Black History Month 2021: Celebrations and Education

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This year Black History Month looks a little different, with few in person events. But that didn’t stop me from compiling a list of local events/activities to share with you that our family will be exploring during the month. I’ve also included some educational resources that your family can use to learn about, celebrate and honor the heritage of African Americans.

OKC Thunder Black Heritage Creative Contest
Deadline for submission: Feb. 15, 2021
Student art competition open to students in grades 9 – 12 (public, private, home schooled). Students are tasked with creating an original poster depicting “an inspirational experience, moment or individual in Black History” and describing how they have been personally inspired.

A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Opens February 2 – May 31, 2021
Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library
406 East Oklahoma Avenue in Guthrie, OK.
This museum in Guthrie will be showcasing a poster exhibit that includes items from the National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as items donated by African American families from the Guthrie area.

“Life at Hunter’s Home: Voices of Enslaved People” (Virtual Exhibit)
Opens February 4
$10 for full-access to the Facebook group for the month of February.
“Hunter’s Home in Park Hill will commemorate Black History Month with programming that gives voice to the enslaved residents of the home. February programming will feature many of the people who lived and performed slave labor on the plantation, such as Susan, Ike, Nelson, Eliza, and many others who made their lives at Hunter’s Home in the years before the Civil War.”

“Blacks on the Oklahoma Frontier: Lawmen, Outlaws, Cowboys, Cowgirls, and Rodeos,” (Virtual Event)
February 6 at 6 p.m
This film festival features “African American pioneers on the Oklahoma frontier. Also included in the festival will be video footage of local rodeos and Round-Up Clubs featuring Black cowboys and highlighting rodeos from historically all-Black towns in Oklahoma. 
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Oklahoma Education Association
On this website you will find a collection of classroom resources for all ages to support Black History Month curriculum in the state of Oklahoma.

OU Health Sciences Center Book Drive Throughout February
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be hosting a book drive the whole month of February. All of the donations will go to local schools here on the Northeast side of OKC. Donation boxes are located on the first floor of the DLB Student Union and by the circulation desk in the Bird Library.

Metropolitan Library System
The local library system has a series of take home kits, virtual exhibits and Black author visits.

Kids Take Over the Cowboy: Black History Month in the West
February 6, 2021
Times: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Price: Free for members or with Museum admission.
“In honor of Black History Month, learn about a few of the many contributions by Black people to the West and Western history. Try your hand at roping, talk to Bill Pickett about his unique method of taking down a steer, and enjoy storytime at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Activities available while supplies last. Free for members or with Museum admission.

Art Council of Oklahoma City
Black History Month Celebration with Art Moves
ACOKC Facebook page at 12:00 p.m.
All month long “Art Moves will be celebrating Black History Month by showcasing some of the amazing talents in metro’s African American community. With artists ranging from the incomparable vocals of Chanda Graham to the storytelling of Poetry and Chill, February is going to be a celebration of Black artists in OKC! Take a look at the full schedule and tune in to ACOKC’s Facebook page, weekdays at noon.”

Oklahoma Black Museum & Performing Arts Center
Address: 4701 N Lincoln Blvd
The museum rotates exhibits roughly every month and features different mediums of art including photography, painting, sculpture and more.

Virtual Family Education Opportunities

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission
This is a very in depth resource that your entire family can use to learn about this important part of Oklahoma history, especially as this is the 100 year anniversary of the tragic events that unfolded in Tulsa, OK.

National African American History and Culture Museum
Joyful Fridays: Black History Activity Kits
Weekly webinar-style Zoom classes designed for kiddos ages 4 – 8 years features hands-on activities/crafting projects that can be done at home. The website provides a list of supplies, recommended books, resources and links associated with each weekly topic.

Family Education Website
Test out your knowledge about black history events, people and places with fun quizzes to spark awareness and education.

Scholastic Books
A good list of children’s/teen books about black history. The web page also includes questions for family discussion.

A Little Something for Mamas…

Harlem Chalkboard – W&P Painting Class
Kamp’s 1910 Cafe, OKC
Saturday, February 27th, 12pm-2pm.
Tickets: $35/person
“Harlem Chalkboard” is our rendition of Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series, Panel 58. In these works, Lawrence focuses on the Great Migration, the exodus of African Americans from the rural South to northern and western cities beginning during World War I. View the full Series here: lawrencemigration.phillipscollection.org/the-migration-series

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