Black History Month occurs every February and is a time to honor and recognize the achievements of Black individuals in the United States. “Black History month is a perfect opportunity to celebrate our heritage and bring people together,” says Todd Mesek, chief marketing officer at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Here are some ways to celebrate and provide a few teaching moments for the family.
1.Attend Local Events
Celebrate Black History Month in the community. Look for happenings and check out these below and visit NortheastOhioParent.com for more.
The City of Beachwood has partnered with Beachwood Arts Council and the Cuyahoga County Public Library Beachwood Branch to offer a variety of programs throughout the month of February. beachwoodohio.com
Black History Month: The Cleveland Connection in Art
Learn about Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell, local artists from Cleveland, and create a mixed media artwork in the style of their art. Ideal for participants in kindergarten through second grade. 10-11 a.m. Cuyahoga County Public Library – Orange Branch, 31975 Chagrin Blvd., Pepper Pike, cuyahogalibrary.org
Black History Month Event
Sponsored by Lake County Historical Society
The event will explore the past with African drumming and the present with spoken words. 5 p.m. This is a free event. Reservation required. Lake County History Center, 415 Riverside Dr., Painesville. lakehistorycenter.org
Black History Month: The Cleveland Connection in Invention
Learn about Garrett Morgan who invented the three-position traffic signal while living in Cleveland and make your own traffic light with puff paint. 10-11 a.m. Cuyahoga County Public Library – Orange Branch, 31975 Chagrin Blvd., Pepper Pike, cuyahogalibrary.org
2. Be Inspired with Books
Go to the library or local independent bookstore to read with your kids about Black history and inspiring figures in the community. Here’s some suggestions.
Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
Raised in South Carolina and New York, the author always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
The ABCs of Black History Month
by Rio Cortez and Lauren Semmer
It’s a story of big ideas—P is for Power, S is for Science and Soul. Of significant moments—G is for Great Migration. Of iconic figures—H is for Zora Neale Hurston, X is for Malcom X.
Parker Looks Up
by Parker Curry
When Parker Curry came face-to-face with the portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the U.S. She saw a queen—who captured this young girl’s imagination.
3. Seek Out places to visit and learn
Museums and local attractions across Northeast Ohio provide opportunities to explore exhibits from Black creators and artists as well as learn. Here are a few.
Cleveland Cultural Gardens, African American Garden
The design by architect Daniel W. Bickerstaff conveys the past, present and future of the African American community.
African American Civil Rights Trail
Retrace the footsteps of civil rights advocates as they marched across Cleveland in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Start from the beginning and go through the city to immerse yourself in the history nearest to you along the African American Civil Rights Trail. It includes Cory United Methodist Church, The Hough Uprising, and the Ludlow Community Association, among other historical markers.