MCHR Diversity Spotlight – February 2021
African American History Month
Celebrate African American History Month with fellow Missourians at an event near you:
- The African American Heritage Trail of Kansas City, Missouri, along with its partners UMKC, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and the Kansas City Public Library, invites you to take a virtual tour of important historical sites to black history in Kansas City, Missouri. The trail has been driven by community input and will continue to grow in size and scope, so be sure to check back often. For more information, please visit the website. Additionally, a number of virtual events have been planned for 2021, which can be accessed here.
- Download Kansas City Black History 2021, compiled by the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and the Local Investment Commission. This year’s forty-four-page book has a compilation of stories of more than seventy influential figures honored over the past ten years – with new essays from Mayor Quinton Lucas and other contemporary voices. Download the digital edition here. Physical copies are also available by request here.
- The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art presents, Gordon Parks X Muhammad Ali: The Image of a Champion, 1966 | 1970. This special exhibition will open on February 14 and will run through April 4. This exhibition features photographs from famed photographer Gordon Parks when he was assigned to cover Muhammad Ali in 1966 and 1970. Please visit here for more information.
- The University of Missouri presents, Historic Images of Black Families: A discussion of the Ellis library Exhibition. Dr. Joan Stack of the State Historical Society of Missouri will give a presentation on the images you can see at their Black History Month 2021 exhibit. She will talk about each piece, examining their significance and importance. This virtual event takes place on February 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. For additional information, please visit online.
- The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy presents, Undermining Marriage: White Supremacy and the Black Family. Please join the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies’ Executive Director and Senior Fellow Jacqueline C. Rivers via Zoom for a talk on marriage in the black community. The talk will cover the structural disadvantages and cultural patterns that have led to fewer black people participating in marriage, the generational consequences of this trend, and the social policy levers and church-based action that might help us begin the long, difficult process of reversing it. This lecture will be at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, and a Zoom link will be provided one week before the event.
- Please join the St. Louis County Library for its 2021 Black History Celebration. All events for the Celebration will be held virtually. The Keynote Address will be on Thursday, February 11, at 7 p.m. On the agenda is a conversation with suspense author Rachel Howzell Hall, as well as the award presentation for the Franki Freeman Inspirational award, to be presented to James Clark. Please visit the website for more details of this special event.
- Please join the Missouri History Museum for its Black History Month Celebration 2021. There will be a series of virtual Black History Month events this February, including discussions of black literature, talks about black artists, and conversations concerning black heritage in Missouri. For more information on this celebration and for a complete list of events, please visit the website.
- The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) presents Lift Every Voice: Black History Month Celebration. On February 19 at 7:30 p.m., the SLSO and IN UNISON Chorus celebrate African American culture through reflective and soulful music. This cherished tradition shares music that has shaped St. Louis and communities around the world. For more information on this special event, please visit the SLSO website.
Learn more at the following Black History Month resources:
- The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASLAH) investigates the 2021 theme, The Black Family: Represenation, Identity, and Diversity. Visit the website for further information and additional ASLAH products and events.
- Celebrate Black History Month with PBS’s Black Culture Connection (BCC) programming. Explore BCC online for specific details.
- Explore Black History at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s website or get involved with your local NAACP unit.
Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Commonly referred to as the Spring Festival, it begins on the new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20. The Chinese calendar uses the Chinese zodiac to assign each year an animal and that animal’s reputed attributes. This year is the year of the Ox, and the first day of the Lunar New Year falls on February 12, 2021. For more information about this celebration, please visit some of the following links:
- Check out the Lunar New Year Festival website for information on the Lunar New Year in St. Louis. While there are no events currently on the calendar, this resource will be helpful to plan your celebrations in the years to come.
- Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to tour its Chinese Collection. Featuring more than 7,000 works from every phase of China’s artistic activity, the Nelson-Atkins’s collection is one of the finest collections in the west. Visit the website for more information.
- Find out general information about Lunar New Year so you can celebrate in your own home! On this website, you can find out what foods, drinks, and snacks are generally consumed during the celebration. You can also find out information on the history of the event, what clothes are traditionally worn, and the mythology behind Lunar New Year.