2019 Black History Month Celebrations in the Triangle

Find out where to celebrate African American history and culture during February
Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of History

Find out where you can celebrate African American culture and history throughout the Triangle during Black History Month in February.

African American Cultural Celebration

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh
Jan. 26,10:30 a.m., Free
Join the statewide kickoff to Black History Month. Named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, the 18th annual day-long African American Cultural Celebration features scores of musicians, storytellers, dancers, chefs, historians, playwrights, authors, artists, re-enactors and more. 

Stagville Under the Stars

Historic Stagville, Durham 
Feb. 1, 6 p.m., Free
Join Historic Stagville and Morehead Planetarium as a storyteller shares African folk tales about the sun, moon and stars. Peer through a telescope as the planetarium provides a tour of the night sky. 

MLK Black History Month Parade and Block Party

Downtown Durham, Fayetteville St.
Feb. 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Free
Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate Black History Month with a parade at noon that features marching bands, floats, and local dance and church groups. DJ, step show, food trucks, bounce house, video games, vendors, exhibitors and more! The block party is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m in the North Carolina Central University Student Union parking lot.

Black History Month Celebration

Garner Senior Center, Garner
Feb. 6, 10 a.m., Free
Hear a proclamation from Mayor Ronnie Williams and special entertainment from the Branchettes, who travel the world singing traditional gospel music along with trumpeter, Michael Spivey. View the African art collection by Rebecca J. Brown. 

African American History Highlights Tour

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh 
Feb. 9 and 23, 1:30 p.m., Free
Docent-led tours through exhibits highlight the contributions of African Americans to North Carolina.

Black History Month Read-In

North Carolina State Capitol, Raleigh
Feb. 9, 1 p.m., Free
Celebrate literature as words and experiences of African Americans echo in a structure built by African Americans, for whom it was once illegal to read. Local authors, community leaders and students read to children, teens and adults.  

Music of the Carolinas: Donna Washington

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh
Feb. 10, 3 p.m. Free tickets distributed at 2 p.m.
Author, storyteller, performer Donna Washington, a well-known spoken word recording artist, will perform. 

History á la Carte. Running for Freedom: Enslaved Runaways in North Carolina, 1775-1840

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh
Feb. 13, noon, Free
Learn how relatives of men, women and children searched for loved ones, escaping slavery based on newspaper advertisements detailing physical descriptions, personality traits, locations and rewards, from historian Dr. Freddie Parker. 

24th Annual African-American Celebration

The Cary Theater, 122 E. Chatham Street, Cary 
Feb. 16, Free
Don't miss Cary's annual event celebrating the African-American experience. The theme for this year is “A Legacy of Pride” and will feature a panel discussion, “Hidden in the Shadows: A Conversation on Immigration in America.” Also featured will be a diverse range of musical performances.

African-American Poetry, Past, & Present Poetry

Orange County Public Library, Hillsborough
Feb. 19, 6-7:30 p.m., Free
Celebrate Black History Month with a poetry reading featuring Ashley Harris, Fred Joiner, and members of the local youth and teen poet community. Ashley Harris is a former youth-slam competitor and the author of “If the Hero of Time Was Black.” Fred Joiner is a two-time winner of the Larry Neal Award for Poetry and a 2014 Artist Fellowship Winner as awarded by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. To register, visit this website or call 919-245-2536. 

Public Art and Public Memory

St. Augustine’s College, Raleigh
Feb. 21, 6 p.m., Free
The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission partners with Envision Saint Agnes for a reception and panel discussion, Public Art and Public Memory “A Community Conversation Honoring African American Heritage Through Public Art,” in the Prezell Robinson Library. 

Fascinating Figures Workshop

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh
Feb. 23, 1 p.m., pre-registration required. $20 for non-museum members.
Artist Pinkie Strother is known for her 3-D figures that place everyday people in historical scenes, as was Ernie Barnes whose work is also on exhibit. In this hands-on workshop, you will see works by Barnes and Strother, then create one. Ages 12 and older. 


North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh 
Throughout February

  • "The North Carolina Roots of Artist Ernie Barnes" through March 3. This exhibition showcases many unpublished Ernie Barnes original paintings, as well as artifacts from his life. Barnes was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. After five seasons as a professional football player, he retired at age 27 to pursue art. In his prolific body of work, Barnes chronicled his personal experiences with football, music, dance, love, sports, education, church, and the South. 
  • "The Green Book Mini Case" through Feb. 28. Learn about "The Negro Travelers' Green Book: The Guide to Travel and Vacations," an annual travel guide that helped African Americans navigate segregation. Started by Victor Hugo Green, a New York City-based postal carrier, the guide pointed African American travelers to businesses that would serve them.
  • "Freedom! A Promise Disrupted: North Carolina, 1862-1901" through Jan. 25- July 4, 2019. Explore the story of the "Reconstruction" era where African Americans were promised freedom after the Civil War, but due to NC's racism at the time, they were once again stripped of those freedoms.

Further Afield

Special Exhibit: Safe Bus Company

North Carolina Transportation Museum, Spencer
View this exhibit of a bus from the Safe Bus Company, formed in Winston-Salem to provide transportation to African-American workers in Winston-Salem who were underserved. Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 1-2; March 3, noon-5 p.m. Regular admission; adults $6, seniors/military $5, ages 3-12 $4, two and younger free.

Special Exhibit: Rise Above: Tribute to Tuskegee Airmen

North Carolina Transportation Museum, Spencer
This touring mobile movie theater presents inspiring history lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen. The 160-degree panoramic film highlights the courage and determination of the airmen with spectacular footage of the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s P-51C Mustang flyer. Feb. 27-28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., also on March 1-2; March 3, noon-5 p.m. Regular admission; adults $6, seniors/military $5, Ages three-12 $4, 2 and younger free.


Source: North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources


Categories: Cultural, Education, Family, Things To Do