Black History Month 2022: Let’s Celebrate All Year-Round

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“Black history is indeed American history, but it is also world history.” – Angela Y. Davis

Black History Month (Feb 1 – March 1) is a great time to celebrate the contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history. However, Black history touches our lives each and every day of the year.

Did you brush your hair this morning with a brush? Thank Lyda Newman.

Did you have an extra maxi-pad to give to your teen daughter who just ran out? Thank Mary B. Kenner.

Did you use an egg beater or mixer to make eggs or pancake batter for the kids this morning? Thank Willis Johnson.

Were your kids able to wear dry clothes from the dryer? Thank George T. Sampson.

Traffic lights helpful on your way to school drop-off? Thank Garrett Morgan.

Did you have a smooth run with your baby in her stroller this evening? Thank William H. Richardson

It’s easy to name off Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks as significant Black History Month figures. But, how many of the names of Black inventors listed above were you familiar with? This month, challenge your family to learn about the contributions of lesser-known African Americans throughout history. To get you started, here is a list of ways that your family can honor and celebrate their achievements in and around OKC!

Local Events and Activities

What: Art Exhibit: “I am …” Presented by J’Parle Artist Group 
Where: Myriad Botanical Gardens (Crystal Bridge Conservatory Visitor Lobby)
When: January 7 – March 1, 2022
Cost: Free
Description: For the art lovers in your household, check out this art exhibit that explores “black history and culture in Oklahoma from Tulsa’s Black Wall Street of the 1920’s to the vibrancy and diversity of today.”

What: Scavenger Hunt: Notable Black History Icons 
Where: Ralph Ellison Public Library
When: January 31 – February 6
Cost: Free
Description: Take the family to the Ralph Ellison Public Library for some educational fun. Learn about notable Black History icons by finding special cards throughout the library.

What: Seizing Justice: The Greensboro 4 Film Screening and Panel Discussion 
Where: Oklahoma History Center (Musser Learning Lab)
When: February 5, from 1:00PM – 3:00PM
Cost: Free for Oklahoma Historical Society members, active-duty military, veterans, and dependents (with ID). Others: $10 (adults) & $5 (seniors/students)
Description: To celebrate Black History Month, the Oklahoma History Center and Smithsonian Channel will be screening “Seizing Justice: The Greensboro 4.” The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about the Oklahoma sit-in movement. Suggested audience for this event is ages 12 and over.

What: Rejoice & Shout – Film Presentation
Where: Oklahoma City Museum of Art (Noble Theater)
When: February 6, 3:00PM
Cost: Tickets range from $5 – $10
Description: Have any music lovers in your family? The OKCMOA will be showing a documentary that highlights the 200-year history of gospel music.

What: History Speaks 2022
Where: Oklahoma Christian University
When: February 7, 7:00PM
Cost: Free (first serve seating with overflow in the conservatory. 2 tickets/person; 1/student)
Description: Each year, this annual speaker series features “prominent civil rights leaders who have taught us the importance of community, respect and taking time to listen.” Cheryl Brown Henderson is the featured speaker for 2022. She is one of three daughters of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, the named complainant in Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case. The Justices ruled that racial segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

What: A Very OK Podcast LIVE: All-Black Towns
Where: Oklahoma History Center
When: February 10, 6:00PM
Cost: Free for all guests
Description: OHS Executive Director Trait Thompson and Dr. Bob Blackburn of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s “A Very OK Podcast” will interview Henrietta Hicks of Boley, Shirley Nero of Clearview, and Oklahoma Sen. Kevin Matthews of Tulsa about Oklahoma’s historic All-Black towns. This free event will be recorded in front of a live audience.

Local Black History Month Resources and Opportunities to Learn, Grow and Empower

Share Your Creativity

OKC Thunder Black Heritage Creative Contest
Deadline for submission: February 16
Description: This student art competition is open to students in grades 9 – 12 (public, private, home schooled). Students are encouraged to create an original poster depicting “an inspirational experience, moment or individual in Black History” and describe the impact they/it has made in their lives. Entries may be submitted online, by mail or in person.

Never Stop Learning

Nappy Roots Books 
3705 Springlake Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Phone: 405-896-0203

Nappy Roots Books is an independent African American bookstore, art gallery, gathering space, and community center. Nappy Roots specializes in books for “adults and children that reflect the history, culture, art and people of the African diaspora, and books that address political, social and economic issues in the African American community and other communities of color.”

Metropolitan Library System

The Metropolitan Library System has a wide variety of Black History Month take home kits that are available during the month of February at several locations. The categories of the kits include arts and crafts, books and knowledge quizzes. Lots of fun and knowledge for the whole family!

Oklahoma Education Association

Although geared towards teachers, the Oklahoma Education Association’s Black History Month web page provides access to a number of educational resources that your family can use to explore different aspects of Black History all year round.

Do Good

University of Oklahoma Book Drive
When: February 1 – 28
Description: The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be hosting a book drive during the whole month of February. All donations will go to local schools on the Northeast side of OKC. Donation boxes will be placed on the first floor of the DLB Student Union and by the circulation desk in the Bird Library.

What did we miss?! Are there other ways YOUR family is honoring Black History Month this year?

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