By Alexis Rothenberg
Black History Month is a yearly occasion honoring African-American men and women who have not received the same recognition as other historical figures. Black History Month continues to educate our children on the importance of diversity. So what is going on around Michigan to celebrate these hidden figures?
Ypsilanti District Library is kicking off Black History Month with a Freedom, Slavery & Roots American Music storytelling and song performance for adults/teens, free to the public on February 1st. The Ypsilanti Library is providing educational stories on historical figures throughout Black History Month for youth, teens and adults.
Across the highway, the University of Michigan is providing over fifteen events this February from forums on Black Student Activism to a celebratory performance of “You Don’t Want to Miss This: Black History Month Surprise” at U of M’s School of Social Work.
At the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History located in Detroit, dozens of different cultural and educational celebrations are taking place. On February 11th, the I Am New Detroit black tie fundraiser is happening to help raise money for veterans and urban housing development throughout the Detroit area. Another inspirational event the museum is hosting is a free, live performance on The World’s First Black Female Aviator: Bessie Coleman on February 21st at 10am. The performance will show young girls the opportunity they have to ‘achieve their goals and dreams despite adversity.’
Macomb Community College is celebrating the 2016 Oscar nominated movie Hidden Figures with a book talk based off the historical events in the movie. Free for the whole family, Macomb Community College welcomes novel and history enthusiasts to gather and talk about the ladies that helped win the race to space. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race will be the topic of discussion on Macomb’s Center Campus on February 21st at 11am.
The Detroit Historical Museum is presenting a Winter Film Series: Detroit Civil Rights Trilogy; a two day event on February 11th & 12th. The museum also offers tours about African-American life in the twenty-first century in Detroit on February 18th. The Historical Museum is surrounding itself with free Black History events for the whole family including films about Rosa Parks, live jazz performances and an African-American History Family Day.
If you aren’t able to make any of these events, the Detroit Institute of Art has permanent collections on The General Motors Center for African American Art and African, Egyptian, Oceania Americas. Each exhibit provides different information on famous African-American artists in addition to African and African-American history. The DIA is free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
With so many great events happening throughout Michigan this month, it is hard to miss the great accomplishments that come from Black History.
Alexis Rothenberg is in her final semester at Eastern Michigan University. This April she will graduate with a Bachelors of Science after completing Eastern’s Electronic Media and Film program. Throughout her four years at Eastern Michigan University, Alexis has discovered her passion for screen writing, producing and costume design.