Black History Month Calendar of Events



Black History Month Calendar of Events

Through Thurs., Feb. 14


Saturday, February 9


11 am — Truth Be Told Spoken Word Workshop, Highland Park Library, 1974 Ford Pkwy., St. Paul

For teens: Join us for a spoken word writing and performance workshop facilitated by artist Tish Jones. Participants will use the art of spoken word to highlight their personal history while working with other writers, learning poetic devices, and crafting new works.

This event is free. For more information, call 651-695-3700 or go to


12-4 pm — History Player and HiJinx Craft Activity, Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul

Meet History Player Toni Stone, one of the first women to play Negro league baseball. Explore the museum galleries and learn about African American men and women who made significant contributions to the state of Minnesota. Then make and decorate your own pennant to take home.

Tickets are $11 for general admission, $9 for seniors and college students, $6 for children ages 6-17 and free for children ages 5 and under and MHS members. For tickets, call 651-259-3015 or go to


2-4 pm — Hip-Hop Workshop: Makin’ Beats, North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N., Minneapolis

Learn about writing and producing an original hip-hop CD, beginning with storytelling, then sampling and multi-track recording from prominent local hip-hop music producers. Participants get to take away a CD of the completed song.

For youth in grades 7-12

This event is free; registration is requested. To register, call 612-543-8450 or go to


Sunday, February 10


2-4 pm — Black History Month Presentation, Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis

Author Jonathan Odell will lead a discussion that focuses on growing up in a small Mississippi town on the White side of the color line and returning as an adult to understand what life was like on the Black side of that color line. The deep knowledge and understanding that came from that investigation is at the heart of his novels The View from Delphi and The Healing.

This event is free. For more information, call 612-230-6400 or go to


Tuesday, February 12


11:30 am — Black History Month keynote address, Anderson Center Room 112, Hamline, Univ., 774 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul

“Re-Imaging Blackness: Boldly Engaging Cultural Difference in Black Twin Cities”: Dr. Zensele Isoke, professor of gender, women and sexuality studies at the University of Minnesota and author of Urban Black Women and the Politics of Resistance, will discuss demographic realities that Black people face in the Twin Cities.

This event is free. For more information, contact Gail Nosek at or call 651-523-2511.


7 pm — Minnesota, Voting Rights and the Civil War, Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul

As Minnesota pushed toward statehood in the late 1850s, the national debate about slavery, free soil and the rights of free Blacks spilled over into Minnesota Territory. Slaves, including Dred and Harriet Scott, had been held at Fort Snelling since 1820. Vacationing slaveholders had long traveled to Minnesota with their slaves in tow. At the same time, free Blacks like Jim Thompson worked to shape the territorial economy and helped build the capital city.

But with statehood at stake, Democrats and Republicans waged a vicious philosophical battle over who would have the right to vote, who would be truly free, in Minnesota. At the same time, citizens both Black and White feared the state’s clashes over race would turn the region into a northern “Bleeding Kansas,” and stop the North Star State from ever forming.

Join historian Bill Green as he discusses one of the most tempestuous eras in Minnesota history.

This event is free. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or go to


Wednesday, February 13


11:30 am — Transportation Then and Now: African American Contributions to the Rail Industry, Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul

Celebrate African Americans and their contributions to the railroad industry with this program that looks at the railroad experience from the perspective of the Pullman Porters, wait staff and mail bag grabbers whose occupations helped to spur the Black middle class of St. Paul known as the Rondo Community.

This event is free. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or go to


Thursday, February 14


7 pm — Saakumu West African Drum and Dance Troupe Performance, Sundin Music Hall, Hamline Univ., 1531 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul

The Saakumu Drum and Dance Troupe is one of the leading traditional and contemporary dance and music groups in Ghana, West Africa. The group’s repertoire includes a range of spiritual, ceremonial, and contemporary African dance forms.

The performance is free for Hamline students with ID; community members may purchase tickets at the door for $5. For more information, contact Gail Nosek at gnosek01@hamline.eduor call 651-523-2511.