This and every February is Black History Month!

From programs honoring history to community meetings fostering civic engagement, events are going on across the city this year to celebrate, honor, and reflect on the many contributions African Americans have made, past and present, to American society and culture.

Want to get involved? Pick one, or more, of the events below — and attend!


Funtimes Magazine 30 Under 30 Release Party
Thursday, February 1 | 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
WeWork, 1900 Market Street, 8th Floor
Funtimes Magazine, which celebrates Africa and the African diaspora, is holding a release party to honor and celebrate those people featured in Funtimes’ latest “30 Under 30” issue. RSVPs kindly requested to info@funtimesmagazine.com.

Octavius Catto Series Opening Panel Discussion
Thursday, February 1 | 6:30 p.m.
Parkway Central Free Library, 1901 Vine Street
All February long, the Free Library is bringing screenings of the short dramatic documentary, “Octavius V. Catto: A Legacy for the 21st Century,” to neighborhood libraries throughout Philadelphia. This opening discussion features a panel discussion with Catto scholars and historians, and all attendees will receive a free copy of a lush broadsheet newsprint biography, “Octavius V. Catto: Remembering a Forgotten Hero.” This event is free and open to the public, but registration is kindly requested online.

Black Lives Matter Week of Action Kickoff
Friday, February 2 | 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Maximum Level Lounge, 5118 Sansom Street
From February 5-10, organizations, families, community members, and students are coming together citywide organizing for racial justice in schools across the country. This event officially kicks off the 2018 Black Lives Matter Week of Action and is a great time to meet other participants, think through organizing plans for schools, pick up materials, learn about curricula and the week’s events, and to receive buttons, stickers, and t-shirts. RSVP online.

Opening Reception: Black Pulp!
Friday, February 2 | 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP), 701 Arch Street
Join AAMP as it opens “Black Pulp!” This latest exhibit, running February 2 through April 29, features over a century of image production by Black artists and publishers as well as non-Black artists and publishers who foreground the Black experience. This opening reception is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are kindly requested online.

Black Lives Matter Week of Action Panel: LGBTQ Youth Conversation
Saturday, February 3 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
LGBT Center at Penn, 3907 Spruce Street
Come and join this conversation with LGTBQ youth and adults about the stigmas and misconceptions of Race and Gender in Black and Brown communities. RSVP online.

“Fences” Screening
Saturday, February 3 | 1 p.m.
Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Avenue
This film, based on the play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, examines a working-class African American family.

Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement Shares a Word!
Sunday, February 4 | 10:30 a.m.
Tenth Memorial Baptist Church, 1328 North 19th Street
As part of its Sunday service, the Tenth Memorial Baptist Church has invited the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement to visit to share a word reflecting on Black History Month.

Black History Month Bingo
Monday, February 5 | 4 p.m.
Blanch A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library, 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway
Children will learn about famous American Americans and historical events while having fun playing bingo. 

Black Lives Matter Week of Action Panel: Immigration in Trump’s America
Monday, February 5 | 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
La Salle University, Holroyd 190, 1900 West Olney Avenue
This discussion looks at how we can move towards a more racially just society. There will also be a screening of “Precious Knowledge” and then a dialogue about the importance of Black and ethnic studies for grades K-12. RSVP online.

Monday Night Poets with Yolanda Wisher and Lamont Dixon
Monday, February 5 | 6:30 p.m.
Parkway Central Free Library, 1901 Vine Street
Former Philadelphia Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher’s poetry is infused with the improvisational cadence of jazz, speaking to the spirit of African American literary tradition. She will read with fellow poet Lamont Dixon, longtime MC of the series. Free.

Black Lives Matter Week of Action Panel: Colorism
Tuesday, February 6 | 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden Street
Join an intergenerational round table conversation about the origins and complexities of colorism. This discussion will look at the origins of colorism, possible solutions to this problem, and its continuing effects on young girls and society at large. RSVP online.

Black Lives Matter Week of Action Panel: Black Families
Wednesday, February 7 | 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Martin Luther King High School, 6100 Stenton Avenue
Join this intergenerational conversation about schools, community, curricula, and more. Childcare will be provided, too. RSVP online.

Black Lives Matter Week of Action Panel: Domestic Violence
Friday, February 9 | 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
School District of Philadelphia, 440 North Broad Street
Come join this dialogue about the stigma and truth regarding domestic violence and sexual assault in Black and Brown communities. There’ll also be information about available services and programs in Philadelphia. RSVP online.

The Slave Narratives
Friday, February 9 | 7 p.m.
Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center, 7 Lock Street
This performance is based on “Born in Slavery,” a Library of Congress collection of first-person accounts from former slaves. It looks at the stories of six individuals who share their experience before, and after, slavery. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online.

Purpose Career Fair for Black Male Educators
Saturday, February 10 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
School District of Philadelphia, 440 North Broad Street
To address the critical need for more Black male educators in schools, this free event offers meetings and interviews with over 30 school networks looking to hire in Philadelphia public schools and beyond. It is open to allies, mentees, current educators, members, and those exploring their next career move. Register online.

“The Love of a King” MLK Legacy Conversation
Wednesday, February 14 | 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall, Room 202, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Join the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement the its first NewCORE discussion at City Hall, “The Love of a King.” NewCORE stands for the “New Conversation on Race and Ethnicity,” and the MLK legacy conversations in Philadelphia neighborhoods and communities focus on fostering appropriate reflection, education, and appreciation toward reconciling the life, and martyrdom, of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This event is free and open to the public. Register online.

Slavery and Resistance in the Civil War South
Thursday, February 15 | 7 p.m.
Parkway Central Free Library, 1901 Vine Street
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s birth, join Villanova University professor of history Dr. Judith Giesberg for a talk on his life. This program is free but registration is kindly requested ahead of time by calling 215-686-5396.

“Hidden Figures of Social Change” Spoken Word Event
Friday, February 16 | 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books, 5445 Germantown Avenue
Come to this spoken word event taking a look at what social change means and who influences such change. This event features an open mic program that begins at 8 p.m., too.

“As Fast As Words Could Fly” Book Reading
Saturday, February 17 | 1 p.m.
Historic Strawberry Mansion, 2450 Strawberry Mansion Drive
Visit East Fairmount Park’s Historic Strawberry Mansion to hear a special reading of “As Fast As Words Could Fly” by author Pamela M. Tuck in celebration of Black History Month! Guests will receive a copy of the book and can have it signed by the author. Stick around after the reading for a free guided tour of the historic house, too!

Philly Bop Dance Class
Saturday, February 17 | 2 p.m.
Blanch A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library
5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway
The African American community in Philadelphia created a style of dance that took the country by storm in the 1950s, called the Philly Bop. All ages and skill levels are invited to join us to learn “The Bop” in this fun dance class!

Harlem Renaissance: Freedom and Hope
Senior Center, Parkway Central Free Library, 1901 Vine Street
Wednesday, February 21 | 11 a.m.
This lecture and discussion looks at the cultural, social, and artistic flowering following the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North.

Pomades, Butters, and Balms
Wednesday, February 21 | 4 p.m.
Paschalville Library, 6942 Woodland Avenue
In Jacqueline Woodson’s featured books — like 2018’s One Book, One Philadelphia “Another Brooklyn” — having one’s hair done by a family member or neighbor shapes sensory-rich memories. Join Nyambi Naturals, learn how to make hair and body products that fit diverse needs, and take away samples and DIY recipes. 

Community Conversations Initiative: Economic Development and Empowerment
Community College of Philadelphia, CBI Building, 1800 Callowhill Street, Room C2-28
Wednesday, February 21 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Join the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement for this event, part of the My Brother’s Keeper Community Conversations Initiative. This is the latest in an ongoing series during which participants discuss challenges, opportunities, and solutions that address dismantling inequities that impact the lives of men and boys of color in the city. February’s topic surrounds economic development and empowerment. Register online.

Celebration of African Cultures
Saturday, February 24 | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Dance, traditional African music, craft making, storytelling, art, a marketplace, and more make up this annual celebration of African cultures at the Penn Museum. Admittance to this celebration is included with purchase of general admission tickets to the museum.

100 Black Men Read
Wednesday, February 28 | 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Pastorius Elementary School, 5650 Sprague Street
Success isn’t just on television; success is in our communities! Principal Eric Langston is inviting at least 100 Black men to join him at Pastorius Elementary to welcome students to school that morning. Then, the men will go into classrooms and read to over 600 students in grades K-8 as well as participate in two school-wide assemblies. Participants are asked to dress in business casual, no jeans or sneakers, and can find out more information on the event’s Facebook page.

The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat: Share Your Creativity
Wednesday, February 28 | 4 p.m.
Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 South 52nd Street
Enjoy a reading of “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Javaka Steptoe and “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” by Maya Angelou, illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat.  After the reading, join us in adding your drawing and writing to our Young Artists’ Wall.

“The Road to Martin Luther King: A Portrait Collection” Exhibition
February 2018
City Hall, 2nd Floor, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
As part of the celebration of Black History Month in February, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy presents a series of portraits painted by artist Sylvia Castellanos.  The portraits of famous African American men and women are on display on the second floor of City Hall, near the Office of the Mayor, Room 215.

“Octavius V. Catto: A Legacy for the 21st Century” Screenings
February 2018 | Various Times
Neighborhood Free Library Locations
Throughout February, the Free Library of Philadelphia is collaborating with History Making Productions to bring screenings of their short dramatic documentary, “Octavius V. Catto: A Legacy for the 21st Century,” to neighborhood libraries across the city. Each screening includes a workshop or discussion with a rotating cast of experts involved in this celebration of Catto and his achievements. Check out the full listing and pick an event to attend near you!

Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876
Permanent Display
African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP), 701 Arch Street
This permanent display at AAMP recounts the stories and contributions made by people of African descent in Philadelphia during the founding of the United States, focusing on who the people were, how they lived and worked, and their impact on America.