Home Articles Black History Month: What to do, read, and watch

Black History Month: What to do, read, and watch

This year, the importance of Black History Month has an immediacy and urgency this year like never before.

Katelynn Fuentes, 8th grade. Photo courtesy of Phoenix Library.

Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976 to honor the accomplishments of Black people throughout American history.

This year, the importance of Black History Month has an immediacy and urgency this year like never before. Our collective outrage over violent, senseless deaths last year — George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, and so many other — has awareness of systemic racism at an all time high. Around the country there is mounting advocacy and an attempt to move awareness toward action.

During our continuing pandemic conditions, local and national outlets are being more creative than ever about finding ways to share the legacies of Black citizens who have shaped our country’s history.

Inspiring art

Phoenix Public Library is hosting a virtual art exhibit this February to celebrate Black History Month. K-12 artists from all over the Valley were invited to draw an important person or event celebrating the African American experience. Browse the show of talent.

Heritage Square is posting information about The Great Migration: Indiscernibles in Arizona, an exhibit about the experiences of African-Americans in our state. Guest curator Clottee Hammons of Emancipation Arts, LLC made the information available to share. Hammons is a second-generation Arizonan, having grown in up the segregated downtown Phoenix area as the granddaughter of a 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldier.

Through March 2, Scottsdale’s Civic Center Public Gallery is displaying “Arizona Artists of Color.” This exhibition combines the talents of some well-recognized names along with emerging artists

Inspiring films

Harkins Theatres is celebrating Black History Month by showing films that highlight inspiring stories and trailblazing roles from the African American community. And the price is right: $5 per ticket. Featured films include: “Amistad,” “Best of Enemies,” “Dreamgirls”, “Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” “Remember the Titans,” “Selma” and “42.” For a complete list of participating theaters and showtimes visit harkins.com

Chandler Library is celebrating Black History Month by promoting documentaries, African American cinema and more streaming video from Kanopy. The service is free with a library card.

Inspiring history

Throughout the month, the Arizona Capital Museum will be highlighting Black history in Arizona and around the country. Follow @azcapitalmuseum on Twitter.

Inspiring presentations

Stay tuned to the City of Peoria social media channels all month for a series dedicated to Black History Month. The city will be highlighting African American leaders, local members of the community, entertainment figures and more.

Did you know one in four cowboys in the Southwest was Black? Estrella Mountain Community College will be hosting a broad range of Black History Month events throughout February that feature learning, discussion, and support.

StoryCorps is featuring podcast conversations about Black history, identity, struggles, and joy — stories that reveal our shared American history.

Inspiration to write

In celebration of Black History Month, Mesa Arts Center’s Project Lit is adding weekly prompts throughout February that explore topics including the Harlem Renaissance, Hip Hop, Black Arts Movement, and Youth Spoken Word. Each module contains a lesson plan, a writing prompt, and a video from a local artist. Arizona students in grades 7-12 can submit their poetry for consideration for the 3rd Annual Youth Poetry Anthology. Submissions are due Feb. 28.

Inspiration for empathy

A University of Arizona researcher is working with virtual and augmented reality to re-create common experiences of racism and discrimination.

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