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Black History Month offers the opportunity for us to learn and tell the stories of the African-Americans who built, created, and changed Cleveland. This year, we remember and pay tribute throughout the city and its neighboring boroughs. Events and celebrations are as vast and varied as the African-Americans who achieved greatness. From sports to the arts to science discussions and authors, these people have impacted Cleveland — and the country--from its beginnings.
Image © Cody York
Feb. 1, 12 and 26 | RocketMortgage FieldHouse
The Cleveland Cavaliers will continue their Black Heritage Celebrations at various February home games. With the goal of “Empowering and Inspiring: One Generation to the Next,” the Cavs will hold Black Heritage Celebration nights against the Golden State Warriors (Saturday, Feb. 1), Atlanta Hawks (Wednesday, Feb. 12) and (Wednesday, Feb. 26). During game presentations, the spotlight will be on black history moments. Players, staff, and coaches will also be volunteering at special projects throughout the month, but details have yet to be released.
Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. | Karamu House
At Karamu House, there will be several special events and they are quickly selling out. The last event of the month, “A Musical Tribute to Biggie Smalls and Lou Rawls”, will be held at the Jelliffe Theatre to honor the greatest rapper of all time, Notorious B.I.G and 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Lou Rawls.
Feb. 10 | RocketMortgage FieldHouse
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse hosts the third Taste of Black Cleveland: The Food Showcase 3.0 with the help of the NAACP, Cavs, Aramark and The Real Black Friday. 20 local Cleveland chefs will prepare their signature dishes for guests to sample and vote on.
Feb. 15 at 10:30 p.m. | Baseball Heritage Museum
The Baseball Heritage Museum is hosting a special program, “Black Baseball Chronology,” that focuses on the involvement of African-Americans and people of color in American baseball. The presentation also chronicles the history of African-American baseball in Cleveland from the early 1920s through 1950, as well as barrier-breaking players like Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby.
Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. | International Women’s Air and Space Museum
Enjoy “Dinner with a Slice of History” at the International Women’s Air and Space Museum. The special event for Black History Month features Sheila Chamberlain, the first black woman combat intelligence pilot for the US Army. Mentored by Willa Brown--the first African-American woman to earn her pilot's license, Chamberlain is her own pioneer for black women in the military. She completed three combat tours and was the first woman to be elected to the Tuskegee Airmen. See her speak on February 28.
Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. | Cleveland History Center
After touring the Cleveland History Center’s exhibits, you can attend the special after-hours party “Black History on Tap: The Living Legacy of Leo’s Casino,” bringing back to life the famous R&B and Jazz club of the 1960s with live music and images of the legends that graced Leo’s stage.
Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. | The Rainey Institute
Experience an evening of music and dance at the NeverForget: Black History Month Concert hosted by the Rainey Institute and Mojuba Dance Collective. The concert explores the cultural journey of faith for black people from African to present day. The concert is an excerpt from the production “How I Got Over” by Errin Ministries.
Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. | Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
Because the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage focuses on diversity and tolerance, it is hosting a panel discussion and Q&A session on African American Theatre in Cleveland. The panel explores the history of African-American theatre in Northeast Ohio after Leonard Bernstein hired African-American actors and conductors for the 1944 musical On The Town.
Image © Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will celebrate Black History Month with a series of special programming recognizing the contributions that African-Americans have made to rock. Choose from events like a film screening of “Amazing Grace,” which focuses on Aretha Franklin as she records her gospel album in 1972 on music history; a brand new documentary screening on Chuck Berry; a lecture on the Intersection between Hip Hop Culture and Education from ancient African history to present day; a concert by Big Sam’s Funky Nation; and an interview and book signing with 1992 Inductee Booker T. Jones. For a complete list of events, visit www.rockhall.com
Throughout February the Cleveland Public Library branches will be hosting programs for Black History Month. The events include a conversation about the impact of race and bias on our lives with authors Robin DiAngelo and Jennifer Eberhardt (Downtown), a living museum with pictures and storytelling for the kids (Collinwood), traditional African games (Walz), a jazz performance from The Whitehouse Band, book and movie discussions on or by notable Afrian Americans, and several black history trivia battles for every age. For Cleveland Public Library locations and event information, visit www.cpl.org Cuyahoga County Public Library
Various Cuyahoga County Public Library branches are offering Black History Month-related programming throughout February. This month Garfield Heights Branch is hosting a meet-and-greet with Emmy-winning Jeffrey Blout, featuring his latest book The Emancipation of Evan Walls. There will also be special Maker Clubs for teenagers which feature African American makers in science, technology, engineering, art and math fields. One branch is even teaching how to make Mrs. Georgia Gilmore’s sweet potato pies, which helped fund the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Other events include celebrations of the black men and women in jazz with live performances, a discussion with author Marcia Chatelain on her latest book Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, and more artistic events for people of all ages. Please visit cuyahogalibrary.org for more information on events at different branches throughout the region.
Case Western Reserve University is showcasing the new artwork of distinguished African American alumni at GS3 Photography. The event starts February 8 and continues throughout the month. The showcase features paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles, masks, crafts, musical instruments and artifacts. Each piece of artwork has been chosen for its representation of the impact of African culture on the arts.
Like other libraries in the ClevNet network, Euclid Public Library is hosting events all month long. Programs include documentaries on Toni Morrison and African American history in the 20th century, genealogy stories, a teen jeopardy afternoon, and a seminar on civil rights with Vera Boggs, the Director of the Cleveland Regional Office of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
Showcasing baseball's diverse history, multicultural heritage and impact of the sport on Cleveland through displays of treasured memorabilia at...
The Cleveland History Center houses exhibits that tell the story of Northeast Ohio through items, documents and artifacts from a variety of...
Many "treasures" await you at the Cleveland Public Library, "The People's University. Get connected -- we're one big "HOT SPOT!" Free Internet access...
Discover the achievements of women in aviation and space with this free museum located inside Burke Lakefront Airport. Tours and programs available....
Karamu House stands tall in our nation's history as an inclusive institution that served as a common ground for Clevelanders of different races,...
Bringing history to life and people together, thought-provoking programs and exhibitions celebrate identity, culture and connection.
Alive with the passion and energy of the musical legends we celebrate. Our inductees are represented throughout seven floors of exciting exhibits,...
The place to be for the hottest concerts on stage, the most spectacular family shows under one roof and signature sporting events including the 2016...