Visual arts

Events to recognize Black History Month for each day of February – The GW Hatchet

Media Credit: Photo illustration by Auden Yurman | photo editing assistant

From events at the Smithsonian to live shows, celebrate Black History Month around DC this year with these activities to put on your calendar.

Spend the entire month of February recognizing Black History Month with a variety of in-person and virtual events throughout the District and beyond.

We’ve compiled a list of lectures, film screenings, poetry nights, walking tours, and other culturally enriching activities to learn about Black and African American history and culture. From a Frederick Douglass life story walking tour and presentation on the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement to a brunch where you can support Black-owned businesses, check out these events to celebrate the Black History Month in the District and Beyond.

February 1 | I Dream a World, a community celebration of black poetry
Join the DC Public Library’s initiative to celebrate the work of black poets by submitting a video reading passages from your favorite black author.

February 2 | Community + Conversation, with a Docent, Creative Griots
Join an online discussion to hear a docent from the Museum of African American History and Culture talk about African American performance, music, cultural expressions, visual arts, and their role in social change.

February 3 | Manumission Tour Company Local Black History Virtual Tour: Alexandria’s Fight for Freedom
Join a virtual tour of Alexandria, Virginia to learn about the experiences of African Americans during Alexandria’s early days.

February 4 | The Colors and Shapes of History Art Exhibition
Stop by the Zenith Gallery for this exhibition inspired by Black History Month featuring works by Doba Afolabi, Sheryll Cashin, Bernie Houston and Chris Malone.

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphic editor

February 5 | The Journey: Tales from Africa to America
Enjoy this interactive program hosted at the Arlington Public Library, which uses folk tales to tell stories that “transport audiences from West Africa to the East Coast of America.”

February 6 | Frederick Douglass’ Old Anacostia Walking Tour
Join a walking tour, led by historian and author John Muller, that explores the history of Anacostia, its folklore, and the stories of the people who lived there, especially abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

February 7 | Living history! Coming Home: African Americans Returning from World War II
Join the virtual event hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture to learn more about the experiences of black veterans.

February 8 | An afternoon conference with the Equal Justice initiative
Attend an afternoon walk led by an Equal Justice Initiative project manager to learn about two lynchings that occurred in Alexandria in 1897 and 1899.

February 9 | Keep the promises at Busboys and Poets – Conversation with Kinshasha Holman Conwill and Paul Gardullo
Learn about the lasting impact of reconstruction, voting rights, and educational equity during this virtual event hosted in conjunction with the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

February 10 | Dear Mapel
Buy tickets to this play performed by prominent hip-hop theater actor Psalmayene 24 about his coming-of-age story from Brooklyn to DC

February 11 | Black History Program – A series of lecture-concerts on “Roland Hayes: Trailblazer of the Negro Spirituals”.
Attend a talk and concert celebrating Roland Hayes, one of America’s first African-American international concert singers, held at Busboys and Poets in DC

February 12 | Black History Month 2022 Black Business Expo
Stop by the Sebrof Forbes Cultural Arts Center in Kensington, Maryland to browse a variety of black-owned businesses in the DMV.

February 13 | Celebrating Lucille Clifton’s Legacy
Join Enoch Pratt Free Library to honor the literary legacy of poet Lucille Clifton, whose work focuses on the African American experience.

February 14 | Color Visionary Artists
Join a self-guided tour of the American Visionary Art Museum to see the works of artists of color.

February 15 | Homewood Museum Guided Tour
Take an award-winning tour exploring the relationship between the free and slave residents of Homewood in 1805.

February 16 | Screening of virtual films and discussion on “The Reign of Odessa”
Watch a screening of ‘Odessa’s Reign,’ which tells the story of a black gangster who runs a DC gambling ring in the 1950s.

February 17 | Community Discussions: Measuring the Influence of BLM Protests with Dr. Bai Linh Hoang
Watch a presentation analyzing the impact of Black Lives Matter protests on policy changes in 100 of the largest cities in the United States.

February 18 | Thaddeus Mosley: Forest
Explore five of artist Thaddeus Mosley’s recent large-scale wooden sculptures inspired by the African diaspora and jazz.

February 19 | National African American Roller Skating Archives exhibit
Attend this DC exhibit that tells the story of rollerblading and its ties to the African-American community.

February 20 | HARRIET: Black History Month Free Movie Series at B&O
Attend a screening of Harriet, The Story of Harriet Tubman, presented by the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

February 21 | City Within a City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail
Join a self-guided walking tour stopping at Malcolm X Park to celebrate the life and legacy of Malcolm X on the 57th anniversary of his death.

February 22 | Left Behind: Stories of the Underground Railroad
Listen to a discussion led by storyteller Sheila Arnold about the history of the Underground Railroad and the long journey to freedom of escaped slaves.

February 23 | Honor the life of Rosa Parks at the Mansion on O Street Museum
Stop by this museum, a favorite of civil rights activist Rosa Parks during her time in DC, to learn about her life and the civil rights movement.

February 24 | Dream big! An interactive reading performance
Attend this event held in the Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building to hear about the dreams of leading civil rights activist Floyd McKissick through an interactive performance.

February 25 | Opening premiere of attacks on democracy by black photojournalism
View this exhibition reframing the January 6 insurrection through black photojournalism.

February 26 | Black Business Brunch and Shop
Support black-owned businesses and enjoy brunch at this in-person event in Temple Hills, Maryland.

February 27 | SELMA: Black History Month Free Movie Series at B&O
Attend an in-person screening of the film “Selma,” which tells the story of Selma’s 1965 voting rights march in Montgomery, Alabama, hosted by the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

February 28 | African American Civil War Memorial and Museum
Stop by the African-American Civil War Memorial and Museum on Vermont Avenue to cap off your Black History Month celebrations.