Alfred and Billie Caviel were the first African-American husband and wife in the United States to own and operate their own pharmacy, in the eastside “Flats” neighborhood of Lubbock, Texas. Caviel’s Pharmacy operated at the corner of Avenue A and 17th Street in Lubbock for 49 years, from the early Civil Rights era in 1960 to 2009.
The Caviels’ donated the building to the city’s Roots Historical Arts Council in 2011 with hopes that one day it would become a museum to represent African-American culture. In 2015, their dream became a reality, when the museum opened its doors, becoming the first African-American museum in West Texas.
Exhibits include legacies of African American medical practice, education, and other aspects of community life. (texasplainstrail.com)
An understated building as you come upon it, the Caviel Museum of African American History soon becomes a testament to the power of the impact of African American leaders as you gaze upon the incredible mural on its south facing side.
These faces of legends include: (From Right to Left on the mural)
- J Patterson (former City of Lubbock City Council Member)
- C. Struggs (former Principal at Dunbar Middle School)
- Mae Simmons (former Principal at Isles Elementary and a community center is named in her honor)
- George Woods, (George Woods Park is named in his honor)
- Eric Strong (Community leader and founder of Roots and Director of the TTU Upward Bound program)
- Ted Phea (Theadore) (the Boys and Girls Club named their east Lubbock Center after him)
- Billie Caviel (owner of Caviel Pharmacy)
- Alfred Caviel- (owner of Caviel Pharmacy)
The Museum is an outgrowth of the Lubbock Roots Historical Arts Council and is a preservation project for a local pharmacy which was owned by the Caviel family. The purpose of the Roots Historical Council is simply to be a beacon to the community of East Lubbock. They host a number of events throughout the year including the Caprock Jazz Festival and various arts exhibits featuring African-American artists in the Museum.
The Museum is part of the First Friday Art Trail – which is sponsored by LHUCA attracting thousands of art lovers every month. A willing partner to collaborate with other organizations including the East Lubbock Art House, the Museum is often a key venue for special exhibitions and events.
To schedule a tour for the Museum, call them at 806-773-6046.