Black History Month is a great time to educate yourself and your family about history and racial justice, and there are lots of local resources and events for doing that around Seattle.
Northwest African American Museum
Black History Month Movie Night
Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913 and in honor of her work and in celebration of Black History Month, visit NAAM to view a movie about her life on February 4 at 6:00 p.m.
NAAM’s African American Cultural Ensemble (ACE) will perform the anthems at Seattle University’s men’s basketball game on February 8. Ticket purchase is required.
ACE will also be performing at the Kraken Game on February 23. Come out and support the team!
Check out NAAM’s YouTube channel to watch a reading of Jake Makes a World. February 12. Don’t miss this reading and others, every 2nd Sunday at 1 p.m..
Black History Research and Writing Workshop for High School Students
The Northwest African American Museum is partnering with the University of Washington Libraries’ Special Collections to offer two Research and Writing Workshops in February for Black History Month in Seattle. The Research and Writing Workshops will be held in person on February 15, 2023 and February 22, 2023 at the University of Washington Special Collections Classrooms. NAAM will provide an introduction and short background lesson on Black History Month and its celebration in the Pacific Northwest. Each workshop will be 3 hours in length and students will be able to attend in person and virtually. Registration is required for attendance, space limited to 30.
Black History Month Keynote Program
NAAM will hold an in-person riveting conversation with Dr. Damion Thomas, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Curator of Sports on February 16. Be inspired, informed, and ignited for action.
Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)
Building with Purpose: Black Architects and Community Agency
Head to MOHAI for a discussion with architects, cultural place makers, and artists on February 11 as they envision intentional and equitable development that is shaping our evolving communities. Registration required. Good for adults and teens.
History Cafe: Paying Tribute to Seattle’s Black Landmarks and their Namesakes
Join historian Mary Henry for a discussion of her new book, Tributes: Black People Whose Names Grace Seattle Sites, on February 15 and learn about the lives of the many Black figures whose names are found on street signs, parks, concert halls and more. Registration required. Good for families, teens and educators
More events around the Seattle area:
Black Lives Matter at Schools Week of Action: Join Seattle area students, parents and educators for five days of activism that will include a series of cultural events, protests and other actions to celebrate Black people and demand justice and equity within the educational system. February 6-10. A list of events can be found HERE.
Call to Conscience Black History Month Museum: This February, Rainier Avenue Radio will be converting the entire Columbia City Theater into the “Call to Conscience Black History Month Museum.” The museum will celebrate the achievements and the achievers of the Pacific Northwest while recognizing the Black excellence that shines in the region today. It will feature exhibits and installations by organizations like the Black Heritage Society of Washington, Tacoma’s Buffalo Soldier Museum and BlackPast.org. The museum runs Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and advance registration is encouraged.
“History of Theatre”: Local actor, playwright, and A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) core company member Reginald André Jackson’s World Premiere production “History of Theatre” seeks to journey through 200 years of history to surface previously untold stories of African American theatre. The show is produced in partnership with The Hansberry Project, and is directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, founding artistic director of The Hansberry Project. “History of Theatre” runs now through Feb. 12. There is an opening night event on Feb. 2 featuring a special musical performance by Ben Hunter from NW Folklife along with a student gallery of artwork inspired by the show. On Feb. 7, enjoy “Real Talk- From Idea to Stage,” a making-of discussion moderated by Vivian Phillips with the creators of the show.
Henry Exhibition from Nina Chanel Abney: Head to the Henry Art Gallery for an exhibition of Nina Chanel Abney’s work, “Fishing Was His Life.” Abney’s work includes paintings, prints, and large-scale murals with themes of politics, race, sexuality, and celebrity. Her exhibition at the Henry includes recent collages and new paintings centering the culture and commerce of fishing within the African American community. The exhibition runs through March 5.
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP): MoPOP’s “Contact High” exhibition explores four decades of photography, from the late 1970s to today, documenting a revolution not just in music, but in politics, race relations, fashion, and culture. Through more than 170 iconic images of hip-hop’s most influential artists (Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Tupac and more) — including contact sheets that provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a photo session. After visit Jimi Hendrix park in honor of the great musician.
Seattle Center Armory: Visit the Seattle Center Armory for “A Seattle History Worth Preserving: Buffalo Soldiers Exhibit.” This display focuses on the immense contribution the heroic Black soldiers had serving in the United States military. With a focus on those who were stationed at Fort Lawton, now contained within Seattle’s own Discovery Park, this exhibit offers a look into often forgotten stories that are worthy of celebrating.
Karshner Museum & Center for Culture and Arts: Head over to Puyallup for the free family fun event. This event will be jam packed with wonderful arts from around the world and performances by award winning groups from the Puget Sound area to celebrate Black History. February 11, 12 p.m.- 5 p.m.
Black History Month Tours at the Governor’s Mansion: The Governor’s Mansion Foundation is presenting Black History Month Tours at the Mansion on Wednesdays, February 1 and 8, 2023, at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m./noon and 1 p.m. The 45-minute tours are free, open to the public and will include information about the Mansion and feature biographical information about notable Black Washingtonian.
Black History Month Soirée 2023: Head over to Bainbridge Island Museum of Art for a night of music, art and a pop-up shop supporting Black-owned businesses. Feb. 24, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Good for all ages. Register in advance.
Four kid-friendly books for Black History Month
Race and social justice for kids in grades K-5
More Black History Month resources:
Black History Month by National Geographic Kids
Black History Month resources from Library of Congress and other agencies
From NPR: Why Black History Month is celebrated in February
Jesse Hagopian: How you can help Black Lives Matter in schools