Baltimore is an epicenter of African American culture and heritage, with a wealth of organizations honoring our unique cultural legacy year-round, but with particular emphasis on events in January surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day and throughout February, Black History Month. Below is more information about special events.
MLK Day of Service
January 14 | 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Creative Alliance at The Patterson
Come to Creative Alliance to create relief kits with Heart to Heart. This organization distributes much-needed supplies to refugee communities around the world. Lite fare provided. Musical performance to following service event.
MLK Day Celebration 2018
January 15 | Noon - 4 p.m. | Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
Join the Reginald F. Lewis Museum for live performances, community discussions, films, and crafts that reflect on, and honor, the civil rights leader. The Celebration includes the musical concert, “Man of Peace: The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.” featuring choral presentations and spoken texts from Martin Luther King, Jr. set to chamber music written by music composer Benny Russell and performed by Peabody's Tuned In Orchestra. Additional activities include: MLK STEP Salute by the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women Step Team
A Guide to Visionary Artists of color
January 15 - December 20, 2019 | 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. | American Visionary Art Musuem
With museum admission, pick up a free copy of a Guide to Visionary Artists of Color. The guide takes you on a self-guided through the permanent collection of a rich legacy of African American and other artists of color.
February 2 - 15 | 8 - 10 p.m. | Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
A history-making production of Othello in 1833 will shock London audiences and reverberate through history to influence theatre today. Red Velvet, by Lolita Chakrabarti, takes audiences backstage to witness the London debut of the trailblazing African-American actor Ira Aldridge as Shakespeare’s tragic Venetian general. He was the first man of color to play the role at an influential European theatre. Based on a true story.
Bob Marley’s Birthday Soul Shakedown
February 3 | 8 p.m. | The Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave.
Reggae artists Thievery Corporation, See-I, with their 10-piece band will headline the annual dance party celebrating Bob Marley.
Booklovers’ Breakfast Featuring April Ryan
February 3 | 8:30 a.m. - Noon | Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel
White House correspondent April Ryan headlines the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Booklovers' Breakfast. Ryan is the author of The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America.
200th Anniversary Celebration - Frederick Douglass Day @ the Lewis
February 10 | Noon - 4 p.m. | Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St.
Celebrate the 200th birthday of Maryland abolitionist Frederick Douglass at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum with an array of activities honoring this iconic statesman. John Stauffer, a professor of English and African and African American Studies at Harvard University will present a lecture on Frederick Douglass’ America. Other activities will include readings of Douglass’s speeches by living history re-enactors and a children’s art and story hour with illustrator London Ladd on his recent book, Frederick's Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass.
A Shakespeare Connection: Frederick Douglass, Ira Aldridge, and Othello
February 13 | 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. | Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
February’s monthly lunchtime open house in downtown's landmark Chesapeake Shakespeare theatre commemorates the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass' birth. Did you know that Douglass participated in a Shakespeare reading club? He sometimes quoted from Othello in his own writing. Admission is free for our drop-in, casual open house. Bring your lunch. Concessions will be open, selling beverages and snacks.
An Evening with Tayari Jones
February 14 | 6:30 - 8 p.m. | Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library
Join the Enoch Pratt Free Library for a Valentine's Day evening with novelist Tayari Jones who will read and discuss her new book "An American Marriage," followed by a book signing and heart-theme refreshments.
Underground Railroad for Kids
February 17 | 1 - 3 p.m. | Mount Clare Museum House
Learn about the Underground Railroad and how enslaved persons escaped using the stars as their guides. During this interactive program, participants will read Follow the Drinking Gourd, develop our own secret code, and make a constellation scope to take home. Pre-paid reservations are required. Space is limited. Tour is included. Email [email protected] for additional information.
Phoebe and Eubie: The Odd Couple
February 18 | 1-2 p.m. | Jewish Musuem of Maryland
Phoebe Jacobs saved the careers of almost all early African American jazz pioneers, including Baltimorean Eubie Blake. Throughout her career, Jacobs was the publicist, manager, producer and ‘fixer for such trailblazers as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Surah Vaughan and Wynton Marsalis. Jacobs was also an avowed feminist and civil rights activist, who would eventually take on the mafia and the political establishment to bring about a semblance of equality for all jazz musicians.
Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Book Fair
February 24 | 12-4 p.m. | Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum & Park
the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Literary Forum & Book Fair will be held at the Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum & Park. Featuring authors, publishers, publicists, literary agents, vendors, exhibitors, spoken word artists, performers. Children books, Christian books, poetry, inspirational, educational, historical and other positive literary works. Free and open to the public. RSVP: [email protected].
Free Tours at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum
February TBD | Noon to 4 p.m. | Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum
Throughout the month of February, in celebration of Black History Month, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum will be open every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. for tours at no charge.
Frederick Douglass Week Tours
Throught September 3, 2018
Join BBH Tours to celebrate the life of abolitionist Frederick Douglass with lectures, re-enactments, tours and discussions. Contact Contact Lou Fields, 443-983-7974 or [email protected].
Third Thursday Late Admission and Music
February TBD | 5-8 p.m. | Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St.
$8 members/$10 non-members
Enjoy late-night admission to the galleries and a live musical performance. Doors open at 5 p.m., with performances beginning at 6 p.m. Sponsored by WEAA.
Baltimore’s Legends & Legacies Jubilee
February 17 | Noon-4 p.m. | Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park
In celebration of Black History Month, Visit Baltimore and GreiBo Entertainment will present an afternoon of free, interactive and family-friendly activities from the city’s top attractions to celebrate Baltimore’s rich African American heritage and culture, while encouraging inclusivity and community engagement.
Black Box: Kara Walker & Hank Willis Thomas
Through March 18 | 12-5 p.m. | The Baltimore Museum of Art
Walker’s Salvation, 2000, is a complex consideration of African American and female identity within the tragic history of American slavery. The central silhouetted female figure is characteristic of Walker’s work, which collides racial stereotypes and violent scenes with the genteel tradition of cut paper silhouettes.
Celebrate Black History Month at the B&O
February 1-28 | The B&O Railroad Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate
The B&O Railroad Museum celebrates the contribution of African Americans to the railroad industry. Learn about these mena dn women who filled vital jobs along the B&O Railroad's line and understand how significant social issues, such as segragation, affected railroading.
7th Annual Johns Hopkins Black History Month Student Competition
February 24-March 3| The Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave.
In collaboration with Johns Hopkins, the Creative Alliance hosts a Black History Month Competition featuring works by Baltimore public school students that depict the history of African Americans in Baltimore.
The Eubie Blake Cultural Center
Through Feb. 28
One Baltimore family, three generations of photographers, documenting the strength, beauty and pride of the African American community during 1940's-’60s segregation and the Civil Rights Movement.
The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
Celebrate Black History Month throughout the entire month of February at The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. The museum hosts an assortment of events including roundtables, documentaries, panel discussions and more.
Meet Frederick Douglass During the Civil War
February 17 - April 18 | 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. | Baltimore Civil War Museum
Steve Cole aka Frederick Douglass will Greet Visitors at 12:00 Noon about the USCT Volunteers and the Civil War at the Frederick Douglass - Isaac Myers Museum for the Frederick Douglass Jubilee February 17, 2018. Also Mr. Cole will reappear Saturday April 14, 2018 at the Baltimore Civil War Museum from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM.