Celebrating Black History Month 2010

February is Black History month, and many Americans are celebrating and honoring African Americans in different ways. Here are a few ways people are celebrating throughout the country:

Philadelphia

Discover the amazing life of George Washington Carver at the Academy of Natural Science. Born into slavery, he’s most widely known for his talents as a scientist, educator, and humanitarian, but he was also a skilled artist. Kids can connect with Carver the artist through interactive activities.

Want to help your kids learn about African American history through music? Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum is celebrating the sounds of jazz all month long with Junior Jazz Jamboree (show times 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm Mon.–Fri.), plenty of musical hands-on fun, and free musical performances.

The National Liberty Museum has assembled hundreds of inspiring historical accounts documenting the African American experience. Every Saturday and Sunday, the craft corner will be set aside for kids to learn about the African American tradition of quilting. Kids can then create their own paper quilt square honoring an African American hero of their choice.

Baltimore

Baltimore’s B&O Railroad Museum celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the railroad industry all month long. Learn about these men and women and understand how significant social issues affected railroading.

On February 17th, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff brings the black marching band tradition to the theatrical stage for the first time with DRUMLine Live. Featuring performers from America’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities, this is a glimpse into an American experience many have never seen before.

On February 26th at 7:00 p.m., the Baltimore Museum of Art welcomes Dr. Paul Taylor, author of the forthcoming Black is Beautiful: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics, for a discussion on the meaning of black aesthetics in the 20th century and beyond.

Connecting with the past, present, and future of African American heritage through performances, art activities, and art, the Walters Art Museum hosts the African American Family Festival on February 28th.

Detroit

The Henry Ford Museum celebrates Black History in America with special programs that focus on the struggle for equality and the Civil Rights Movement.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History shines a spotlight on African American history every day of the year. But in honor of Black History Month, they’ve put together a month-long line up of activities that bring history to life through storytelling, film, lectures, and more.

San Francisco

In addition to ongoing exhibits and permanent installations celebrating the influence of the African Diaspora on art and culture, San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora is collaborating with several organizations to bring a series of special events to the Bay Area. Free admission during Black History month is sponsored by Bank of America.

Located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park focuses on the maritime aspects of African American history. Learn about African American officers, sailors, cooks, longshoremen, and shipbuilders through a photographic exhibition. Take part in a park ranger-led presentation about African enslavement, the slave trade between Europe, Africa, and the Americas, and the stories of escapes by ship to the Underground Railroad.

See art in the making at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Over the course of two weeks, African American artist Kerry James Marshall will work with other artists to create two murals for the Haas Atrium. The commissioned murals will depict Mount Vernon and Monticello and will be on display indefinitely.

Park rangers at the Presidio of San Francisco will lead a walking tour on February 15th that focuses on the story of the elite Buffalo Soldiers and their moral dilemma of serving in a segregated military. Call ahead for reservations (required), 415/561-4323.

On February 17th, 300 invited guests will visit Alcatraz Island for the premiere of The Black Rock, by documentarian Kevin Epps. The Black Rock chronicles the role of African Americans in the first super-maximum security prison. Approximately one-third of Alcatraz prisoners were African American.

Dallas

The Dallas Museum of Art celebrates the important contributions of African American artists to the visual arts, music, drama, and dance with several events scheduled throughout the month.

The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture presents “Behold the People: R.C. Hickman’s Photographs of Black Dallas, 1949–1961.” As a staff member of the Dallas Star Post and freelance photographer, Hickman’s photographs document the black middle-class of the urban south and are powerful reminders of life prior to the Civil Rights movement.

In Denton, just 35 miles north of DFW, the Denton Public Library is hosting the “Africa in the Americas: Slavery in Spanish and Portuguese Realms” exhibition exploring how the slave trade created the prosperity of the New World and left an indelible mark on evolving societies.

Leave a Reply