Black History Month calendar
February is Black History Month and to commemorate the numerous contributions made by people of African American heritage to this country, many events are planned for the entire month throughout Metro Detroit.
While some events are geared more toward adults, most are kid-friendly activities which the entire family can take part in together as a way of celebrating and learning about historical events that have led to the advancement of African Americans in this country. And, while some require a small admission fee, most are free and no registration is required.
Below is a list of Black History Month events, highlighted by story-telling, live music, dance performances, book signings, film presentations, drumming, lectures, and so much more. And, with this being leap year, there will be 29 days to celebrate.
Fri. through Feb. 29
Black History Month 2020 at the DIA, celebrate with visual art and art-making, poetry and prose, an array of musical traditions, dance, films and more. The programs are made possible by the support of Arn and Nancy Tellem. Programs kick off at 6 p.m. Friday with “Friday Night Live! Steppin’ Into Black History Month.” Free with general admission, which is free to residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. All others $6-$14 each. Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward, Midtown Detroit. (313) 833-7900 or dia.org.
Feb. 1-2, 5-9, 12-16, 19-23 and 26-29
Black History Month at Henry Ford Museum, Kid-friendly events will feature story-telling, music and dance performances, interactive workshops, and hands-on activities throughout the month of February. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with museum admission: $25 general, $22.50 seniors, $18.75 ages 5-11. Parking is $6. Henry Ford Museum, 20900 Oakwood, Dearborn. (313) 982-6001.
Monroe County’s Black History Month Blues Series, kicks off with Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials in concert. 7 p.m. Tues. Free. Ellis Library & Reference Center, 3700 South Custer, Monroe. (More events will be held at different locations: Feb. 11, 18, 20, 25, 29). For details and locations, call (734) 241-5277, ext. 206.
National African American Read-In Book Discussions at the Costick Center, interested adults will need to pick up a copy of “Beautiful Music” by Michael Zadoorian at the Costick Center for participation in the discussion. Registration is required. 1 p.m. Free. 28600 W. 11 Mile, Farmington Hills. (248) 553-0300.
Southfield Celebrates Black History Movie Night, featuring the acclaimed 2016 documentary “13th. The film, directed by Ava DuVernay, is an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. 7-9 p.m. Fri. Free admission, popcorn and water. Note: this film is rated TV-MA for disturbing violent images, profanity and brief nudity. Not suitable for young children. Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen, Southfield. (248) 796-5000 or cityofsouthfield.com.
African American Collage inspired by Harlem Renaissance Artists at Detroit Public Library Chase Branch, children and adults can celebrate Black history by learning about African-American artists through a hands-on art experience. Noon-2 p.m. Free. 17731 W. Seven Mile, Detroit. (313) 481-1580.
Sphinx Finals Competition at Orchestra Hall, an annual celebration of musical diversity, featuring performances by Black and Latinx string players. 7:30 p.m. $15. 3711 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 576-5130.
“We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” this Damien Sneed North American tour is stopping at Wharton Center. The event reflects on the triumphant and victorious moments during our history. 8 p.m. Tickets start at $23. Cobb Great Hall, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. 1-800-WHARTON or whartoncenter.com.
Bike Show & Bike Races at Lexus Velodrome, a community bike show in celebration of Black History Month. Admission: $10. Bike races: $15. 601 Mack, Detroit. (313) 265-6725.
Dark Girls Screening and Discussion at the Detroit Public Library Chase Branch, enjoy a screening and discussion of the documentary that centers around prejudices dark-skinned women face today. 3:30-5:30 p.m. Free. 17731 W. Seven Mile, Detroit. (313) 481-1580.
The Vincent Chandler Experience, a jazz concert in celebration of Black History Month. Led by Chandler, a lecturer in jazz studies, jazz trombone at Wayne State University, and director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Orchestra, this concert will feature jazz musicians Dwight Adams (trumpet), Rafael Leafar (alto sax), DeSean Jones (tenor sax), Michael Malis (piano), Josef Deas (bass), and Sean Dobbins (drums). 7 p.m. $20, $10 museum members. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren, Midtown Detroit. (313) 494-5800 or thewright.org.
“The Potential Power in the Conscious Black Vote,” 6 p.m. Free. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren, Midtown Detroit. (313) 494-5800 or thewright.org.
Under the African Sky by Wild Swan Theater at Towsley Auditorium, Morris Lawrence Building, experience African tales in different mediums — storytelling, acting, dancing and drumming. Audience participation welcome. 10 a.m. Thurs.; 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. Fri., and 11 a.m. Sat. $10-$15. Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River, Ann Arbor. (734) 995-0530.
Detroit Book City African-American Family Book Expo at the Fellowship Chapel Banquet and Conference Center, featuring book discussions, kids’ activities, meet-and-greets with black authors and more. Registration is required. Noon-5 p.m. Free. Fee for items on sale. 7707 W. Outer Drive, Detroit. (248) 993-3844.
Liberation Film Series, features “Gone to the Village” documentary about the elaborate funerary rites for the Queen Mother of the Asante in Ghana. 2 p.m. Free. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren, Midtown Detroit. (313) 494-5800 or thewright.org.
Collage Workshop at the Detroit Public Library Duffield Branch, all materials will be provided for participation in a collage workshop led by artist Equilla Walker. 3-4 p.m. Free. 2507 W.Grand Blvd., Detroit. (313) 481-1710.
Black History Month at Romulus Public Library, a program geared toward children. 6-7 p.m. Free. 11121 Wayne, Romulus. (734) 942-7589.
African-American History Day at Detroit Historical Museum, featuring make-and-take projects, story readings, games and live performances. Highlighting this year’s event will be neighborhood sports in Detroit, and talks on lacrosse, hockey and golf. Noon-5 p.m. Free. 5401 Woodward, Midtown Detroit. (313) 833-1805.
Compiled by Jocelynn Brown