History tour

A professor at Florida A&M University’s paid for an on-campus student tour out of her own pocket for The Kinsey Collection showcase Wednesday afternoon.

Dr. Joe A. Houston, an english professor at the University, decided to go a different route for her english composition class.

The students were brought to the Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery, in efforts to be enlightened by the FAMU alumni couple, Kinsey African American Art and History Collection.

“I decided to change my class location, because The Kinsey Collection is something that needs to be seen,” Houston said. “Although walk-ins are free, I believe that my students wouldn’t take the time to educate themselves with black historical knowledge.”

According to the Foster-Tanner guidelines, students and faculty members may come and go as they please, for free.

If teachers wish to have an interactive class tour with a guide then that person must pay $15 per class session, even if all students attend the school.

Aja Roache, Director and Curator of FAMU’s Fine Arts Gallery, guided the students through each piece helping them understand the transitions and themes throughout the collection.

“The Kinsey’s came back to FAMU because they have such deep roots and as Alumni they wanted to stop here first on their HBCU College tour,” Roache said.

She added that she had the pleasure of working with Khalil Kinsey, the son of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey who handpicked specific art pieces relevant to the City of Tallahassee.

“One of the most powerful pieces to me were the historical documents from civil rights activists, and African-American presidents from the late 1500s,” Roache said.

The vibrant colors and paintings spark the interest and knowledge of some of the students, however most expressions were still vague.

Camryn Williams, a first-year FAMU business administration student from Miami were among the few who seemed intrigued by the lecture.

“Out of all the paintings presented so far I am interested in the second collection next to the Harlem Renaissance,” Williams said. “The picture with words and four small children seemed powerful, due to the presentation of clarity.”

The purpose of Houston’s class was to inspire and impact the student’s minds with African-American culture.

“I didn’t care about spending the money,” Houston said. “As long as the students are informed and take something away from this gallery, I am truly happy.”