Black History Month (Feb 1 – March 1) is a great time to celebrate the contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history. However, Black history touches our lives each and every day of the year.
Did you brush your hair this morning with a brush? Thank Lyda Newman.
Did you have an extra maxi-pad to give to your teen daughter who just ran out? Thank Mary B. Kenner.
Did you use an egg beater or mixer to make eggs or pancake batter for the kids this morning? Thank Willis Johnson.
Were your kids able to wear dry clothes from the dryer? Thank George T. Sampson.
Traffic lights helpful on your way to school drop-off? Thank Garrett Morgan.
Did you have a smooth run with your baby in her stroller this evening? Thank William H. Richardson.
It’s easy to name off Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks as significant Black History Month figures. But, how many of the names of Black inventors listed above were you familiar with? This month, challenge your family to learn about the contributions of lesser-known African Americans throughout history. To get you started, here is a list of ways that your family can honor and celebrate their achievements in and around OKC!
Local Events and Activities
What: Art Exhibit: “I am …” Presented by J’Parle Artist Group
Where: Myriad Botanical Gardens (Crystal Bridge Conservatory Visitor Lobby)
When: January 3 – February 21, 2023
Description: VOICES explores the perspectives of six local Black artists and how they use art to communicate and reflect.
What: Celebrating Black History Family Fun Kit
Where: Pickup at Wright Library
When: January 31 – February 4
Description: Black History is American History and it’s time to celebrate it! Kits will include fun family activities, crafts, and information about Black History Month.
What: History Alive!: An Evening With James Armistead Lafayette
Where: Oklahoma History Center
When: January 27 at 7pm
Cost: $10 (members) & $20 (non members)
Description: The Oklahoma History Center and Colonial Williamsburg are proud to present Stephen Seals in History Alive!: An Evening With James Armistead Lafayette. Seals portrays an enslaved Virginian born on a plantation in 1748 and played a key role in the defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War.
What: History Speaks 2023 | Jasmine Guy & Kadeem Hardison
Where: Oklahoma Christian University
When: February 6, 7:00PM
Description: In 1837, the world of education was forever changed by the creation of the first Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs.) At a time when universities turned away black students, these institutions served as a hub for black intellectuals by educating and empowering them to be leaders in their communities. In 1987, the world was given a glimpse into what it meant to be a student at an HBCU through the revolutionary television show “A Different World.” On February 6th, join us as we host Jasmine Guy & Kadeem Hardison, stars of “A Different World” for our 10th annual History Speaks event!
Local Black History Month Resources and Opportunities to Learn, Grow and Empower
Share Your Creativity
OKC Thunder Black Heritage Creative Contest
Deadline for submission: February 3
Description: This student art competition is open to students in grades 9 – 12 (public, private, home schooled). Students are encouraged to create an original poster depicting “an inspirational experience, moment or individual in Black History” and describe the impact they/it has made in their lives. Entries may be submitted online, by mail or in person.
Never Stop Learning
Nappy Roots Books
3705 Springlake Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Nappy Roots Books is an independent African American bookstore, art gallery, gathering space, and community center. Nappy Roots specializes in books for “adults and children that reflect the history, culture, art and people of the African diaspora, and books that address political, social and economic issues in the African American community and other communities of color.”
The Metropolitan Library System has a wide variety of Black History Month take home kits that are available during the month of February at several locations. The categories of the kits include arts and crafts, books and knowledge quizzes. Lots of fun and knowledge for the whole family!
Although geared towards teachers, the Oklahoma Education Association’s Black History Month web page provides access to a number of educational resources that your family can use to explore different aspects of Black History all year round.