BRYAN, Texas Decades before Martin Luther King Junior had a dream, legends from a different era were paving the way to a better future.
It's called the Harlem Renaissance period. A period of time from 1919 to around 1929 when singers, writers and actors, on and off screen, flocked to Harlem, New York and redefined the image of African Americans.
A new exhibit at the Brazos Valley African American Museum on Pruitt Street in Bryan highlights some of the biggest names of the period.
"In every sphere of art, they were active," said Texas A&M University Professor Robert Schiffhauer. His Visualization students created the exhibit.
He said what happened during the Harlem Renaissance period affected Americans of all races. And their influence on American culture was great.
"A lot of the entertainers had cracked the barrel, so to speak, culturally," said Schiffhauer.
Even though the legends of the Renaissance period lived long before Martin Luther King Jr. inspired millions of people, their messages were the same. It was the tools they used that were different.
"Redefining, letting America understand the black person, and what they were all about," said Brazos Valley African American Museum Curator Oliver Sadberry.
Sadberry said displays like this one are a great way to educate the public about people they may not know anything about.
The display runs through the end of March.