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Black History Month observed with art at Ritz Theatre and Museum

Through Our Eyes exhibit marks beginning of Black History Month at Ritz

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – February marks Black History Month, and at Jacksonville's Ritz Theatre and Museum, it's being celebrated with art.

Organizers said it's a way to focus on the impact local African-American artists have on the community.

For 25 years, the Through Our Eyes exhibit has marked the beginning of Black History Month at the Ritz Theatre and Museum. This year's theme is "struggle and resistance."

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"They took that theme, and this artwork is just reflecting what they as artists felt was representing struggle and resistance," said Adonnica Toler with the Ritz Theatre and Museum.

The exhibit won't just stay in Jacksonville, after its run at the Ritz, it's heading to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's birthday celebration.

But, make no mistake: The focus is local.

"When this exhibit series started, local African-American artists had little opportunity to show their artwork in galleries, so this art series really helped open the door for them in many ways," Toler said.

In keeping with the theater's deep, local roots, and those of the artists, Toler said everyone featured in the Ritz's permanent-history collection lived in the area.

The Ritz is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Through Our Eyes exhibit runs until June 8.