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Black History Month Events in Baltimore

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These ongoing and special events celebrate Black History Month during February 2008. A visit to Baltimore's many African-American heritage sites also is a good way to learn more about black history. Maryland's historically black universities celebrate to African American culture all year long.

Special Events

African American Leaders of the Past
Hampton National Historic Site - Towson
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m.
Storyteller Shindana Cooper recounts the struggles, and triumphs of African-American leaders like Harriet Tubman and Mary McLeod Bethune.

13th Annual Black Heritage Art Show
Baltimore Convention Center
Feb. 15 - 17
This year's featured performing artist is David Chance at this show which also includes vendors, food and, of course, art. The annual event, usually attended by about 150,000, is the Mid-Atlantic region's largest African American celebratory event during Black History Month.

Three Part Course: African-American Artists at the Walters
The Walters Art Museum
Friday, Feb. 15, 22, 29 6:30 p.m.
$25
Jacqueline Copeland, director of education and public programs, takes an in-depth look at these three African-American artists: Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901), Mary Edmonia Lewis (1845-after 1911) and Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937). Each achieved fame at a time when the art world generally excluded people of color.

Soulful Symphony: Fresh Winds
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Feb. 22, 8 p.m.
$18-$58
Composer/conductor Darin Atwater fuses gospel and jazz into classical favorites. Atwater premieres his arrangement of Ravel’s Pavane and Duke Ellington’s arrangement of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite. The program also includes David Baker’s Jazz Suite for Clarinet and Full Orchestra.

BACK IN THE DAY: A Saturday Afternoon Film Series at the Central Library
Enoch Pratt Free Library
  • Wattstax – February 2, 2 p.m. - A documentary about the 1972 Watts Summer Festival in Los Angeles that has been called “The Black Woodstock.”
  • Killer of Sheep – February 9, 2 p.m. - Charles Burnett’s first film about a disillusioned dreamer who has grown numb from poverty and the psychic toll of working in a slaughterhouse.
  • My Brother's Wedding – February 16, 2 p.m. - The second feature film by Charles Burnett, tells the story of Pierce who despises his upwardly mobile lawyer brother but reluctantly aggress to be the best man at his wedding.
  • Krush Grove – February 23, 2 p.m. - Shelia E., Run D.M.C., New Edition, Kurtis Blow and the Fat Boys are among the many musical stars appearing in this film based on the early days of Def Jam Records.
MIDNIGHT RAMBLES Black Cinema of the 70's & 80's
Creative Alliance at The Patterson
Feb. 21, 28, Mar. 6 - 7:30 p.m.
In partnership with the Maryland Film Festival, Creative Alliance presents this film series exploring pioneering African-American films of the 70's and 80's.
  • Feb. 21 - Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (Van Peebles, 1971)
    From CA: "The Film that THE MAN doesn't want you to see! Sweet Sweetback (Van Peebles), raised in a whorehouse, finds himself on the lam from white authority after intervening in a police beating of a Black Panther. Though directed by an African-American (the great Melvin Van Peebles) and starring 'The Black Community,' this independently produced film--with soundtrack by Earth, Wind and Fire--shaped Hollywood's 'blaxploitation' genre. Even African-American audiences were shocked by the ferocity of its anti-establishment stance."
  • Feb. 28 - My Brother's Wedding (Burnett, 1983/2007)
    From CA: "A young man living in an LA ghetto can't seem to get his life on track: he works at his parents' South Central dry cleaners, all of his friends are either dead or incarcerated, and his brother is about to marry a wealthy doctor's daughter. A “lost” work by the director of Killer of Sheep, this film was shelved after the bungled 1983 release of a rough-cut version. Burnett completed his film the way he'd envisioned it only last year, to widespread critical acclaim."
  • Mar 6 - Car Wash (Schultz, 1976)
    From CA: "Propelled by a funk soundtrack that became a best-selling album, this blaxploitation musical comedy shows a day in the life of the Dee-Lite Car Wash: the owner chases skirts, his son studies Mao, a customer's son keeps losing his lunch, a cabbie chases a hooker who skipped on her fare, and a mad bomber is on the loose. Cameos include George Carlin, “Professor” Irwin Corey, The Pointer Sisters, Clarence Muse, and Richard Pryor. Introduced by Thomas Cripps."

Ongoing February Events

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History & Culture
Open Mondays (in addition to regular museum hours) in February
Textural Rhythms: Constructing the Jazz Tradition, Contemporary African American Quilts
Through March 30
Free with museum admission
Featuring 64 quilts, Textural Rhythms delves into the relationship between art and jazz.

Celebrate Africa!
Baltimore Museum of Art
Events include an African Film Festival, Black History Month Family Day and a performance by dance troupe Step Afrika!

Black History Month at the B&O Railroad Museum
Learn about African-American men and women who filled vital jobs all along the B&O Railroad's line and understand how significant social issues, such as segregation, affected railroading.

Holiday Heart by Cheryl West
Arena Players
February 8 – 22
Friday and Saturday shows, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m
$15
African-American theater company presents this story of a transvestite who holds together a dysfunctional family.

African-American Heritage Walking Tours
HistoryQuest, Annapolis
Feb 2, 9, 16, 23,; 1 p.m.
Adults, $14; under 12, $4
Visit important Annapolis historical sites including the Thurgood Marshall Memorial and the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial. Reservations are recommended.

Black History Month at the World Famous Lexington Market
Lexington Market
Monday-Friday all month
The talented children from Baltimore City schools entertain all month with narrated skits, music, songs and dance with African, Caribbean, jazz, blues and gospel themes.

Top of the World Trade Center
Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays until 8 p.m.
Adults $5, seniors $4, children $3
Art exhibition honoring Black History Month.

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