Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate one of Houston’s largest communities. Institutions like the Buffalo Soldier Museum, Houston Museum of African American Culture, and the Ensemble Theater already honor the contributions of black Americans and black culture year-round, but many organizations around town have joined in the month-long festivities with specially curated events. From movies to bike tours to lectures, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to commemorate African American history and culture this February.

February Films Celebrating Black History Month

Feb 8, 15, 22, 29 at 7 p.m. Every Saturday this month, Avenida Houston is screening a different movie written, directed, and starring prominent African Americans. These events are free, and even feature complimentary popcorn and Q&As after the show. On Feb 8, see 1991’s The Five Heartbeats, directed by Robert Townsend. On Feb 15, enjoy a Valentine’s Day double feature with Love Jones, which was Theodore Witcher’s directorial debut, and Love and Basketball, which was produced by Spike Lee. (Note: This event starts at 6 p.m.) Feb 22 features Hidden Figures, the 2016 Oscar-nominated film that tells the story of NASA’s Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. And finally, on Feb 29, see the Smithsonian Channel documentary The Green Book: Guide to Freedom about Victor Green’s The Negro Motorist Green Book. Free. George R. Brown Convention Center. 1001 Avenidas de las Americas. 713-853-8077

We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Feb 9 at 4 p.m. Currently on a national tour, this tribute concert will feature the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Choir and will incorporate sound clips from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches. The tour is headed by former Houston Grand Opera composer Damien Sneed. Tickets from $29. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-227-4772

Main Street Theater, “Speak of me as I Am” 

Feb 12 at 6 p.m. Almost everyone knows about Maya Angelou, Jimi Hendrix and Normal Lewis, but few have heard of the black Shakespearean actors who entertained audiences on the early American stages. Main Street Theater has once again teamed up with the Harris County Public Library to spotlight the contributions of these performers in a special reading that incorporates historic accounts, stories and, of course, text from the Bard’s play. Free. Katherine Tyra Branch Library @ Bear Creek, 16719 Clay Rd. 832-927-5590 

Black History Houston Culture Fest

Feb 15 at 3 p.m. This free, family-friendly event celebrates the culture of the black community in Houston through food, music, art, and so much more. More than 40 vendors will sell their wares while musicians, including Milton Hopkis, Kathy Taylor, and Mary Griffin, perform on the mainstage. There’ll be storytelling, food trucks and black history reenactments from the Buffalo Soldier Museum. Free. Avenida Houston, 1002 Avenida De Las Americas. 713-853-8077

The Voting Rights Act: Fifty-five Years Later

Feb 15 at 2 p.m. Learn more about the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 55 years since at this Gregory School community event. Featured will be Dr. Annie Johnson-Benefield who is a political science professor and Social Science chair at Lone Star College-Tomball, the vice president of Voter Services for the League of Women Voters-Houston, and who has more than 2o years experience with education advocacy and legislative issues. Free. The African American Library at the Gregory School.1300 Victor St. 832-393-1440

Black History in the Making Bike Tour

Feb 16 at 11 a.m. Pedal your way through history on this guided bike tour. Explore the Third Ward’s historic landmarks while learning more about Houston’s past. A “Black History in the Making” T-shirt, a bike rental, LED lights, and a helmet if needed are all provided in the ticket price. You must be 18 or older to participate. $19–29.50. 2301 Elgin St. 281-942-4850

George Washington Carver and Friends

Feb 21 at 1:30 p.m. and Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. Touring theater company Bright Star Theater introduces audiences to some of the historical figures in African American history who helped define our modern age. Scientist George Washington Carver, businesswoman CJ Walker, athlete Jackie Robinson, and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall will all make appearances in this educational performance, which is aimed at elementary school-age children. Free. High Meadows Branch Library and North Channel Branch Library. (713) 274-6600

Civic Engagement and Black Houston

Feb 22 at 2 p.m. Participate in this discussion about civic education and participation with Shekira C. Dennis, who has more than 10 years of professional experience, including serving as a White House intern during the Obama Administration, an IGNITE Texas facilitator, the community outreach director in the Harris County District Attorney’s office, and currently a managing partner at Next Wave Strategic Consulting Group. Free. The African American Library at the Gregory School. 1300 Victor St. 832-393-1440

Boss: Black Experience in Business

Feb 27 at 6:30 p.m. Part of HMAAC’s film series, this 2019 PBS documentary screening will showcase the often untold ingenuity, determination, and bravery of African American entrepreneurship throughout U.S. history. Free. Houston Museum of African American Culture. 4807 Carolina St. 713-526-1015

Black and Blue: Lest We Forget 

Thru Feb 29. Dallas artist VIcki Meek’s 15 collages celebrate the contributions of Bishop College, an HBCU which relocated to Dallas in 1961 and operated until 1988. Free. Community Arts Collective, 4101 San Jacinto Street, Suite 116. 713-523-1616

 

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