Washington DC Celebrates Black History Month 2019

Events Honoring African American History in the Nation's Capital

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Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Washington, DC celebrates Black History Month each February and remembers the contributions of African Americans in the United States with numerous events and cultural programs. Here are some special events and relevant places to visit in Washington, DC to remember and recognize the history of Black Americans.

Martin Luther King Memorial - The National Memorial honors the life and contributions made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ranger talks are given regularly and highlight historic facts about the Civil Rights leader. Visit the Memorial during Black History Month and learn something new.

National Museum of African American History and Culture - Due to the popularity of the new museum, timed passes are required on the weekends. Passes are not required for weekdays in February. The museum features a variety of exhibits and educational programs on topics such as slavery, post-Civil War reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights movement. 

National Air and Space Museum - Meet astronauts during the Smithsonian's event “African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space Family Day," held on Saturday, February 9. The day will include highlights like a book signing by Tuskegee Airmen Col. Charles McGee, a demo on Hal Walker’s laser experiments used on the Apollo 11 mission, puppet shows, and hands-on activities. 

National Archives - Celebrate Black History Month in February on February 14 with a screening of Chisholm '72: Unsought and Unbossed, a documentary that dives into the presidential bid of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress. 

DC Public Library - Throughout the month of February, the DC Public Library offers special programs celebrating Black History Month. Programs include art exhibits, jazz concerts, book discussions, theatrical workshops, a neighborhood party, and more.

Anacostia Community Museum - Throughout the year, the Smithsonian Institution’s museum of African American history and culture offers exhibitions, educational programs, workshops, lectures, film screenings and other special events that interpret black history from the 1800s to the present. Events at the museum include an artist talk on February 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with popular D.C. muralist Aniekan Udofia and an interview on February 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with Eugene Meyer, author of Five for Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown's Army. 

Abraham Lincoln Birthday Observance - February 12, 2018, noon. Lincoln Memorial, 23rd & Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC. Honor Abraham Lincoln by attending a Presidential wreath laying ceremony and a keynote address, per tradition.
African American Civil War Memorial and Museum - This Washington, DC site honors and examines the African American's heroic struggle for freedom and civil rights. The memorial is the only one in the United States to honor Colored Troops (USCT) who served in the Civil War. The museum uses photographs, documents and state of the art audio visual equipment to educate visitors about this important part of American history.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site - 1411 W St. SE, Washington, DC. Tours of the historic home are available daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Frederick Douglass’ birthday will be celebrated on February 16 with a ceremony from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. featuring historic African American spirituals, poetry readings from local writers, and dramatic recitations of Douglass’s most famous speeches performed by winners of the annual Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Oratorical Contest.<br/>Black History Month Cruise Aboard the Spirit of Washington - Saturday, February 23, 2019. Take an educational and entertaining lunch cruise with narration about the accomplishments of African-Americans in the D.C. metro area. This cruise will feature DJ with a playlist in tribute to African-American musicians throughout the decades. The cruise boards at 10:45 a.m. and cruises from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $58.90 per adult, $44.90 for kids.

National Theatre - Bright Star Theatre will present a performance called "Meet Dr. King" on February 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at National Theatre, telling the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Smithsonian American Art Museum - Take a tour of the SAAM's African American art collection at 10:30 a.m. on February 17, then stick around and learn how to edit and then create new articles on African American artists on Wikipedia. RSVP is suggested for the Wikipedia-Edit-A-Thon.

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