February is the National African American History Month during which we celebrate the contributions of African Americans to American history. Throughout this month, various events such as exhibits, talks, cultural programs, lecture series, book signings by authors, etc. are held to celebrate African Americans’ traditions, history, customs, and culture. The JHU Office of Multicultural Affairs will inaugurate this month’s Opening Ceremonies with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation Speaker Cedric Jennings. There are also many local events which have been planned for this month. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is hosting an African Dancing and Drumming event performed by Nazu Dance Company and there are other events that may be of interest to you. Besides the Pratt Library, you can visit the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture for special events and exhibitions.
Need more information on other local events? The African American Heritage & Attractions Guide published by the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association lists several festivals, historic landmarks, cultural heritage attractions, tours, etc. If you are in Washington D.C., you may want to check out the events at the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. As you continue reading this post, I recommend that you take a few minutes to listen to this melodious song, Unforgettable, by Nat King Cole.
Apart from these, there are a number of digital collections that are freely available online. They include the African American History Collection from the Maryland Historical Society, the Images of African Americans from the Nineteenth Century and the African American Women Writers of the 19th Century from the New York Public Library, the African American Artists Collection from the Art Institute of Chicago, African Americans in Aviation Flickr set from the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives, the Black History Month Flickr set from the State Library and Archives of Florida, and the William H. Johnson’s World on Paper Flickr set from the Smithsonian.