From performances and lectures to cultural events and community discussions, Baltimore honors the history, heritage and heart of the African American experience.
Baltimore is a hub 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.
Best in Service: Scenes of African Americans on the B&O
February - March
A one of a kind art exhibit honoring the service of African-Americans and their contributions to the B&O Railroad. These not previously displayed paintings feature the work of American artists Dan Content and Roy Spreter, whose illustrations appeared in magazines during the early 1930s. the exhibit showcases prominent African Americans who worked for the B&O Railroad such as Thurgood Marshall and Maggie Hudson, as well as the many unsung African American B&O workers whose names were never recorded. Children will be engaged with the "Kids Tracks" companion guide. This exhibit opens February 1 and runs through March 31.
Free Admission February
All Feb., Tue-Sun, 11 - 4 p.m.
In honor of Black History Month, Homewood Museum is launching a new interprative tour and offering FREE admission for the entire month of February. The revamped tour, titled "Families at Homewood," draws on new scholarship to tell the stories of Charles and Harriet Carroll, for whom Homewood was constructed in 1801, and two enslaved families, the Rosses and the Conners, who labored for the Carrolls in first quarter of the 19th century, and whose stories have never before been told in such detail.
Visionary Artists of Color Guide
American Visionary Art Museum
All the month of February, Tues-Sun, 10am-6pm
Pick up a free brochure for a self-guided tour of the museum’s visionary artists of color in the permanent collection.
Reverend Albert Lee Wagner: Miracle at Midnight
American Visionary Art Museum
On view all the month of February, Tues-Sun, 10am-6pm
View this first national retrospective of visionary artist Reverend Wagner and his autobiographical art. This exhibition provides rich visual testimony to a life begun amidst dire poverty to sharecroppers in the South, to his final attainment of spiritual peace, filled with a love for all humanity.
Bob Marley’s Birthday Soul Shakedown
The Creative Alliance
Feb. 2, 8 p.m.
Creative Alliance annual dance party celebrating Bob! This year, they connect with Bob Marley’s universal message of peace, acceptance, and resilience with the inspiring and astounding reggae singer Taj Weekes. Weekes a dreadlocked Rastafarian musician, bred in the Caribbean but shaped by intercontinental life experience. He is a creative, poetic singer-songwriter who fronts a dynamic reggae band named Adowa.
Celebrate Black History Month at the B&O
The B&O Railroad Museum
The B&O Railroad Museum celebrates the contribution of African Americans to the railroad industry. Learn about these men and women who filled vital jobs along the B&O Railroad's line and understand how significant social issues, such as segregation, affected railroading.
The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
Feb. 1 - 28
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.
To Catch a Thief: Constellation Fights the Slave Trade
February 3 - 4, 10 – 11, 17 – 18 and 24 - 25, 1 p.m.
Join the USS CONSTELLATION educators as they retell the narrative of the USS CONSTELLATION's role in fighting against the international slave trade and her capture of the slave ship CORA.
Francis Scott Key Lecture Series - Indelible Images: The Quest for Saving African American Photographs
Maryland Historical Society
Feb. 7, 6 p.m.
Ross J. Kelbaugh has been an avid collector of 19th and early 20th century photography for over 45 years. Part of his collecting has focused on African American photographs, which has enabled him to amass one of the most important collections, including a number of national treasures. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture will feature his collection in a major exhibition this fall. This lecture will introduce some of his discoveries and the stories behind these national treasures. He will also share “behind the scenes” stories from his work as an appraiser for Maryland Public Television’s “Chesapeake Collectibles.”
Black History Month Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
Baltimore Museum of Industry
Feb. 10, 12 - 3 p.m.
Learn how to become a Wikipedia editor and spend time contributing to articles on African American history and Baltimore industry with guidance from experts. Bring your own laptop; no experience necessary. Lunch will be provided.
The History of the NAACP The Baltimore Connection
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
Feb. 16, 2 - 4 p.m.
Enjoy a living history performance, film and talk about the NAACP and its leaders from the Jim Crow and Civil Rights era. See a living history performance of activist Juanita Jackson Mitchell, hear a lecture on the Baltimore branch by Professor Prudence Cumberbatch and conclude with a film screening of Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall & The NAACP (57 min). NAACP artifacts and panels covering 97 years of Maryland history will be on view.
Black History Month at the Walters: Searching for Shaniqua
The Walters Art Museum
Feb. 17, 1 - 4 p.m.
This documentary by Baltimore-based filmmaker Phill Branch explores the impact that unique, Afrocentric, or Islamic names have upon people’s lives in the United States. A Q&A session with the director will follow the screening.
Make Night: Journeys Through Clay (Africa)
The Walters Art Museum
Feb. 21, 6 - 9 p.m.
As part of the Walters’ celebration of Black History Month, learn about different hand-building techniques based on African traditions. Then create your own set of ceramic hand drums and learn about patterns and decorations typically used on such instruments. In this special Thursday Night Make Night series, join Sallah Jenkins as she presents clay techniques used around the world and then instructs you on how to create your own work. Participants are welcome to attend just one or all three sessions.