The roots of Black History Month spans back to 1926 when what is now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), established the second week of February as Negro History Week. By the late 1960’s it had evolved into a month-long celebration at many college campuses and was officially recognized in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. There has been a theme set by the ASALH every year since 1928 and the theme for 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.
This is the first year that it may not be possible for people to be going out to museums, historical sites, or other events in celebration of Black History Month. But just like we have adapted so much of our lives to fit these trying times there are a wealth of virtual resources and events to help us, as President Ford said, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” While this list does not encompass all the opportunities, it is a great starting point and features both local and national events.
- Association for the Study of African American Life and History will have free events all month that are listed on the ASALH TV Event Calendar. Here are a few of the highlights:
- February 6, 2021 @ 12:00 PM EST From the Continent to the Americas: Foodways, Culture and Traditions in the African American Family
- February 28, 2021 @ 7:00 PM EST A Special Conversation Between NGŨGĨ WA THIONG’O, NUBIA KAI & SUNDIATA CHA-JUA: The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi & The Black Family
- Chicago Children’s Choir is holding a Black History Month Virtual Concert: Preserving and Perserving on February 25, 2021 @ 8:00 PM EST.
- EventBrite– Search Black History and set filter to Free.
- February 4th, 2021 @ 12:30 EST Virtual Storytime with Author Rio Cortez
- February 5, 2021 @ 7:00 PM EST BLM RVA ART 2021
- February 6, 2021 @ 6:00 PM EST DJ “S” Presents Revolution
- February 10, 2021@ 12:00 PM EST Black History Month celebration: Three Contemporary Black Women Inventors
- February 25, 2021 @ 6:00 PM EST Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong
- Google Arts & Culture has several establishments across the United States that have virtual exhibits to explore. You can click here to start your exploration.
- Library of Congress is presenting Rosa Parks In Her Own Words
- The National Museum of African American History & Culture has an exploration of James Baldwin’s Life and Works through his home in France called Chez Baldwin. They also have a spectacular Digital Resources collection for the public.
- Richmond Public Library will be hosting events as well which can be found on our online events calendar.