Add these Black History Month events to your calendar this month
Celebrate African American Culture this February with these pandemic-proof events and experiences.
By Allison Joyner
Black History Month is a great opportunity for people to learn about African American history and heritage. But due to COVID-19, this year we have to celebrate differently. For 2021, your favorite Black History Month events are virtual and covid-free.
What started as “Negro History Week” in the early 1900s has since expanded to cover the month of February, Black History Month is a way to reflect on African Americans’ achievements that changed our country and our world.
Since the world is still social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, local companies, nonprofits and government agencies have come up with some clever ways to safely celebrate Black History Month.
Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design
See the designs and costumes of Academy Award-winning designer Ruth E. Carter at the newest exhibit at the Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD)’s FASH Museum of Fashion + Film.
Helping to tell the story of many memorable movies through fashion like “Coming to America,” “Malcolm X,” and “Do the Right Thing,” SCAD alum Brandon Sadler, whose murals were prominently featured in “Black Panther” created original artwork for the exhibit that gives an Afrofuturistic influence.
Also on display are Carter’s sketches, illustrations and the historical research used to help actors including Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington and Chadwich Boseman make their characters come to life in over 60 films.
This covid-friendly museum asks visitors to wear a mask when they are in the building at all times. Timed ticketing is required online to book reservations with allowing only twelve people to enter at all times. Temperature checks will be administered at arrival and sanitizer stations are throughout. The exhibit is on display now until Sept. 12.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre: Ailey All Access
Even though the famed dance troop would typically be on tour this time of the year, you can still get a chance to experience them from your living room with Ailey All Access.
This interactive look at the historic New York-based dance company features videos of past performances at Lincoln Center, including Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, Ronald Brown’s Grace, Robert Battle’s Takademe and Ailey’s Revelations.
You can also find “Dancer Diaries,” master classes of notable performances, and sign up for online dance classes with their Ailey Extension program. Classes for kids, teens and adults are offered daily.
Artist Talk with Roederick Vines
On Feb. 10, the Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs Department is hosting an intimate book signing and conversation with author and artist Roederick Vines as part of their Rosewell Roots program. Now living in Stone Mountain, Vines was born in Toledo, Ohio, and started painting when he was four years old. He later became a guest student at the Toledo Art Museum at age nine.
Describing his artistic energy as “beyond inspiration,” Vines expresses diversity in his paintings with elongated, lyrical and rhythmic images that express art in motion. After the discussion, Vines will be signing his book Beyond Inspiration – The Art of Roederick Vines. Feel free to attend the event at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center on Forrest Street or watch it virtually on their live-streaming channel. The event is free but you’ll need to register online.
Microsoft’s Black History Month: A virtual journey celebrating African American history
As a part of their ongoing support of diversity and inclusion, Microsoft is celebrating Black History Month with a Black History student experience that any child would enjoy. Have your kindergartners, first and second graders hear inspirational children’s stories about diversity. Read by NBA and NFL players, your child will listen to stories about Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, the first girl to desegregate her school due to Brown v. Board of Education, Ruby Bridges, and a young boy who proselytized to poultry in Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis.
For third graders and up, a virtual tour of ten African American-related history museums filled with virtual museum tours, fireside chats, and scavenger hunts is available. Roaming the exhibits of The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, The Buffalo Soldiers Museum or our very own National Center for Civil and Human Rights will even make parents “oooh!” and “aha!”
DeKalb History Center’s 13th Annual Black History Month Celebration
On Feb. 11, find out about DeKalb County’s rich history of African Americans that have worked, educated, served, entertained and loved the community. The program will celebrate Black families that shaped Dekalb’s and Atlanta’s history from Reconstruction to the present day.
A panel will lead the discussion via Zoom and present fascinating information that will make the audience reflect, be inspired and take action. Since this is a fundraiser for the organization, a small fee is required. Memberships are also available to purchase tickets for upcoming events and programs.
Do you have any events that you want featured on SaportaReport? Contact me at email@example.com and I’ll update the list throughout the month!