2017 Black History Month Calendar (updated)

(MGN Online)

Find local events in celebration of Black History Month below sorted by date.  Do you know of an event that we missed? Let us know by leaving information in the comment section or by emailing msrnewsonline@spokesman-recorder.com. Happy Black History Month!

Thursday, February 2

​Black Light: A Soulful Embrace of Love and Life, Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent Street, St. Paul
Jomama Jones returns to the Twin Cities with Black Light, her newest iteration of performance. Joining her are celebrated pianist Samora Pinderhughes and vocalists Helga Davis and Trevor Bachman. The production runs until Feb. 12 at various times. Go here for more info.


7 pm, Malcolm X screening, Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway, Mpls.
This event is presented by the Film Society of Mpls-St. Paul and First Thursday Films at the Capri Theater. Admission is $5 in advance at www.mspfilm.org or at the door the night of show. Go here for more info.


8 pm — 2 am, First Friday Twin Cities presents NOIR 2, A Black History Month Celebration, Rouge at the Lounge, 411 N. 2nd Ave., Mpls.
Back by popular demand, “NOIR 2,” is a Black History month celebration for the urban professionals of the Twin Cities. Join the First Friday Twin Cities network for an unforgettable evening of networking and dancing. $15 admission; $10 with all black attire. Go here for more info.

Friday, February 3

7 pm, Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges, Stepping Stone Theatre, 55 Victoria Street N., St. Paul
A Black History Month Story about Civil Rights. In 1960, the front lines of the struggle for Civil Rights ran right up to the front steps of an elementary school in New Orleans. Ruby’s true story struggle is an inspiration! The play runs until Feb. 26. Go here for more info or call 651-225-9265.

Saturday, February 4

The Highwaymen, History Theatre, 30 E. 10th Street, St. Paul
This powerful new drama explores the dynamics surrounding the decision-making process that shattered the lives of thousands of middle-class residents in the old Rondo neighborhood and changed the face of St. Paul forever. Parental discretion advised for children under 16 due to adult language. The production runs until Feb. 26. For more info call 651-292-4323 or go here.

Monday, February 6

6-8 pm, Freedom of Xpression Open Mic, Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway, Mpls.
A space to share your gifts of music, spoken word, dance, poetry and art with others in the community. The event is hosted by Desdamona and Joe Adams. The event takes place every first Monday of the month. For more info go here.

Tuesday, February 7

Nina Simone: FourWomen, Park Square Theatre, Historic Hamm Building, 20 West 7th Place, St. Paul,
By popular demand, Christina Ham’s play is back and with even more music. The play transports you to a bombed Birmingham church where Ms. Simone is writing “Mississippi Goddam” when she meets three strong women bound by tragic circumstance. Together, they sing their truth and rise triumphant.  The play runs until March 5. $40-60. Go here for show times and more info.

Saturday, February 11

2-4 pm, The Lost Negroes of North America with Filmmaker Ralph L. Crowder III, Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg​, ​Blvd., St. Paul
Preview an early cut of this timely and unique silent film about Black family and community life in Minneapolis from 1945 to 1955. Free admission. Go here for more info.

7 pm (3 pm, Feb. 12), Sweeping Through the City: A Celebration of Gospel Music, Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway, Mpls.
This joyous show features the soulful sounds of local Gospel great Shirley Marie Graham and special guest, Paris Bennett. Tickets range from $20-$25. Go here for more info or call 612-643- 2024.

Monday, February 13

National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID), Twin Cities
NAAPID is a national call to action for parents, particularly of African American descent, to come to their child’s school, see what their child is learning, and support their child’s educational future. The observation is intended to foster an open dialogue among teachers, parents and students. For more info about St. Paul Public Schools, go here, or contact Brandi Cavalletti via email at brandi.cavalletti@spps.org or call 651-767-8110. For info about Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), go here or call 612-668-0000.

6-8 pm, Celebrate African American Family Involvement Day, Roller Garden, 5622 W. Lake Street, St. Louis Park
After visiting your child’s school, celebrate the day with them at the Roller Garden. The event is free for MPS families and is sponsored by the Minneapolis Public Schools and Black Male Achievement. Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For more info call 612-290-9553.

Saturday, February 15

4:30-6pm, Tracing Links to Slavery Where We Are: The University of Minnesota and Wealth from Slave Labor, 240 Northrop, St., UMN East Bank Campus, University of Minnesota
Speaker Professor Christopher Lehman has published research detailing how South Carolina slave owner William Aiken loaned money to the University of Minnesota in its early years. He will speak about his research, how the U of M profited from slavery and more.
This event is sponsored by the University’s Institute for Advanced Study Well-Being in the Midwest African Diaspora research collaborative, the Department of African and African-American Studies, and the Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality program (RIGS). This event is free and open to the public. Go here for more info.

Saturday, February 18

​8:30-9 am, The Truth, Racial Healing and Transformative Movement: A Conversation about Race, Hennepin Technical College, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Park
Attendees will discuss issues related to race and how to eliminate the narrative and belief in a hierarchy of human value. The panel includes Dr. Eric Jolly, president and CEO of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, John Stanoch, former interim president of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, Deputy Mayor of the City of St. Paul Kristin Beckman, Hamse Warfa, founder and principal of TAYO Consulting Group LLC, Jeffrey Hassan, executive director of the AALF and many others. Food and entertainment will be provided. The event is sponsored by the African American Leadership Forum and Hennepin Technical College. Space is limited to the first 300 registrants. For more info call 612-532-3694 or email info@aalftc.org.


11 am — 1:30 pm, Honoring the Accomplishments of Minnesota’s Black Medical Community: Past and Present, Hennepin County Library, Doty Board Room on the 2nd floor, 300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.
A presentation honoring Minnesota’s Black medical community past and present will be held in celebration of Black History Month.
The event includes a tribute to the legendary Brown family trio of physicians, Dr. Robert S. Brown, Dr. W. Donald Brown Sr., and Dr. W. Ronald Brown Jr. who collectively practiced medicine in Minneapolis from 1890 through 1991; and a panel discussion featuring Minnesota’s own distinguished Crutchfield family trio of physicians, Dr. Charles Cruthchfield II, Dr. Susan Crutchfield-Mitsch and Dr. Charles Cruthchfield III, who have served as Minnesota physicians in the medical fields for more than five decades to the present.
This presentation is free and open to the public. For more info, contact Anthony R. Scott Sr. at anthony.scott@comcast.net or 612 578-0171 cell/text.

12- 4 pm, Penumbra Theatre at 40: Art, Race & a Nation on Stage, Minnesota Historical Society, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
Minnesota History Society (MHS) is opening a new exhibit that celebrates the history and 40th anniversary of Penumbra Theatre. On the opening day, February 18, the MSH will have a family day celebrating the exhibit’s opening and Black Minnesotans’ contributions to the state of Minnesota. The exhibit runs until July 30, 2017. $6-$12. Go here for more info or call 651-259-3000.

Sunday, February 19

​4-6 pm,VocalEssence Witness: Underground Railroad, Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Illuminating Minnesota’s historic role as a refuge for the oppressed, Melanie DeMore returns to help uplift immigrant voices past and present through songs of freedom. Joining her are the VocalEssence Chorus, Franklin Middle School, North High School Chorus, Parkway Montessori and Community Middle School Chorus, and the Johnson Senior High School Chorus. G. Phillip Shoultz, III serves as conductor. Concert conversation is from 3-3:30 pm. Tickets range from $10-$40. Go here for more info or call 612-371-5656.


​7-10 pm, BLACKapella, Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls.
BLACKapella presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to honor true lyricism during Black History Month. Now in its second year, the event features artists of different genres who come together to share their narratives in acapella to spark dialogue that uplifts and inspires attendees. $10 admission. Go here for more info.

Tuesday, February 21

6 pm, Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series: Margot Lee Shetterly, Northrop, 84 Church St. SE, Mpls., University of Minnesota
Writer, researcher, and entrepreneur Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of Hidden Figures, which is a top book of 2016 for both TIME and Publisher’s Weekly as well as an instant New York Times bestseller. The movie adaptation has grossed more than $100 million domestically. The lecture is followed by a conversation with Michele Norris Executive Director, The Race Card Project, Aspen Institute  Former Host, National Public Radio. This event is sold out, but check this link for rush line possibilities.


7-8:30 pm, History Lounge talk: Origins of Black Civil Rights in Minnesota, Minnesota Historical Society, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
Dr. Bill Green, author of Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912, will discuss Minnesota civil rights history, and how in a state where racial prejudice and oppression wore a liberal mask, Black settlers, entrepreneurs, politicians and activists maneuvered within a restricted political arena to bring about real and lasting change. This event is free and open to the public. Go here for more info or call 651-259-3000.

Thursday, February 23

 5:30 pm, And Still We Rise: Black History Month Discussion, University of St. Thomas, Luann Dummer Center for Women (OEC 103), 2115 Summit Avenue, St. Paul
Dr. Artika Tyner will lead a discussion on the importance of knowing your history. For more info call 651-962-6460.

Friday, February 24

5:30-9 pm, NABA Premiere 2: Spoken Word & Movie Nite — A Black History Month Celebration, New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.
In a warm and casual social setting, celebrate Black/African American achievements across business, arts and social causes. The evening includes spoken word performances and a screening of Movie for Reel, a short film highlighting the Black experience in America and the hopes and aspirations of the community. Tickets are $10. Go here for more info.

Saturday, February 25

8:30-11:30 am, Black History Pancake Bar, MUL Glover-Sudduth Center, 2100 Plymouth Ave. N., Mpls.
Enjoy a breakfast that includes pancakes, beef, turkey, sausage, eggs and beverages, along with a Black History Month program featuring arts and entertainment, speakers and a panel discussion centered around the idea of “Voices for Community Reclamation.”
This event is sponsored by the Minneapolis Urban League and it is free and open to the public. Go here for more info or call 612-302-3100.


9:30 am — 5:30 pm, Twin Cities Black Film Festival’s Annual Black History Book Fair, Barnes & Noble at the Mall of America, 18 E Broadway #238, Bloomington
Be inspired and educated while supporting the TC Black Film Festival. The event promises to provide useful information and giveaways. A percentage of the books sold will benefit TCBFF. Go here for more info.

Sunday, February 26

11:15 am — 1:30 pm, Community Potluck in Celebration of Black History Month, Clark-Grace UCC, 779 15th Avenue N., South St. Paul

All are welcome at this free family-friendly community potluck to celebrate Black History. Go here for more info.

​4-7 pm,  Father Daughter Dance, Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Dr., Mpls.
The 5th Annual Father Daughter Dance is a community-sponsored, formal and fun-filled evening for girls ages five years and over and the special fathers and father figures in their lives. It focuses on the importance of fathers and their daughters having strong and healthy relationships. Go here for more info.


Do you know of more events to add to the calendar? Share your event info by sending an email to msrnewsonline@spokesman-recorder.com or leave a note in the comment section.