Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks 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. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
Nashville will be celebrating the holiday this month at events throughout the city. Listed below are just a few.
Echoes of Conversations Art Exhibition by Michael J. McBride
Global Education Center
Thru March 17
Echoes of Conversations is a celebration of black history, a tribute to black Americans in art, literature, and poetry featuring the art of celebrated Nashville artist, Michael J. McBride. This sensational exhibition, now on view at Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center, includes a compelling collection of Mr. McBride’s art showcasing masterful techniques in application while telling a story that is thoughtful, powerful and celebratory.
Poetry & the African American Experience with Dr. Haki Madhubuti
Global Education Center
Author, educator, and scholar Dr. Haki Madhubuti will speak on the history and culture of African Americans as expressed through poetry, examining poetry’s relevance to modern life.
Art at Fisk University Galleries
February 22 – March 19
Visit the art galleries at one of the world’s greatest educational institutions, Nashville’s own historic Fisk University. Their 2019 exhibitions and programs reflect the long and rich history of Fisk University’s impact within the Arts both past and present. Three exhibitions run through March 19, 2019, before giving way to new ones for the Spring: SCAPE: 20th-century African-American Artists Inspired by the Built Environment; The Prophet’s Library Vol. II; and Echoes of the Harlem Renaissance.
St. Jude’s Spirit of the Dream
Cal Turner Center at Meharry Medical College
Join us for Spirit of the Dream, the ultimate party to celebrate the achievements of African Americans who embody the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and its founder Danny Thomas. Guests at this inaugural event will have the opportunity to mingle with leaders and influencers while enjoying handcrafted cocktails, delectable hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage:
Thru February 23
Each year Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage commemorates those enslaved both on the estate and the country with programs all month long. The events are: Echoes of My Sister’s Voices on February 9, Uncovering the Ancestors: Archaeology and Enslaved Communities in the Southeast on February 16, and the Annual Memorial Service on February 23.
Book Signings: Dwight Lewis author of Temple’s Tigerbelles
February 24 & 25
Parnassus Books, TSU main campus library
Temple’s Tigerbelles: An Illustrated History Of The Women Who Outran The World is a history book, a sports book and a picture book about the young ladies who “opened the door for other women, not only in track and field, but in all sports.’’ Parnassus Books welcomes Lewis for a book signing event on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 2:00pm. Parnassus Books is located in Green Hills at 3900 Hillsboro Pike Suite 14, Nashville, TN 37215. The Tennessee State University main campus Library will also host a book signing by Lewis on Monday, February 25, from 11:30 AM until 1:30 PM.
Black History Month: Experience Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Church
Jimi Hendrix’s last major concert appearance in America is the centerpiece of a documentary featuring footage that went undeveloped for decades. Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, the concert film documenting his performance at 1970’s Atlanta Pop Festival in July was shot only two months before his untimely death that September. A discussion with Jimi’s bandmate bassist Billy Cox and music critic Ron Wynn, following the 7:30 pm screening.
Black LGBTQ History, Culture and Politics
The Belcourt Theatre
March 30, & April 20
The Belcourt Theatre, Nashville’s independent theatre, plans to have two additional film showings for free (the first taking place Feb. 2). The remaining shows are Inxeba (The Wound) on March 30, and the last will be a series of short films on April 20. Each showing is in collaboration with Vanderbilt’s Department of African American & Diaspora Studies Course.
Nashville Conference on African-American History and Culture
Tennessee State University
African American History Tour
Gray Line of Tennessee offers an African American History Tour year-round, available for private bookings. 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.
Tour of African American Culture
United Street Tours
Explore Music City while walking in the footsteps of civil rights leaders. Join the African American Street Tour on Saturdays @ 11am to experience and interact with sites on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.
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.