Virtual Black History Month Events for Late February, and a March Film Festival

Robert Smalls is among the people highlighted in the New York Historical Society’s Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow exhibit. (©Library of Congress)

By Jennifer McKee

There’s still time to enjoy some great virtual events in conjunction with Black History Month. Point your browser to these engaging presentations.

Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution holds a virtual forum on racial understanding on February 20. It Begins with Each of Us: Fostering Racial Understanding aims to inspire solutions for overcoming racism and is led by Charles A. Gallagher, professor and chair of the department of sociology and criminal justice at LaSalle University, and Alexandria Harris, executive director of the Andrew Goodman Foundation.

This is the museum’s fourth such forum; you can watch the 2020 forum here.

Tiffany Bacon stars as Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman at the Museum of the American Revolution. (©Museum of the American Revolution)

Also, you don’t want to miss the museum’s newest exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote. Explore the untold stories of women and free people of color in New Jersey who pioneered the vote in the Revolutionary era.

Among the exhibit’s highlights are an interactive poll list, which lets users learn more about those whose names appeared on poll lists in the early 1800s, and two 25-minute one-woman theatrical performances that dramatize the different perspectives of two women from the period: Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman and Rebecca VanDike.

And, on February 25, don’t miss the museum’s presentation of Discovering Black Voters in New Jersey, which showxases\ the stories of Black voters with Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum founders Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills.

The New York Historical Society presents two virtual programs in the coming week. On February 24, Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow is a virtual journey through history; explore Black Americans’ struggle for equality under the law from 1865 through World War I with objects and themes from the museums’ much lauded 2018–19 exhibition.

Learn more about Civil Rights icon Ida B. Wells from the New York Historical Society. (©Library of Congress)

February 25 brings Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave. Learn about Ona Judge, who made the decision to escape enslavement from George Washington’s household, and the subsequent manhunt that was led by Washington himself.  

Jacksonville’s Cummer Museum has a full slate of events going on for Black History Month, including fireside chats, virtual lectures, music and poetry. The series concludes with a performance by jazz and soul singer Akia Uwanda, who’s opened for Earth, Wind and Fire.

The Atlanta History Center has two inspiring programs in its digital learning lab. The Civil Rights toolkit focuses on The Children’s March: Stories from the Birmingham Children’s Crusade.

Visitors can also learn about the Negro Leagues in A Baseball Bat Remembers.

These digital toolkits include videos, writing prompts, art activities and supplemental materials that offer an engaging experience for all ages.

The Louisville Free Public Library continues its Sunday screenings of its African American History Month Series on February 21 and 28, with “Good Hair” and “Detroit.” The screenings are free, but you must register by 4 pm the Friday prior to the movie. There’s also a panel discussion to go with each movie.

Durham’s Hayti Heritage Film Festival goes online March 1-6 with works from the African diaspora and a deep dive into the craft of filmmaking. One of the nation’s longest-running Black film festivals, it aims to keep the Black Southern film alive. Here’s the virtual schedule.

Durham’s Hayti Heritage Film Festival takes place mostly online in 2021. (©Hayti Heritage Film Festival)

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