Metro area events, activities to celebrate Black History Month

Erica Hobbs
Special to The Detroit News

Black History Month has four weeks of events and activities throughout Metro Detroit and beyond to celebrate.

In addition to its permanent and current exhibits on Black history, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is offering a series of presentations, screenings, hands-on activities and more with a theme of “Black Resistance.” It will also be open on Tuesdays until the end of the month, offering guests an extra day of the week to visit.

The Detroit Institute of Arts and the city of Southfield also have a vast series of offerings, which include performances, presentations, film screenings, panels, displays and more.

Here's a calendar of local Black History Month events:

Now – 28: “Walk Through History” Lawn Display, Southfield

Southfield’s “Walk Through History” lawn display returns, featuring informational signs about local and global influential African Americans. They will be on display along the walking path on the front lawn of the Municipal Campus at 26000 Evergreen Road. The city is also offering $5 Black History Month activity bags with stickers, themed coloring sheets, crayons, crafts and more, available for pick-up Feb. 1 – 3. To order, call (248) 796-4620 or visit

Now – Aug. 31: “How Long?”: Revisiting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and His Legacy,” The Henry Ford

Visitors can learn about the life of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. at “‘How Long?’: Revisiting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and His Legacy,” a pop-up exhibit at The Henry Ford American history museum. The museum is also home of the permanent home of the Rosa Parks Bus. 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn. Visit

Feb. 9, 16, 23: Virtual programs with the Wright Museum

The Wright is offering a series of virtual programs that will feature the figures, locations and movements on display in the museum’s core exhibition, “And Still We Rise.” Programs include “Midnight Faith: The Story of Second Baptist Church” (Feb. 2), “The Radical Appeal of David Walker” (Feb. 9), “First in Class: the Story of Dr. Joseph Ferguson” (Feb. 16) and “We Built This: The Story of United States Colored Troops” (Feb. 23). Visit

Now – March 2: $5 films at Emagine Theaters

Emagine Entertainment is offering $5 films at select theaters that showcase some of the most influential Black entertainers in modern history. The films include “The Color Purple” (Feb.  3 – 9), “Love And Basketball” (Feb. 10 – 16), “Driving Miss Daisy” (Feb. 17 – 23) and “Malcolm X” (Feb. 24 – March 2). Visit for times and locations.

Feb. 19: Black History Month Performance, Ford House

Ford House’s Black History Month Performance features local artists, poets, actors and singers, hosted by local poet One Single Rose. Performances will take place at 1 p.m. on both Feb. 4 and 19 at the Ford House at 1100 Lake Shore Road Grosse Pointe Shores. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65+ and $7.50 for kids, available online and on-site. Visit

Feb. 9: A Taste of Heritage, History, and Hope – Black History Month Lunch Buffet, Oakland Community College

Oakland Community College (OCC) is hosting a lunch buffet featuring a range of dishes and desserts from the ethnicities of Afrocentric families. It will take place from 11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m. at OCC’s Orchard Ridge Campus at 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills. Tickets are $15 and available on Eventbrite.

Feb. 9 and 11: Mosaic in Concert: “Let the Good Times Roll,” DIA

The Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is presenting a rock and roll musical revue featuring songs ranging from Little Richard to Gary Clark, Jr., aimed at showcasing the joys and complexities of growing up. It takes place at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are free with general admission. Visit

Feb. 11: “Winter Love Fest,” Palmer Park

Dancers move to the drummer's beat during a past Winter Love Fest at Palmer Park in Detroit.

The People of Palmer Park are celebrating both Black History Month and Valentine’s Day during “Winter Love Fest.” The afternoon will feature a variety of events and activities, including live music, African dancing and drumming, arts and crafts, storytelling, games and winter sports, plus carriage rides, a spinning wheel demonstration and free hot cocoa and treats. The event is free, but visitors are encouraged to bring books and hats/mittens/gloves/scarves (especially for children) to donate to those in need. The event will take place from 2-5 p.m. inside and around the Palmer Log Cabin at Palmer Park, 910 Merrill Plaisance, Detroit. Visit

Feb. 11: “Conversations and Cocktails,” Southfield Pavilion

Conversations and Cocktails features musician Trey Priest.

As part of its month of Black History Month celebrations, Southfield is presenting “Conversations and Cocktails,” a program honoring the contributions of African Americans to society. The event will feature performers from Metro Detroit, including comedian Josh Adams, poet Peace Bell and singer/guitarist Trey Priest, closing out with a concert from Alex Goss & the Detroit Soul Rhythm Band performing R&B and soul music from the '70s, '80s and '90s. Admission is $10, and food and drinks will also be available for purchase. Tickets are available at the Parks & Recreation Information Desk or The event takes place from 7-10 p.m. at the Southfield Pavilion at 26000 Evergreen.

­­Feb. 12: Screening of “Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space,” Wright museum

The Wright will present a screening of “Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space,” a biography that explores the life of the influential Black author and anthropologist. The film takes place at 2 p.m. at the Wright Museum at 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit. Free with museum admission. Visit

Feb. 12: Screening of “Respect,” Southfield Pavilion

“Respect” is this year’s featured film for Southfield’s Black History Month Movie Night. The 2021 biopic follows the life and career of Detroit singing legend Aretha Franklin. The screening is free and will start at 4 p.m. in the Southfield Pavilion at 26000 Evergreen.

Feb. 16: Poetry and jazz music, Wright Museum

Poet Joel Fluent Greene will perform at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

The Wright is offering an evening of poetry and jazz music, featuring poet Joel Fluent Greene and a jazz ensemble led by bassist Marion Hayden. The event is from 5-9 p.m. at the Wright Museum, at 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit. The event is free with museum admission. Visit

Feb. 17: The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, “Critical Race Theory,” Southfield Pavilion

The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers will be giving a performance entitled “Critical Race Theory” as part of Southfield’s Black History Month events. The event begins with a meet and greet with the performers at 6 p.m., followed by the performance from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available at the Southfield Parks and Recreation Information Desk or The event is at the Southfield Pavilion at 26000 Evergreen.

Feb. 17-18: Black Italian Film Showcase at Wayne State University

Black Italian film Showcase will celebrate Afro-Italian films for Black History Month. The films spotlight Black life in Italy through documentaries, short films and new features. On Friday, "Autumn Beat" will be shown at 5:30 p.m.; on Saturday, "Va Pensiero, Walking Stories" will be shown at 3 p.m. and at 5 p.m., "Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema" will be on the screen. The film showcase was curated by Italian-Ghanaian-American producer-director Fred Kudjo Kuwornu and sponsored by the Consulate of Italy in Detroit and the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago in collaboration with Wayne State University. See films at Wayne State's General Lectures building, Room 150, 1045 Anthony Wayne Drive. Movies are free and open to the public. For more info, go here.

Feb. 18: Detroit Book City’s 7th annual African-American Family Book Expo

Detroit Book City’s African-American Family Book Expo returns for its seventh year, showcasing Black authors, promoting literacy and celebrating Black history and heritage. Visitors can meet more than two dozen independent authors from across the country and purchase autographed books. The event is free and will take place from 12:30 – 5 p.m. at the Historic People's Community Church, 8601 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Feb. 18 and 25: Hands-On Workshops, Wright Museum

The Wright is hosting Family Fun Days featuring hands-on activities to learn about history. The workshops include “Restore the Dream” where participants can create their own protest signs; “Tipping the Scales of Justice,” where they can create a working scale to consider societal issues; and “What’s Your Dream?” where they can reflect on their own dreams in relation to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” using the Adinkra symbols of the Akan people. The activities take place from 1-5 p.m. at the Wright museum, at 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit. The event is free with museum admission. Visit

Feb. 19: Screening of “Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes,” Wright Museum

“Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes” explores the life of the legendary jazz bassist and features original concert footage plus candid interviews with other jazz greats, including Jon Batiste, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Christian McBride, George Benson and others. It will take place at 2 p.m. at the Wright museum at 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit. The event is free with museum admission. Visit

Feb. 24: “Engaging Dance and Drumming” at Cleary University

Presented by Cleary University, “Engaging Dance and Drumming” is a musical performance featuring African dance and drumming with Ann Arbor’s Bichini Bia Congo Dance Theatre and Afro Beats of Flint. The performance is free and begins at 5:30 p.m. and will take place at Cleary University’s Commons building at 3750 Cleary Drive, Howell.

Feb. 25: “On the Shoulders of Giants,” Detroit Historical Museum

“On the Shoulders of Giants” is a celebration honoring the legacy of Black entrepreneurs in Detroit, highlighting some of its most prominent businesses and history-makers. The event will also include kids crafts, mini museum tours and a curated marketplace of locally-owned businesses. Admission is free with registration and will take place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Visit

Feb. 25: Black History Month-Themed Cookie Decorating, Detroit

Sweet Peas Baked Goods is offering a Black History Month-themed cookie decorating class. Participants will learn piping techniques for different hair textures and create four cookies of their own. The class is from 2-4 p.m. at the Carhartt Workshop at 5800 Cass Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $25 and available on at

Feb. 25: Storytelling, Wright Museum

The Detroit Association of Black Storytellers will share an afternoon of stories about African Americans who resisted injustice and made a positive impact on generations to follow. It will take place at 2 p.m. at the Wright Museum, at 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit. The event is free with museum admission. Visit

Feb. 26: “Structurally Sound” featuring Trombonist Kenneth Thompkins, DIA

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Principal Trombonist Kenneth Thompkins will perform music by Black composers Jeff Scott and Maurice Draughn in front of Romare Bearden’s mosaic “Quilting Time.” The concert is part of “Structurally Sound,” an ongoing program from Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings that pairs music with unique Detroit spaces, and will also feature poetry by Kalimah Johnson. The event is free with museum admission and takes place at 2 p.m. at the DIA, located at 5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit. Visit

Feb. 26: "Reflections of a Civil Rights Foot Soldier,” Wright Museum

Civil rights activist John W. Hardy will present “Reflections of a Civil Rights Foot Soldier" sharing his involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, including the sit-ins, Freedom Rides and voter registration drives. The program will place at 2 p.m. at the Wright museum, at 315 E. Warren Ave, Detroit. The event is free with museum admission. Visit

Feb. 26: Screening of “THE 1619 PROJECT,” Wright Museum

Based on the book by Nikole Hannah-Jones, “THE 1619 PROJECT” is a docuseries that explores the evolution of Black culture and its influence on shaping the face of the United States. Visitors will watch the “MUSIC” episode which features Detroit musicians, including the popularity of Motown, among others. It will take place at 2 p.m. at the Wright museum at 315 E. Warren Ave, Detroit. The event is free with museum admission. Visit