Looking for virtual ways to celebrate Black History Month 2021? While the pandemic has made it difficult to attend in-person celebrations, there are several online Black History Month events providing space for celebration and education around this year’s theme: “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.”
Throughout February, you can catch Black History Month events and performances in history, art, music, and STEM all while keeping you and your community safe. Here are some of the Black History Month events we’re most looking forward to attending online this year.
The Black Heritage Art Show has been a celebratory Black History Month event since 1995. The virtual festival highlights African American people thriving in visual arts, performing arts, literature, and more. The festival also showcases Black women doing big things in business. You’ll especially want to catch this event if you fancy yourself an art collector, as there will be plenty of work from talented artists to consider adding to your collection. Grab a ticket to this can’t-miss celebration of Black culture here. Events will be held February 5-7.
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is celebrating the 95th annual Black History Month theme with a virtual festival. The month-long festival will feature a variety of online events, most of which are free and open to the public. On February 6, you can attend “From the Continent to the Americas: Foodways, Culture, and Traditions in the African American Family.” Or, learn about media portrayals of the Black family in a February 7th event. A ticketed marquee event entitled “Finding Our Roots in African American History” will feature a conversation between historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. and ASALH president Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. Check out all of the ASALH events here.
On February 18 at 6 p.m., Kenzie Academy staff members Jenay Sermon and Mya Williams will share the stories of Black technologists throughout history in Kenzie’s own online event. One of the ways we’re celebrating Black History Month is by learning about Black heroes who have made great advancements in tech throughout history. Join us as we learn about these pioneers who have shaped and impacted not only the industry but the world. Learn more here.
Going off of this year’s Black History Month theme, the Senator John Heinz History Center will host a special event in partnership with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. They’ll discuss the Black family with Christin Haynes, founder of Black Family Scholar; Dr. Jessica Harris, award-winning journalist and African Diaspora foodways expert; and Dr. Eric Jackson, Professor of History and Director of Black World Studies at Northern Kentucky University. Attend this Zoom event on February 11 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Speakers will explore the role and complexity of the African American family in the past and present. Find out more here.
The Senator John Heinz History Center (in association with the Smithsonian Institution African American Program) will also host a lecture in honor of Black History Month. In the lecture, Dr. Hasan Jeffries will explore misconceptions about the civil rights movement and how those misconceptions have shaped history. The event will examine how films and cartoons have played a role in these myths and how stories have shaped modern discussions on racial inequality. This event will be held via Zoom on February 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Register here.
The Town of Mount Pleasant Historical Commission will put on several Black History Month virtual events this year celebrating Black culture. We’re especially looking forward to their presentation on the history of Black fraternities and sororities, as these organizations have played a huge role in cultivating culture in the community. Several fraternities and sororities will be participating in the event including Vice President Kamala Harris’ own Alpha Kappa Alpha. Learn more about the event here.
Did you know fewer Black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978? The Indianapolis Public Library will host an online screening of the documentary “Black Men in White Coats.” The film explores the systemic barriers keeping Black men (who currently make up only 2% of American doctors) from entering the medical field. It also tries to find answers to the question: “Why is it easier to visualize a Black man in an orange jumpsuit than it is in a white coat?” The screening will be held on February 20. You can find more information about the event here.
Grand Rapids Public Library will host musician Jordan Hamilton, cellist of the Last Gasp Collective and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, for an eclectic and enticing evening of tunes. Jordan specializes in experimental hip hop, classical, folk, and soul music so attendees can expect to experience the cello in new ways. This event will be held on February 25 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
How do you plan to commemorate Black History Month 2021? Whether it’s through events, education, or self-care, we hope you take the time to honor this special month this year.