Celebrate Black History Month with local arts and enterprise

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photo by Paulette Wooten

Even as February is drawing to a quick close, there is still plenty of time to enjoy, take part in, and learn from a myriad of events celebrating Black History Month.

This year’s National Black History Month theme is “African Americans in Times of War” and throughout the Twin Cities there events and exhibits not only honor the incredible contributions and struggles of African Americans throughout history, but also highlight the achievements and stories of local African Americans who made a lasting impact and difference right here in Minnesota.

Art exhibits, plays, music, spoken word poetry, film screenings, and photography all attempt to tell the story, paint the portrait, capture this important, and rich piece of our history. 

Upcoming Events

Enjoy free film screenings around the Twin Cities hosted by Hennepin County Libraries.

Hidden Figures showing at Brooklyn Park Library – Wednesday February, 21st at 6pm.

Ray showing at Rockford Road Library – Saturday February, 24th at 2pm.

Selma showing at Rockford Road Library – Sunday February, 25th at 2pm.

A Raisin in the Sun at Park Square Theatre

Come watch this talented cast perform the groundbreaking play that follows the hopes, dreams, and adversity of the Younger family. Written by Lorraine Hansberry, this is the first Broadway play created by an African American woman and runs from February 22nd through March 16th at Park Square Theatre. Check out times and buy your ticket for the show on the Park Square Theatre website.

NABA 3rd Annual Black History Month Celebration: Spoken Word, Music, and Book Discussion

This two-part cozy and casual social event will celebrate African American achievements in business, the arts, and social causes. For the first half of the evening you’ll enjoy tasty treats and cocktails while listening to inspiring poetry and rousing live music performances. The second half of the evening will be led by author and national media personality Danni Starr to discuss meaningful topics related to her best-selling book Empathy and Eyebrows. Hosted at Hennepin Theatre Trust from 6pm-9pm, you can register for this free event on their website.

The Scott Collection & African American Life

Hosted by the Minnesota History Center, you can learn about the work of Minneapolis resident Walter R. Scott who wrote a series of books about African American life in the Twin Cities during the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. Scott’s books tell the stories of the Twin Cities community highlighting artists, educators, athletes, and businesspeople while unveiling the experience of everyday life in homes, schools, and neighborhoods.

His children Walter R. Scott Jr., Dr. Chaunda Scott, Anthony R. Scott, George Scott, and his widow, Mary McCormack-Scott will lead the event sharing his legacy and impact on the community.

And be sure to arrive early to enjoy the smooth jazz and funk music performed by the George Scott Trio band. Band plays from 6-7pm before the event begins at 7pm.

“Minnesota Black History 101” A celebration of Black life, history and culture in Minnesota

An in depth and unique look at the lives and stories of Minnesota’s influential and pioneering African Americans, come visit this exhibit which features artifacts, photography, and memorabilia from the civil rights movement, Minnesota musicians, athletes, politics, and more. The exhibit is free and runs through March 28th at the Hennepin Gallery at the Government Center in Minneapolis.

African American Art and the Civil Rights Movement

Come to Golden Valley Library to learn how African American artists used their art to protest and comment on the social injustices prior to the Black Arts Movement of 1968. Event is free and takes place Tuesday, February 20th from 6pm-7:15pm.

African American Artists in Minnesota Museums

Right here in Minnesota’s museums, you can explore the African American artists you never knew about and how their work impacted and influenced a vibrant culture and history. Register for this free event hosted at the Pierre Bottineau Library from 6pm-7:15pm.