To celebrate African American History Month in Missouri, participate in an event near you:
- Feb. 5: African American History Month Celebration for children six and under 10:00 a.m. in the children’s department at the Springfield-Greene County Library, Midtown Carnegie Branch, 397 East Central St. Festivities include storytime highlighting African-American authors and illustrators. Visit the February program listings or call 417-862-0135 for additional information.
- Feb. 12: Learn about the History of African-American Cowboys at the Friday Night Family Fun at the Plaza Branch with vocalist and cultural historian Brother John, as he informs and entertains with song and storytelling geared for the younger audience. To RSVP, visit the website.
- Feb. 19: Join Project Equality for the 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Summit from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at UMKC’s Pierson Auditorium. The event highlights this year’s theme, “From Conversation to Collaboration: Allies in Action,” and features keynote speaker and renowned anti-racist author and educator, Tim Wise. Wise, who most recently authored Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Jeopardizing the Future of America, has lectured both internationally and nationwide, and has been a regular contributor on CNN and a featured guest on ABC’s 20/20. Tickets include a continental breakfast, lunch and parking. For specific agenda details, visit the site.
- Feb. 25: Join the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey for their annual Black History Month offering, Setting the Stage, featuring live performances accompanied by an African-American dance history slide-show. The event will kick off at 7 p.m. at the Gem Theatre, 1615 East 18th St., Kansas City. For more information, call 816-471-6003.
- All month: Enjoy the Black History Month Book-to-Film series, on Thursdays and Sundays in February, presented by the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and UMKC’s Black Studies Program. Visit the website for further detail.
- All month:View the Nelson-Atkins’ free exhibit Through the Lens: Visions of African American Experience, 1950-1970 or peruse the companion resource guide. The showing, which runs through April 3, features the work of seven photographers active during a time of significant political and social change.
- All month: Kansas City’s The Local Investment Commission (LINC), along with its partners, the Black Archives of Mid-America and the Kansas City Public Library, is again producing and sharing its annual Black History educational poster set and booklets. For Black History Month 2016, the set focuses on African American entrepreneurs in the Kansas City area. Obtain material copies at the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and select branches of the Mid-Continent Public Library. Visit the website to view the materials in advance.
- All month: Peruse the historical artifacts and exhibits at Black Archives of Mid-America, 1722 East 17th Terrace, Kansas City. The Archives is a center for learning and research into the African American experience the central United States, with specific focus in the Kansas City Missouri region. Enjoy the popular collections which include those on education, children, religion and civil rights. For further information or to plan your visit, check out the site.
- All month: Visit St. Joseph’s Black Archives Museum, 3406 Frederick Ave., in honor of Black History Month. The museum features exhibits on such topics as the Underground Railroad, the Middle Passage, desegregation, education, sports, and other aspects of African-American history in St. Joseph. The Black Archives features a Hall of Fame, created to showcase the achievements and contributions of St. Joseph’s African American citizens. Visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday. The museum is closed on major holidays.
- Feb. 2: Join Columbians in commemorating Black History Month at 7 p.m. to view and discuss 72 % at the Armory Sports and Recreation Center, 701 East Ash.
- Feb. 4: Bring your lunch and catch the First Thursday Book Discussion exploring Tom William’s Don’t Start Me Talkin. The event will take place in the Friends Room, Columbia Public Library, 100 West Broadway, at noon. For additional information, call 573-443-3161.
- Feb. 5: The Missouri River Regional Library, 214 Adams Street, Jefferson City, will screen a featured African-American movie selection at it’s First Friday showing beginning at 7 p.m. in the MRRL Art Gallery. For more information, contact Madeline Matson at 573-634-6064, extension 250, or visit the February events calendar.
- Feb. 18: The Friends of the Missouri State Archives Thursday Evening Speaker Series features Lincoln University art professor Essex Garner, beginning at 7 p.m., at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, 600 West Main Street, Jefferson City. The free presentation will highlight the Buffalo Soldiers of the American West.
- Feb. 28: Gospel Explosion & Soul Food Dinner Musical Celebration begins at 3 p.m. at St. Luke UMC, 204 East Ash, Columbia, featuring local gospel music and a soul food feast.
- Feb. 5-6: The Center of Creative Arts will present Continuing the Legacy showcasing the African American journey through modern dance at 7 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. Join the community discussion directly following the performance. Visit the site for additional details or to purchase tickets.
- Feb. 5-7: Enjoy a weekend of international film viewing at St. Louis’ Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park. The annual free Africa World Documentary Film Festival will take place in Lee Auditorium. For further information, call 314-746-4599 or visit the website.
- Feb. 12: Enjoy the Lift Every Voice: Black History Month Celebration, featuring special guest artist Lanelle Harris, at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Louis Symphony’s Powell Hall, 718 North Grand Blvd. This annual concert celebrates African-American cultures and traditions that have influenced the history of St. Louis, as well as cities around the world. Join conductor Kevin McBeth and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON® chorus to commemorate influential leaders who helped shape history. Purchase tickets online or call 314-534-1700.
- Feb. 19: The St. Louis County Library honors Black History Month with a speaker event featuring legendary civil rights activist, attorney and author Frankie Freeman and youth motivational speaker Koran Bolden. The pair will discuss the Civil Rights movement and discrimination, both past and present. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters, Main Reading Room, 1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard.
- Feb. 26: Songs of the Civil Rights Movement explores music’s empowering role in the struggle and progress of the civil rights movement. Catch the presentation at Maplewood Public Library, 7550 Lohmeyer, Maplewood, beginning at 6:30 p.m.