Celebrating Black History Month in Charlotte: A list of events, programs

Celebrating Black History Month in Charlotte: A list of events, programs

Each February we honor and celebrate the achievements of black Americans for Black History Month. Special events, performances and programs are held throughout Charlotte during the month.

Here’s a list of events taking place for Black History Month in 2020:

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Feb. 8 - Queen City Black Heritage Festival at Cabarrus Arena

The festival will feature crafts, culture, food and art; more than 40 black-owned businesses will be in attendance. Noon-5 p.m. Free admission, $5 to park. website

Feb. 8 - Black History Literary Festival at University City Regional Library

Meet local authors and celebrate the literature, arts and culture of African Americans. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. website

Feb. 11 - Talk About It Tuesday: Cycles of Displacement at Knight Theater

Multidisciplinary artist Anthony Patterson, from Durham, and Charlotte’s Alvin C. Jacobs will discuss the ways they use art, storytelling and photography to explore how urban renewal and gentrification have been used to erase black communities. They will focus on Durham “Bull City,” as well as Charlotte’s Brookhill Village and the Brooklyn neighborhood. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. website

Feb. 13 - #ShapingCLT: School Segregation

Local historian and author Pamela Grundy will discuss her latest publication, “Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality.” 6-8 p.m. $10. website

Feb. 15 - Queen City Black Business Expo at Cabarrus Arena

A variety of black-owned businesses will be represented and provide giveaways, coupons and special offers to attendees. There will also be music, food and entertainment. Noon-5 p.m. Free admission, $5 to park. website

Feb. 22. – “Charlotte’s West End” Local Learning Lecture Series at President James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville

Hear Johnson C. Smith University archivist Branon Lunsford tell the story of Charlotte’s Historic West End, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which aims to tell the story of a vibrant African American community with photographs, documents and oral histories. 10:30 a.m.-noon. Free. website

Feb. 29 - African-American Heritage Festival at Charlotte Museum of History

Explore the African roots of Southern foods, listen to African and African American music, hear storytelling and more. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free (registration required). website

African American Firsts - Entertainment

Feb. 5 - Steve Crump’s Documentaries: Franklin McCain – Flashbacks & Observations from a Civil-Rights Pioneer

The screening premiere of a documentary that focuses on Franklin McCain, one of four students who started sit-ins at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro that started a movement that helped change America. The filmmaker, Steve Crump, will be present for an audience discussion after the screening. 7 p.m. Free

Feb. 8 - Lights, Set, Action!

Tiffany Bryant-Jackson will teach participants the basics of drama and how to channel their creativity in this theater workshop tailored for children ages 3-8. 11 a.m. – noon. Free

Feb. 8 - Little Red and the Hoods by Open Cage Productions

For the Arts & Science Council’s “Connect with Culture Day,” the Gantt Center will host a performance by Open Cage Productions. Suitable for the whole family. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Free

Feb. 9 - Classic Black Cinema: Black Girl

One of a handful of features directed by the beloved actor/activist Ossie Davis, released in 1974. A story about a young woman finding her way in the world with unique expectations and pressures. Suitable for ages 18 and older. 2 p.m. Cost: museum admission

Feb. 15 - View the Right Thing Film Series: Malcolm X

The final screening of the “View the Right Thing” series -- in partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library -- presents “Malcolm X,” a 1992 film co-written and directed by Spike Lee. The movie follows the story of pivotal activist Malcolm X via vivid depictions of major moments in his life. Following the film, there will be an audience discussion. The movie is rated PG-13. 12:30-4 p.m. Sold out

Feb. 15 - Afro-Brazilian Dance Workshop

Brazilian professors Agatha Oliveira and Edileusa Santos will take participants on a journey in the styles and techniques of traditional and modern Afro-Brazilian cultural dance. This workshop is open to all ages and skill levels. 1-2:30 p.m. Free

Feb. 19 - Walk-Up Wednesday: Diaspora Dialogues

A panel conversation of African culture in Brazil moderated by UNC Charlotte professor Tamara Williams. Professors at the Federal University of Bahia, Agatha Oliveira and Edileusa Santos, will discuss African-Brazilian culture in the context of music and dance. They will also provide information about the current oppression of black Brazilians and their religion of Candomblé. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free

African American Firsts - Sports

Feb. 22 - The Dream Builder: Reading and Signing with Kelly Starling Lyons

Author reading of a children’s book about how a young Phil Freelon dreams and becomes one of the most noted and influential architects in the country. Freelon designed the Gantt Center and was on the lead team of architects of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The reading will be followed by a book signing of “The Dream Builder,” which will be available for purchase in the Gantt’s museum store. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $5

Feb. 26 - Walk-Up Wednesday: Movement with Dina B.

This fun and energetic dance class will explore the different diaspora styles of dance, from traditional African dance to hip-hop. The class is designed to get everyone moving and is open to all ages and experience levels. 6:30-8 p.m. $5

Every Sunday in February - Yoga, Mimosas + Chill

Enjoy yoga and mindfulness practices on the Gantt Rooftop floor (fourth floor) for all levels and sizes. After the one-hour workout, guests are welcome to enjoy mimosas and the center’s current exhibits. Noon-1 p.m. $10

Find more Black History Month events and programs happening across the state by visiting the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ website here.