10 Events That Honor Black History Month in 2021
For Black History Month, we want to make sure you know about local events that are holding space for education, celebration, and action. We hope you check out these events that exemplify how celebrating Black excellence goes way beyond just one month out of the year:
On February 18, join Celebrity Series of Boston and Castle of Our Skins for a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and his complicated life, as they present work by two 20th-century American composers: Daniel Bernard Roumain and George Walker.
Throughout the month of February, The Boston Globe is hosting a festival for classics and new releases that celebrate Black life in America. Not to miss: on February 8, “Memoirs of a Black Girl” tells the story of a student in Roxbury who pursues her chance at a college scholarship despite facing multiple challenges.
Join the Museum of Fine Arts Boston to unpack artwork by 20th-century Black artists in an ongoing exhibition. Selected by Boston teens, this program is perfect for students and young art lovers looking to learn more about Black art in the context of art history. Explore works by Archibald Motley, Norman Lewis, James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, and Dawoud Bey, along with several contemporary artists who are working right here in Boston.
The City of Boston hosts a virtual panel on February 10 that will discuss sustainable solutions to increase the quality of life for Black Bostonians, moderated by the City of Boston Director of Public Safety, Dr. Rufus Faulk.
On February 23, Best-selling author and Lesley University MFA in Creative Writing faculty Jason Reynolds reads from and discusses his latest book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You which is a collaboration with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. In this book, Reynolds illuminates how race and racist ideas are inextricable from the fabric of the United States and how we can stamp out racist thoughts and actions in pursuit of a better future.
Each week of this month, Cape Symphony will explore and analyze the work of a new artist and discover how they contributed to the Harlem Renaissance of the early 20th century. In this series, go beyond the scope of music to understand the convergence of experience that led to one of the greatest artistic movements in history.
3Rivers Arts hosts a presentation on February 16th that explores the roots of hip-hop as a folk-art form originating in the Bronx, NY in the 1970s and ventures into the future to its status as a world-wide phenomenon. Plus, enjoy the music video debut of “PIONEERS”, by 17 year-old, Grammy nominated hip-hop artist and producer, The ZYG 808.
On Wednesday, February 17, join the Boston Public Library and historian Kerri Greenidge on Zoom for a discussion of the life and work of William Monroe Trotter, whose radical ideas on Black liberation presaged and influenced leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
On February 18, Massachusetts Historical Society hosts a panel discussion between academic and public historians that explores Massachusetts’ history of slavery and the slave trade, “the wealth — and the poverty — slavery created and bequeathed, and how the legacies of slavery are reflected in injustices that haunt Massachusetts to this day.”
From The Museum of African American History in collaboration with the Boston Public Library, hear from author Anna Malaika Tubbs on February 23 about the lineage of women behind some of our nation’s greatest civic leaders through the lens of her book: The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation
Header photo: “Savoy: Leon & Willa Mae” by Richard Yarde. / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston