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Black History Month happenings: February 22nd, 2022

Learn about Frankford Underground Railroad

Riverfront North Partnership will present Up The Creek: The Frankford Underground Railroad Light Parade on Friday, Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. at the Garsed Center, 4704 Leiper St. Walking artist Ken Johnston leads a free lantern-making workshop and community light parade in honor of Black History Month. Adults and children are invited to decorate a lantern and join a 1-mile walk retracing Frankford’s Underground Railroad history. All materials and hot beverages will be provided. Register at frankfordlanternparade.eventbrite.com.

Biden, Democrats delivering for blacks

The state Democratic Party is celebrating Black History Month, recognizing what it claims is the “constant inequities and systemic racism” that blacks overcome every day.

The party is supporting black elected officials and all those fighting for policies that work to end “systemic racism and pervasive inequity.”

The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress have delivered for blacks, the party says, by improving infrastructure in “communities of color;” increasing access to health care coverage for “historically uninsured communities;” providing direct cash payments to the poor and increasing food stamp benefits; investing in education and increasing funding for black colleges and universities; banning unnecessary chokeholds and carotid restraints by law enforcement; appointing more black women to the U.S. Court of Appeals than any other administration in history; funding access to vaccines for minorities; and signing legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Cultural fair on Saturday

A Black History Month Bunka-Sai Cultural Fair will take place on Saturday, Feb. 26, from noon to 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the School of the Future, 4021 Parkside Ave.

The afternoon will feature film programming, anime workshops and taiko drum performances to explore the cultural and historical intersections of blacks and Japanese-Americans.

A COVID-19 vaccine clinic will be onsite hosted by Penn Medicine.

Learn about the program at japanphilly.org.

Enter Black History Month Challenge

Citizens Financial Group is partnering with EVERFI to award 11 student scholarships.

The Black History Month Challenge features four digital lessons and a capstone essay contest in which students will share a plan for maintaining a year-round conversation about black history in their community. Two winners in Pennsylvania – one in the eastern portion of the state and one in the western portion — will each receive a $2,500 scholarship and a brand new Apple MacBook Pro. Essays must be submitted by Feb. 28.

The contest is open to students ages 13-18.

To learn more about the Black History Month Challenge, visit www.citizensbank.com/EVERFI.

A celebration of Harriet Tubman

The city Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy recently unveiled a temporary 9-foot Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom sculpture at City Hall and announced a series of celebration events.

The temporary installation of Tubman is on the north apron of City Hall.

The sculptor is Wesley Wofford, of Wofford Sculpture Studio, and his work will be in place through March 31. Philadelphia will be home to the sculpture for Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday.

The traveling monument represents Tubman’s journey to free enslaved people.

“Philadelphia holds a specific relevance to Harriet’s story as the city she found safe harbor in after her escape from Maryland, as well as staging many of her returning raids to free others from the bondage of slavery,” Wofford said.

Coinciding with the installation of the sculpture in Philadelphia, OACCE announced a schedule of more than 30 programs in partnership with local cultural organizations that will celebrate Tubman’s legacy.

These virtual and in-person programs will happen throughout Philadelphia and will reflect the themes of activism, role models, heroes, human rights, freedom, resilience, determination, contributions of strong women, equality and more. Featured programs include a historical timeline exhibit of Tubman’s life and an exhibition of textile art at City Hall; screenings of the movie Harriet with introductions by local activists and community leaders; music, dance and theater performances; a virtual conversation among notable local artists focusing on the power of public art; historical tours; art-making activities; author and artist discussions; and celebrations of the anniversary of Tubman’s 200th birthday.

For more information, visit creativephl.org/harriet-tubman.

Black History Month programming at Kimmel

The Kimmel Cultural Campus and the Philadelphia Orchestra, along with the Philadelphia Ballet, Philly POPS and Opera Philadelphia, will commemorate Black History Month with programming honoring black artistic expression and culture.

Masks are to be worn at all times as well as proof of vaccination for those 12 and older. Guests under 12 will be required to show a negative PCR test result or negative rapid test. 

“The Kimmel Cultural Campus celebrates Black History Month with multidisciplinary stage presentations and student matinees that recognize the defining contributions black artists have made on the communities of Philadelphia and far beyond,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center Inc.

The Kimmel Cultural Campus also celebrates Black History Month with an array of digital programs. These events put a spotlight on the music of the civil rights movement as well as modern-day struggles for equality, the cultural enlightenment of the Harlem Renaissance and a “Hip Hop Recess.”

Follow Kimmel Cultural Campus social media channels to read quotes from black artists and cultural leaders as part of the Black History Month celebration.

Check out https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4vtcnPDknJSMFqgQH5oMKi?si=f938adad26ae4272&nd=1, Kimmel’s Black History Month playlist on Spotify.

For a list of all Black History Month events, visit www.KimmelCulturalCampus.org or call 215-893-1999. 

Learn about generational wealth

In honor of Black History Month, the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement and the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males are holding their third annual Black Generational Wealth series for the bi-monthly My Brother’s Keeper Action Academy, a national program established by President Obama to close opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color.

This series is structured into weekly financial empowerment events held every Thursday throughout February to empower black men and their allies with the tools and resources necessary to obtain and maintain generational wealth. These seminars will feature local business leaders, financial experts and city officials.

Members of the public can join OBME and MCAAM virtually to gather the tools to realize their financial vision and empower generations to come. What’s Next?: Transferring Knowledge to the Next Generation will take place on Feb. 24 from 6-8 p.m.

Participants can sign up at https://secure.ngpvan.com/p/38lDlTJ6dkyQBJysKHH3ww2.

Black History Month exhibition at Smith Playground

Smith Memorial Playground, 3500 Reservoir Drive, will host a Black History Month exhibition, Leaders and Legends of Philadelphia, through Feb. 28.

This visual and audio experience will take place on Smith’s front lawn and will highlight the work of blacks in the fields of law, music, journalism, education, sports, medicine, and the performing arts.

Some of the honorees are Joan Myers Brown, founder of Philadanco; Hall of Fame Basketball coach, the late John Chaney; Robert Bogle, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune newspaper; and the late Ed Bradley, journalist for CBS News television. 

Museum has Black History Month programming

The African American Museum, 701 Arch St., has announced a collection of onsite and virtual programming in observation of Black History Month.

Throughout the month of February, the museum will host movie screenings, artist workshops, musical performances and open discussions.

The full list is at https://www.aampmuseum.org/calendar.html.

The museum will be open, with limited capacity, Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance registration is recommended for onsite events and in-person visitors. All visitors are required to go through COVID-19 protocols before entry to the museum, and guests are required to wear masks while in the museum.

Museum celebrating Black History Month

The Museum of the American Revolution, 3rd and Chestnut streets, is celebrating Black History Month.

Through a forum on racial understanding, a newly commissioned painting in its Liberty special exhibition, theatrical performances and more, the museum will present a history of the Revolution and the nation’s beginnings.

“Uncovering and sharing often-untold stories about a diverse range of people is at the heart of what we do here at the Museum every day,” said Adrienne Whaley, Director of Education and Community Engagement. “But during Black History Month, we are shining a special spotlight on the black men and women who played essential roles in establishing our nation and their continuing legacies today.”

The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-253-6731, at amrevmuseum.org or at the front desk. Save $2 per adult ticket by purchasing online. Kids ages 5 and under are always free. Revolutionary Place discovery center is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All visitors ages 5 and up will be required to show proof of vaccination; visitors 18 and older must also show a matching valid ID. An original CDC vaccination card or a photo or electronic copy of the card are all acceptable forms of documentation. Proof of a negative COVID test will not be accepted. Masks are required for visitors ages 2 and up. 

Library programming for Black History Month

The Free Library of Philadelphia is celebrating Black History Month throughout February with virtual and in-person programming that examines and illuminates the achievements of black Americans.

Programs invite attendees to listen, learn and share their thoughts about black culture and experiences.

In addition to the schedule of programs for Black History Month, the Free Library is highlighting resources including access to The HistoryMakers oral history database, the largest video collection of black oral history in the nation. This access is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation. Free Library cardholders can access The HistoryMakers Digital Archive at https://libwww.freelibrary.org/databases/. A library card number and PIN are required to login. 

The Free Library also provides free access to the black newspapers collection.

For a complete up-to-date listing of all upcoming events, visit freelibrary.org/blackhistorymonth.

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