February is Black History Month – a time to celebrate the accomplishments African Americans have made, as well as a time to reflect on their roles throughout history and the present.
There are many things to do, listen to, read, and watch to celebrate Black History Month, so we rounded up some of the activities you can do at home or around Ohio for the month.
Things to Do
This museum is open year-round with regularly changing exhibits and special programs. It also features 9,000 artifacts and artwork, 350 manuscript collections, and thousands of photographs. Check out their website to learn more about all of the events and exhibits going on throughout the month.
The Rosa Parks Experience at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is open year round. This experience uses virtual reality to showcase what life was like during the Civil Rights Movement. After you’ve finished the Rosa Parks Experience, you can check out the other exhibits they have, such as “From slavery to Freedom,” “The Struggle Continues,” and more.
All throughout the month, the Columbus Metropolitan Library, and some of their branch locations, will have different events the whole family is sure to enjoy. A few of the events include “Snapshots from History,” where Congresswoman Joyce Beatty will speak, “Singing, Drumming and Dancing with BabaaRitah,” and “Mixed Media Mural,” where you can help create a themed mural. Check out their website for more information about all of the events.
Tuesday, February 4-Tuesday, February 25 | 12 p.m. | The Ohio Statehouse
Every Tuesday, “We’ve Known Rivers”, a group of storytellers who tell African American experiences through presentations, has a free performance at the statehouse. Each week is different! Check out the statehouse website to learn more about each week’s performance.
Monday, February 10 | 1 p.m. | Ohio Judicial Center
Melody Stewart, the first African American woman elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio, studied music before she started her law career. Now, music and law make up an important part of her life and often are connected. Join Justice Stewart and the Supreme Court of Ohio for their annual Black History Month celebration.
Monday, February 10 | 5:30 p.m. | AAAS Community Extension Center, 905 Mount Vernon Ave
This topic of this discussion is “Africa and the African Diasporas: On the politics of race, power, and belonging with Dr. Ibra Sene.” Dr. Ibra Sene is an associate professor at The College of Wooster where he teaches course on Africa, African Diaspora and more. This discussion is also in partnership with the Office of International Affairs and the Center for African Studies at The Ohio State University.
Friday, February 21-Saturday, February, 29 | The Ohio State University
For the 42nd annual African American Heritage Festival, this year will center around the word “kupita,” the Swahili word for “transcend.” This festival will also have talent and poetry showcases, cultural awareness programs, their annual Gospel Festival, and the Mahogany Moments dinner and dance. Check out their website for a full schedule of events.
Things to Read
- 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia by Molefi Kete Asante
- Barracoon: The Story of The Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shutterly
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing by Wil Haygood
- Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
- The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Du Bois
For more books, check out Goodreads’ book list for Black History Month.
- Long Street to Harlem: The Harlem Renaissance is mainly associated with New York City, but this cultural movement was seen throughout the country, even in Columbus. Check out this timeline that shows important milestones of The Harlem Renaissance in New York City and Columbus.
Things to Watch
- “4 Little Girls” (1997)
- “13th” (2016)
- “A Raisin in the Sun” (1961)
- “Birth of A Nation” (2016)
- “Crooklyn” (1994)
- “Fences” (2016)
- “Fruitvale Station” (2013)
- “Get on the Bus” (1996)
- “Glory” (1989)
- “Hidden Figures” (2016)
- “Malcolm X” (1992)
- “Marshall” (2016)
- “Race” (2016)
- “Selma” (2014)
- “Southside With You” (2016)
- “The Butler” (2013)
- “The Color Purple” (1985)
- “The Hate You Give” (2018)
- “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” (2006)
For more Ted Talks, check out Talks to celebrate Black History Month.
Things to Listen To
- Code Switch
- Historically Black
- In Black America
- Smithsonian Channel Presents Black History Month
- Stuff You Missed in History Class
- The Black History Buff Podcast
- Revisionist History Podcast
Whatever you do to celebrate Black History Month, we hope this list helps you find some new ideas of things you and your family can do!
Looking for more things to do around Ohio? Check out all that Ohio has to offer here!