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Black History Month

'An African American Odyssey' courtesy of Northwest Tap Connection


Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Here are seven ways your family can learn about and celebrate Black History Month in our community.


Free Exhibits at the Northwest African American Museum

Thursday, Feb. 5 (and ongoing)

Visiting the Northwest African American Museum is great any time this month, but on the first Thursday of each month, it’s free! The museum’s exhibitions explore the connections between our region and the history, art and culture of people of African descent. Currently on view: “Funky Turns 40: Black Character Animation Art from Black Cartoons of the 1970s” and more. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Northwest African American Museum, 2300 S Massachusetts St., Seattle. All ages. FREE. 206-518-6000, naamnw.org.


Family Speaker Program: Astronaut Joan Higginbotham

Saturday, Feb. 7

Former space shuttle astronaut Joan Higginbotham will be at The Museum of Flight to give an inspiring presentation for kids and families. Higginbotham is the third female African-American astronaut. In 2006, she logged over 300 hours in space as a crewmember of a shuttle mission to the International Space Station. Her primary duty in orbit was to operate the station's lengthy robotic crane.  2:30 to 4 p.m. Museum of Flight, 9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle. All ages. Included with admission: $20, $17 seniors and active military, $12 ages 5 to 17, free ages 4 and younger. 206-764-5720, museumofflight.org.


Through the Eyes of Art

Saturday, Feb. 7

At EMP’s Black History Month kickoff, experience “The Value of Black Life,” a showcase of work by local artists and photographers; a keynote address from the former National Director of Youth Engagement at World Vision, Derrick Wheeler-Smith; remarks from City of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council Member Bruce Harrell; and a live performance by hip-hop heavyweights Talib Kweli and Draze. 6 to 9:30 p.m. EMP Museum Sky Church, 325 5th Ave. N, Seattle. Best for kids 9 and older. $20 ($17 EMP members). 206-770-2702, empmuseum.org.


Northwest Tap Connection Performance

Saturday, Feb. 14

Enjoy an afternoon of captivating choreographed routines at EMP with Northwest Tap Connection, and partake in a discussion on the transformative power of dance in urban communities. Northwest Tap Connection is an urban dance studio specializing in rhythm tap. 1 to 2 p.m. EMP Museum, 325 Fifth Ave. N, Seattle. Included with admission: $22, $19 seniors and students, $16 military and ages 5 to 17, free ages 4 and younger; discount for online ticket purchase. All ages. 206-770-2700, empmuseum.org.


Family and Educator Day at NAAM

Monday, Feb. 16

This full day of activities includes museum tours, art-making opportunities, a performance of Fortune’s Bones by Eva Abram (best for kids ages 10 and older) and a preview of educational curricula and story trunks. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Northwest African American Museum, 2300 S Massachusetts St., Seattle. All ages. FREE. 206-518-6000, naamnw.org.


An African American Odyssey

Saturday, Feb. 21

The rich story of African American history is brought to life through song, dance and spoken word. With a mosaic of movement, performers from the all-ages dance company Northwest Tap Connection interpret the economic, social, political, artistic and racial imprints that have cultivated the black experience in American culture. Begins at 11 a.m. Shorewood Performing Arts Center, 17300 Fremont Ave. N, Shoreline. All ages. $8. 206-417-4645, brownpapertickets.com/event/923054.


Black Collaboration: A Night of Music, Video and Conversation

Saturday, Feb. 21

Join in an uplifting conversation at EMP about the power of creative partnerships between Africans and African Americans in Seattle. This event, presented in partnership with One Vibe Africa, features a panel discussion moderated by Vivian Phillips with Rahwa Habte and Seattle-based African American videographers Atuanya Priester and Anthony Tackett, who will debut two music videos produced while abroad in Kenya. 6 to 9 p.m. EMP Museum JBL Theater, 321 5th Ave. N, Seattle. Best for teens and older kids. FREE. 206-770-2700, empmuseum.org.

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