2022 Black History Month Events (updated)

The MSR celebrates Black History Month every day of the year and enjoys a living legacy as one of the state’s oldest Black businesses. Like last year, many of the events will take place online due to the ongoing pandemic. For in-person events, remember to check the venue’s COVID-19 protocols ahead of time.

Below we’ve highlighted a few of the events. Share your events with us by submitting them to msrnewsonline@spokesman-recorder.com or upload it free-of-charge at spokesman-recorder.com/events.

February 3

Erase: The Movement to Exclude Black People from History

5:30–6:30 pm @ Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery, 1256 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411

Kick off Black History Month with this discussion featuring Dr. Yohuru Williams of University of St. Thomas, and Dr. Keith Mayes of the University of Minnesota. The discussion will center on how to make American history more inclusive and the importance of teaching Black history every day, not just in February. Moderated by Tina Burnside, MAAHMG co-founder & curator. Free.

For more info, visit maahmg.org

“How it Feels to be Free” Film Screening

7-8:30 pm @ Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55411

Savor the stories of six African American entertainers who blazed a trail and changed American culture through their films, fashion, music and politics: Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier. $5 fee through mspfilm.org; free for those who live in zip codes 55411, 55412, 55430

For more info, visit www.mnhs.org/event/8976

Beverly Cottman aka “Auntie Beverly”

February 5

Midtown Global Market Black History Month Celebration 

12-3 pm @Midtown Global Market located at 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

Midtown Global Market invites community members to celebrate Black history and culture with poetry, music, history lessons, and shopping with local Black vendors.

 The vendors include New Start Fashions, Baked Brands candles, Black State Fair representatives, Friends of the Global Market, Sista Scouts, Cultural Wellness Health Hub, and The Art Shoppe’s featured artists Juan Parker and Simba Craftware. DJ D.I.M.E. will share her mixologist skills and a passion for music as host for the day.

At noon, Auntie Beverly Storyteller will engage attendees of all ages as she shares her love for the oral tradition through a 30-minute Black History program of stories appropriate for all ages.

Also, Heart and Soul Drum Academy will perform and share their approach to building bridges across communities with the Art of Drumming. Free.

For more info, visit midtownglobalmarket.org

February 7

“The History of African Americans in Southeast Minnesota” 

5:30–6:30 pm @ Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery, 1256 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411

MAAHMG History Fellow Mica Anders will discuss her research and exhibit that is on display at MAAHMG. Free.

For more info, visit maahmg.org

Michael Kleber-Diggs

February 9

Comedy and Connection

7-8 pm via Zoom

Comedy and Connection presents the perfect opportunity to celebrate Black History Month, Black people, and Black culture, well….Everything Black! NAMI Minnesota and Twin Cities Comedian Khadijah Cooper bring you the game Black Card Revoked. Join us and play for a chance to win your very own copy of Black Card Revoked.

For more info, visit go here.

Fireside Reading Series: “Worldly Things” by Michael Kleber-Diggs

7-9 pm via Zoom

Cozy up in the comfort of your own home for a reading by author Michael Kleber-Diggs, the winner of the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. Diggs’ “Worldly Things” offers guidance on ways forward—toward radical kindness and a socially responsible poetics. “Let’s create folklore side-by-side,” he urges, asking us to aspire to a form of nurturing defined by tenderness, to a kind of community devoted to mutual prosperity. Free.

For more info and to register, go to bit.ly/FiresideDiggs

February 10

Artificial Intelligence & The Black Experience

6–6:30 pm @ Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery, 1256 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411

AI expert Elizabeth Adams will discuss opportunities that artificial intelligence presents for the Black community and how to address challenges of data privacy, digital inclusion, and algorithmic bias. Free.

For more info, visit maahmg.org

February 11

Music and Stories: Understanding Historical Trauma Through Lived Experiences

5:30–7 pm via Zoom

Enjoy an evening of musical performances and stories of lived experiences, culture, ancestry and history from four presenters. There will be an open dialogue to support students, faculty and staff to interpret and understand historical trauma, political, economic, social and racial oppressions. The event will open and close with music stories from jazz musicians Babatunde Lea and Navin Chettri. Free.

For more info and to register, go to bit.ly/MetroBHM

February 12

The Black Market

 2–7 pm @ The Case Building, 767 N. Eustis St., St. Paul, 55114

Come celebrate Black history by supporting Black business and get some Valentine’s Day shopping done at this pop-up market for BIPOC businesses.

For more info, visit blackbusinessisbeautiful.org

February 15

Anthonlogy Reading: “We Are Meant to Rise”

7:30 pm – 9:30 pm via Zoom

Join in this free reading of the anthology “We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World,” edited by Carolyn Holbrook and David Mura. The readers at the event will be Anika Fajardo, Ezekiel Joubert III, Mary Moore Easter, and Mona Susan Power. Carolyn Holbrook will introduce.

The anthology “We Are Meant to Rise” is a brilliant and rich gathering of diverse Minnesota voices on the American experience of this past year and beyond. In this book, Indigenous writers and writers of color bear witness to one of the most unsettling years in U.S. history.

Essays and poems vividly reflect the traumas we endured in 2020, beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic, deepened by the blatant murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and the uprisings that immersed our city into the epicenter of worldwide demands for justice.

Find more info by going to https://bit.ly/wamtr0215

February 17

Artist Talk: seangarrison in conversation with Seitu Jones

5:30–6:30 pm @ Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery, 1256 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411

MAAHMG Artist-In-Residence seangarrison will discuss his exhibit Abstracproseality: Visual Notations from Dark to Light, which is on display at MAAHMG.

For more info, visit maahmg.org

Embracing Our Roots: John Wright and Brittany Delaney

6-8 pm via Zoom

Spoken word artist/arts educator, Brittany Delaney will join Distinguished Professor Emeritus John S. Wright in a conversation about Dr. Wright’s storied career at the U of M. The conversation will include Wright’s leadership of the Morrill Hall takeover in 1969 when he was an undergrad – the event that led to the founding of the African American Studies program.

They will also discuss his role in the acquisition of The Givens Collection of African Literature, which holds over 10,000 books, magazines, and pamphlets by or about African Americans, and the performative history of the traveling multimedia “Langston Hughes Project — Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz” that he created and toured the country with beginning in the 1990s. The conversation is sponsored by In Black Ink and Black Table Arts Co-op.

For more info and to register, go here.

February 22

Detoxifying From Anti-Blackness

3–4:30 pm via Zoom

This virtual event features speaker Marcellus Davis, Brooklyn Park’s first racial equity, diversity and inclusion manager. 

For info and to register, go to minnstate.zoom.us/j/92028884953

February 24

Black Joy: Strategies for Improving

5–7 pm @ Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery, 1256 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411

A discussion with Marlee James, LPCC, founder of Reviving Roots Therapy & Wellness; Clarence Jones, outreach director for Hue-MAN; Phillip McGraw, filmmaker and executive director of V-Fest; and Natalie Walters, life coach and facilitator. Moderated by Tina Burnside.

For more info, visit maahmg.org

“This Free North” Documentary Panel Discussion

5 pm via Zoom

Stream the Emmy-winning documentary “This Free North” at your convenience all month long at mcse.umn.edu. This brief doc showcases Black history at the University of Minnesota and its connection to contemporary students. After viewing the film, join a panel discussion to further explore the institution’s complex and ongoing history in an effort to cultivate a more all-inclusive and equitable future. Free.

For more info and to register, go to bit.ly/FreeNorthDiscussion

February 26

Black History Month Critical Race Theory—Our Community and Christian Response

10 am- 2 pm @ Golden Valley Lutheran Church, 5501 Glenwood Ave., Golden Valley, MN 55422

Enjoy a full lineup of activities starting with keynote speaker Pastor Keith Haney at 10 am, a lunch (soup/sandwich/cake for $10); followed by a community forum about critical race theory with Rose McGee of Sweet Potato Comfort Pie, Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, and other community leaders.  

For more info and to register, visit https://bit.ly/BHCRT

First Annual Black History Month Fashion Show takes place Feb. 26.

First Annual Black History Month Fashion Show at Underground Music Venue

7:30-10:30 pm @ Underground Music Venue, 408 N. 3rd Ave., Minneapolis, MN

This show was created by producer Az’Jaya to build opportunity within the community and break the cycle of Black art being overlooked. It will acknowledge some of the top models, designers, artists and photographers in Minnesota. Along with local artists, the show will feature some out-of-state designers as well. $40 – $55 

For more info, bit.ly/1stBHMFashionShow

February 28

Racial Justice, Civil Rights and Fighting the Power

3–4:30 pm via Zoom

Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney, freedom fighter, and Racial Justice Network founder will lead this discussion centered on continuing the fight for racial justice.

For more info and to register, go to: minnstate.zoom.us/j/98710768656

Close out Black History Month with The Aeolians

VocalEssence Presents: The Aeolians

7-8:15 pm @ North Community High School, 1500 James Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411

Hailing from a historically Black institution in Huntsville, Alabama, The Aeolians of Oakwood University was organized in 1946 by the late Dr. Eva B. Dykes. They have traveled widely, touching the hearts of both young and old with their soul-stirring performances.

They are authoritative interpreters of spirituals and work songs that express the yearnings of their ancestors to be free. Please note: VocalEssence Singers Of This Age will open the concert. $30.

For more info, visit bit.ly/VocalEssenceAeolians