Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Local events include, but not limited to, the following:
African American History Tour
All month long, Gray Line of Tennessee is offering a special Black History Month tour. You will discover the rich culture of the black community within Nashville while stopping at Fisk University, Jefferson Street, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, and more. Also, the tour includes admission to Ryman Auditorium.
Black History Month
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage: Home of the People’s President
Each year Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage commemorates those enslaved both on the estate and the country with programs all month long. The events are Songs of Freedom: An Interactive Kid’s Program on February 4, Researching African-American Family History and Genealogy on February 11, Slavery in the White House With Jesse Holland on February 18, and the Annual Memorial Service on February 25.
Black History Film Series
February 6 – 27 (Mondays)
Every Monday night in February at 730 pm. Films include: “The Great Debaters”, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”, “Race”, and “Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners”. Hosted by the Belmont University Black Student Association and the Belmont Film Society in the Johnson Center Large Theater.
Black History Month Music Series
Nashville International Airport
February 8 – 22
MNAA’s Black History Month Music Series will spotlight local groups performing, commemorating and celebrating the sounds of the American Civil Rights Movement. All performances are free and open to the public and will take place at Nashville International Airport on the Arts at the Airport Stage located in the Starbucks Meeter-Greeter Area (Non-secure side/Ticketing Lobby level).
Nashville Conference on African-American History and Culture
Tennessee State University
Join Tennessee State University’s College of Liberal Arts and the Metropolitan Historical Commission for a celebration of the contributions of African-Americans to Nashville and Tennessee history. For over thirty-five years, this award-winning conference has brought together historians, students, educators, community leaders, and others interested in African-American history and culture. This year’s conference will celebrate a variety of interracial dialogue in Nashville and Tennessee, through history, story, and song.
Mandela: Let Freedom Reign
Looby Center Theater
Organized by the Gamma Phi Foundation, Darryl Van Leer will be the guest speaker for a night of celebrating black history.
Free Screenings of “Hidden Figures”
Opry Mills Stadium
February 11, 12, 18, 19
The International Black Film Festival (IBFF) in partnership with Health Impacts of Degraded Environments (HIDE) and funded by The Jackson Family Trust, will be hosting four free screenings of the highly acclaimed, award winning film “Hidden Figures” starring Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae.
The History of North Nashville: Building a Community
Tennessee State Museum
Bring your lunch to the State Museum on Wednesday, February 15, at 12:15 p.m., for a free Lunch & Learn program presented by Dr. Learotha Williams, Associate Professor of African American and Public History at Tennessee State University. The presentation entitled, “The History of North Nashville: Building a Community; Challenging Jim Crow”, will take place on B Level of the museum in front of the stage.
Sips & Stanzas: Soul Food – The Connection of Food, Music & Culture
Discover the connection between soul food and music during this special event put on by the National Museum of African American Music.
Poetry & the African American Experience with Frank X Walker
Global Education Center
Poet Frank X Walker will speak and teach about poetry and how it has become the genre for many people who feel silenced by the oppressed.
Sistas: The Musical by Dorothy Marcic
Z. Alexander Looby Theater
February 17-March 5
The musical features a group of sisters sorting through a family member’s belongings revealing past hardships and times of adversity. It will include many popular songs like “Oh, Happy Day,” “Stormy Weather,” and more.
Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey with Jasmine Guy & The Avery Sharpe Trio
Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey with Jasmine Guy & The Avery Sharpe Trio will be at James K. Polk Theater in Nashville, TN – February 24, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. Inspired by the classic 1923 Jean Toomer novel “Cane” and works by the musicians, composers, poets, and actors of the Harlem Renaissance
The Civil Rights Collection
Nashville Downtown Library
The collection at the Nashville Public Library features black & white photos from the Civil Rights era in Nashville and a circular table in the center of the room representing the lunch counters of Nashville – locations of many sit-in protests that fueled the Civil Rights Movement.