Black History Month is here! It is an important time to recognize the numerous contributions of African-Americans in our history. There are so many opportunities for families to engage in activities designed to honor Black History Month in Oklahoma, but first, a little history on Black History Month.
Black History Month actually began as “Negro History Week”, a celebration created in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who was a famous African American scholar, educator, and historian. In 1976, it became a month long celebration. Each President since Gerald Ford has officially recognized February as Black History Month.
So, how can you celebrate Black History Month in Oklahoma?
1. Hear Andrew Young Speak
Oklahoma Christian University, through its History Speaks series, will host Andrew Young on February 4th. Andrew Young began his work alongside Dr. Martin Luther King and was instrumental in drafting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He may be most recognized as one of the men on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel when Dr. King was shot. The event is free, but you must reserve tickets.
2. Read The Hate U Give
This book is a powerful story of Starr Carter, an African-American girl who lives in an all-black neighborhood but attends school at an all-white prep school. She witnesses a close friend from the neighborhood get shot, and her two worlds collide when she tries to cope with the aftermath of the shooting.
3. Trivia, Anyone?
The Ralph Ellison Library in Oklahoma City is hosting a Black History Month Trivia Quiz throughout the month of February. Test your knowledge of African-American music, art, inventors, and more.
4. Jam out with Adam and Kizzie
5. Watch I am Not Your Negro
The Ralph Ellison Library will host a showing of I am Not Your Negro on February 11th. This documentary is based on an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin and it narrates racial tension in America.
6. Attend the African American Film Festival
The Oklahoma History Museum will host The African American Film Festival on February 9th. For more information, go to Oklahoma History Center.
7. Black History Month Docuseries
The West Wind Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Norman, Ok) will host a weekly showing of various documentaries every Friday in February. The Documentaries include An Uncomfortable Truth, I Am Not Your Negro, How Structural Racism Works, and Whose Streets.
8. Let’s Talk About It
Several organizations have come together to present a 3-part series on Privilege. Each part of the series will be held from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Project 3810 (3810 N Tulsa, OKC, OK 73112).
9. Enter a Contest
The Oklahoma City Thunder hosts the Black Heritage Creative Contest. The contest is open through Feb. 11 to Oklahoma students K-12. Students can submit an essay, poem, or visual art piece that honors an impactful African-American.
10. Patronize an African-American business
Have you ever wanted a fresh, custom-made bowtie, the perfect wine, or a beautiful bouquet? Well, there are several African-American businesses that can make your dreams come true. Knottedbowties can custom design a bow tie to guarantee you will stand out, PenPoint Events can make your wedding dreams come true, and Waters Edge Winery is the perfect place for a night out.
Whether you read a book, listen to great music, or make a unique purchase, make time to celebrate Black History Month with your family.