It’s Black History Month in The Land, and while we celebrate Black history throughout the year, our city is hosting iconic events especially throughout February. Connect to the culture through dance, music, discussion, and movies with offerings both in-person and virtual. Whether you venture out safely or prefer to stay home, we invite you to celebrate Black History in Cleveland.
Black History Month: Special Events
Cleveland Public Theatre | Jan 19 - Feb. 25
Test Flight is a series running from Jan. 19 to Feb. 25 that works to co-produce original works with artists. The project is inclusive to all types of theatre including traditional, dance, and performance art. One of last year’s productions was Panther Women; a play on Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement told through poetry, monologues, dance, and song.
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland | Jan. 27 - Jun. 11
The museum has two new exhibitions opening in time for Black History Month. Nina Chanel Abney’s Big Butch Synergy with paintings and collages that celebrate Black masculine women. Amber N. Ford’s Someone, Somewhere, Something uses sound to tell stories of grief.
Dobama Theatre | Jan. 27 - Feb. 19
Written by Zora Howard, the play tells the story of three generations of Tucker women in their Mama’s kitchen as they try to prepare a big meal. Directed by by Nina Domingue, STEW was a 2021 Pulitzer Prize FInalist.
Cleveland Cavaliers Black Heritage Celebrations
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse | Feb. 2, 8, 11, 13, 23, 26
Every year, the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate Black History Month through investing in Black futures, showcasing Black Businesses, and inspiring racial justice efforts. The Cavs face the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 2, Detroit Pistons on Feb. 8, Chicago Bulls on Feb. 11, San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 13, Denver Nuggets on Feb., and Toronto Raptors on Feb. 26.
Karamu House | Feb. 11 to Mar. 6
This play tells the story of The Red Summer of 1919, a time when African Americans from the rural South migrated to the cities of the North for work and racial tension ran high. African American soldiers returning from World War I were also being denied basic rights like housing. Check out these stories told through dance, poetry, and music.
Cleveland History Center | Feb. 23
Join this happy hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with meet and greets of local artists and discussions on black culture through art in Cleveland. Allen E. Cole and his works will be the focal point of the evening.
Black History Month
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame |
During Black History Month, Rock Hall always puts a focus on the contributions and stories of Black artists. Rock Hall also has an online library of Black inductees that can be accessed year-round.
Cleveland Pops Orchestra | Feb. 10
The Cleveland Pops Orchestra will feature Broadway and jazz singer, Aisha de Haas, for Black History Month at 8 p.m.. She’s made television and movie appearances, and she enjoys performing at jazz clubs across the country.
Black History Month: February Programming
Various Cuyahoga County Public Library branches are offering Black History Month-related programming throughout February. The story of local Black fashion designer Amanda Wicker will be told at several libraries throughout the month. The South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch has a series for families and kids called Celebrate Black Art. Check out a list of programs at your local branch.
Euclid Public Library takes an interesting approach to Black History/Heritage, including Instagram Book Talks: Centering Black Love where Valentine's Day and Black History will be combined, Women in History Presents: Dessert with Jane Edna Hunter, and an untold story on The Extraordinary Life of Dr. Martin Luther King with Susan Cannavino.
Some Black History Month events include trivia days, Jeopardy, crafts, and book clubs. The Collinwood Branch is also hosting a weekly series called Celebrating Our Black Leaders to learn about Black activists, politicians, and more. At Union branch on Feb. 21, participants will learn about Black artists and create their own work.
February is jam-packed with Black heritage, culture, and historical performances through Playhouse Square. On Feb 11., The Whispers, The Dramatics, Angela Winbush, and Howard Hewitt come together for an evening for soul and R&B. On Feb. 23, a tribute concert celebrates the music of Aretha Franklin called R.E.S.P.E.C.T. A drama for kids titled “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad” will start streaming online at the end of the month.