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February 02, 2016

Guide to Black History Month events in Philly

Where to go for exhibits, art, workshops and special programs in February 2016

February is Black History Month and Philly is celebrating in 2016 with new programs, exhibits, workshops, art and other activities. Throughout the month learn about influential African Americans, test your knowledge on black history and celebrate the rich African-American heritage in Philly. 

African American History Month at the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center will host a month-long celebration of African-American history through February and is also offering free admission on Monday, Feb. 15. 

Throughout the month, there will be exhibits and games scheduled. Breaking Barriers, an interactive show which spotlights the lives of Thurgood Marshall, Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson and other notable African-Americans, will premiere. 

Other highlights through February include an Emancipation Proclamation workshop discussing the document and self-guided tours that emphasize important moments in black history.

There will also be a giant board game where guests can test their knowledge.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
(215) 409-6700

Black History Month Trivia: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Use historical knowledge and visual clues to identify famous African-Americans from Philadelphia. The first three winners (teen or adult) will win lunch at a neighborhood restaurant. 

The event will take place through February and winners will be announced on Monday, March 2.

Haverford Library
5543 Haverford Ave.

The Art of Norman Lewis at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) is celebrating African-American artist Norman Lewis throughout February. The exhibit is the first comprehensive museum overview of the influential artist, who explored multiple styles.

The exhibit includes approximately 90 paintings and works on paper dating from the early 1930s through the late 1970s.

Besides being able to view the work of a notable black artist, there will also be family-friendly art workshopsJazz performances and a roundtable discussion during the time the exhibit is on display. Both the Jazz performance and discussion are on Saturday, Feb. 6 and require registration.

118-128 N. Broad St.
(215) 972-7600 

The Evolution of Blues

During this event, there will be an interactive presentation by musician and historian Joe Becton. He will trace the styles of music developed by Africans in America that created Gospel, Jazz, and Blues during his performance.

This is also a One Book, One Philadelphia program.

Tuesday, February 2
4 p.m.
Kingsessing Library
1201 South 51st St.

African Mask-Making Workshop  

In this hands-on workshop, children can create their own masks that are influenced by Africa. 

All materials will be provided.

Thursday, February 4
5 p.m. 
Haddington Library
446 North 65th St.

African-American Iconic Images Collection Trolley Tours With Mural Arts

The city of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program teamed up with the African American Museum of Philadelphia to offer a special mural trolley tour of the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection. 

The rich group of images gives a visual autobiography of Philadelphia and of iconic African-American figures both past and present. Tours will be led by experienced guides who will discuss each mural, the artists behind them and the mural-making process as a whole. 

Departing from the African American Museum in Philadelphia, tours will take place on Saturday, February 6 from 10 a.m. to noon and Sunday, February 21 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 6 and Sunday, Feb. 21
$28-$32 per person
The African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
(215) 574-0380 

Paint Like Horace Pippin

Read about the life of Horace Pippin, who was a self-taught African-American painter from the early 1900s, at this event. After learning about Pippin, create a painting in hist style.

Monday, February 8
4 p.m. | Free
Whitman Library
200 Snyder Ave.

Black History Month Bingo

Children can play Bingo using cards related to important events in black history and will have a chance to win prizes. 

Wednesday, Feb. 10
4 p.m. | Free
Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Branch
5800 Cobbs Creek Pkwy

Movie Screening: "Glory"

The film "Glory" is based on the true story of the first black regiment to fight for the North in the Civil War. Two library branches will show the R-rated movie in February.

This event is also part of the One Book, One Philadelphia program. 

Wednesday, Feb. 10
5 p.m. | Free
Welsh Road Library
9233 Roosevelt Blvd.


Thursday, Feb. 11
12:30 p.m. | Free
Fox Chase Library
501 Rhawn St.

George Carver Science Fair at the Academy of Natural Sciences

Beginning on February 17, the Academy of Natural Sciences will host the annual George Washington Carver Science Fair for Philadelphia schoolchildren. The fair is open to all students -- in grades four through 12 -- who attend Philadelphia County public, charter, parochial and private schools, as well as to home-schooled students.

One of the largest of its kind, the fair promotes scientific inquiry and allows students to display various projects inside the museum. 

Since 1979, the Academy has hosted the fair, but due to growth in participation, grades seven through 12 are now held at Temple University. The Academy continues to house the elementary portion of the competition and its awards ceremony.

The fair is dedicated to and named after the noted 19th-century botanist and inventor George Washington Carver.

Wednesday, Feb. 17
The Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy 

A Taste of African Heritage

Many of today’s healthiest foods have their roots in African heritage — like leafy greens, sweet potatoes, millet and okra. Take part in this free nutrition and cooking series at the Culinary Literacy Center that will use those foods. 

Advanced registration is required.

Monday, February 23
6 p.m. | Free
Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine St.

Celebration of African Cultures at the Penn Museum

Head to the Penn Museum for a special family-friendly program celebrating African cultures. Experience traditional storytelling, African dance, music performances, workshops, children's activities, gallery tours and an African marketplace. 

The Celebration of African Cultures event is free with Penn Museum admission.

Saturday, Feb. 27
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | $10-$15 general admission
Penn Museum
3260 South St.