February is Black History Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
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2023 Event Highlights

Special Display

Throughout the month of February

Saying It Loud: 1966—The Year Black Power Challenged the Civil Rights Movement

Journalist and author Mark Whitaker explores the momentous year that redefined the civil rights movement as a new sense of Black identity expressed in the slogan “Black Power” challenged the nonviolent philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis. Deeply researched and widely reported, Saying It Loud offers portraits of the major characters in the yearlong drama, and provides new details and insights from key players and journalists who covered the story. It also makes a compelling case for why the lessons from 1966 still resonate in the era of Black Lives Matter and the fierce contemporary battles over voting rights, identity politics, and the teaching of Black history. Joining the author in conversation will be journalist Jonathan Alter.

(National Archives)

Documentary Film and Discussion

February 8

Through the African American Lens: Afrofuturism: The Origin Story – A Smithsonian Channel Documentary

In support of NMAAHC's newest exhibition, Afrofuturism - A History of Black Futures, the public programs department will present the Afrofuturism: The Origin Story documentary produced by the Smithsonian Channel. This film features insights from renowned scholar and artist Ytasha Womack with Kevin Strait, NMAAHC curator of the Afrofuturism exhibition, and contributor to its companion collection of essays.

(National Museum of African American History and Culture)

Online Research Seminar

February 8

African Americans in Business: Doing Historical Company Research

Explore historical company research through the 2023 Black History Month theme of “Resistance,” featuring historic Black barbers who resisted the status quo by supporting black education and civil rights movements. Led by Business Reference and Research Specialists, we plan on covering print and electronic sources – both free and subscription – as well as giving a few tips and tricks picked up over the years. This event will take place over Zoom. Online registration is free at the link above.

(Library of Congress)

Online Book Discussion

February 9

Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion

The National Portrait Gallery and the DC Public Library would like to invite you to a robust conversation about gender, social movements, and protest music. Join us as we analyze a portrait of human rights activist and musical artist Odetta and discuss the related Smithsonian Folkways Recording, “Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966” by various artists.

(National Portrait Gallery)

Online Event

February 23

Live! At the Library: African American Folk Music with Jake Blount

A powerfully gifted musician and a scholar of Black American music, Jake Blount speaks ardently about the African roots of the banjo and the subtle, yet profound ways African Americans have shaped and defined the categories of roots music and Americana. This event is free, but tickets are required. They are available via the link above.

(Library of Congress)

Brought to you by:

National Gallery of Art Library of Congress Smithsonian Institution National Archives United States Holocaust Memorial Museum National Park Service National Endowment for the Humanities