February marks Black History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people. You can join in celebrations in your community or take advantage of excellent online programs all month long.
How you can celebrate Black History Month in Denver and throughout Colorado:
You can celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Coloradans across Colorado. AAA Colorado recommends visiting these places, from El Pueblo Museum in Pueblo to Dearfield, an African-American farming community and the only remaining town in Colorado that exemplifies the national black colonization movement inspired by Booker T. Washington. It was one of 14 rural towns established in the West to provide Americans of African descent with the opportunity to own and work their own land.
Given visitor restrictions in many Colorado venues, be sure to check first before going. Here are 8 great places.
- From a new pop-up exhibit that celebrates “black girl magic” to a photo exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens that explores the often-hidden stories of people of color, numerous events celebrate Black History Month in the Denver area. See a list of activities compiled by Visit Denver, the city’s Convention & Visitors Bureau.
- The Denver Public Library offers great opportunities to learn about Black History Month throughout February. You can attend events (both online and in person) to better understand the Civil Rights Act of 1964, explore the history of the civil rights movement throughout Colorado and specifically in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood and understand how racist films like Birth of a Nation perpetuated bigotry. Be inspired, too, by learning about Black innovators in Jazz and phenomenal Black entrepreneurs like Madame C.J. Walker, one of America’s first self-made female millionaires. Historical re-enactor Lonnie McCabe will bring Walker’s story to life during at event at the Gonzales Branch. If you’d like to learn more about Walker’s remarkable life, check out this lesson plan from the National Park Service.
- One branch of the Denver Public Library, the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library is devoted to African American research and offers a multitude of ways to explore Black history during February and all year long.
Colorado Springs’ Pioneers Museum, which is free to the public, is proud to share Black history every day because “Colorado Springs’ history is Black history and Black history is Colorado Springs history,” says Leah Davis Witherow, the museum’s curator of history.
The museum features stories in its permanent galleries: Any Place That is North & West, The Story of Us, COS@150, and online through the innovative Story of Us Mobile website that documents how African Americans have continued to shape the Pikes Peak region socially, politically, intellectually, culturally, and economically.
The Colorado Springs Fine Art Center at Colorado College celebrates Black History Month by showcasing Black artists and Black voices in a variety of events and programs, both virtual and in-person. From theater performances, to art exhibitions and spoken word — the center invites members of the public to join in the festivities including:
- A virtual reading of Idris Goodwin’s historical drama, The Raid, recorded in 2021.
- Visual exhibition by artist Juan Robert Diago examining the Afro-Cuban cultural movement.
- On stage: “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” a comedy by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Lynn Nottage.
Each February, Colorado State University’s Black/African American Cultural Center highlights the contributions of Black Americans. The celebration includes films, speakers and special food. Learn more about what’s on tap this year.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is offering a wide range of virtual programs for all ages this February. The month begins with A Seat at the Table, one of museum’s signature interactive programs during which participants answer questions about race, identity and economic justice. The events also include “Joyful Fridays,” during which parents and children can celebrate the many positive contributions Black people have made in the U.S.
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. Learn about all of the events.