Black History Month
Every February, people across the nation come together for events and activities to celebrate Black History Month. It’s a time for us to continue our collective journey of honoring and deepening our knowledge of the history and contributions of African Americans and people of African descent that have been marginalized from mainstream opportunities because of our country’s legacy of slavery and institutional and structural racism. Wellington will offer virtual events and activities throughout February to highlight the history, diversity, and achievements of the Black community. This year, events will be held virtually to keep us all safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The theme for Black History Month 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History®, an organization founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the famed African American historian known as the “Father of Black History,” sets the theme every year. Much of the programming for Wellington’s Black History Month events and activities align with this theme.
Take part in these free learning opportunities that are food for our minds, bodies, and souls. While we would love to hold in-person fellowships with you, we will instead, meet you in virtual spaces for our events and activities as we continue to exercise caution during the COVID-19 pandemic. RSVP details for each event and activity are listed below.
BLAST (Black Leadership & Achievement Student Team) Video Series
Wellington has partnered with Wellington High School students to showcase the black experience in our country. This video series consists of short cameos from students speaking about what it means to be black in America.
I have a Dream
The Effects of Racism in America
Say It Loud, I'm Black and Proud!
Between the Lines, LIVE from NYPL: Four Hundred Souls by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain
February 9 from 7 - 8:30 PM
Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. Ibram X. Kendi along with co-editor, award-winning historian Keisha N. Blain, assembled 90 writers to consider the 400-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present. Each member of the “community choir,” as Kendi calls it—“women and men, cisgender and transgender, younger and older, straight and queer, dark-skinned and light-skinned"—takes on a five-year period, examining it from their unique point of view and set of experiences.
Join the editors Drs. Kendi and Blain alongside contributors Robert Jones, Jr., Bernice L. McFadden, Dr. Blair L.M. Kelley for readings from the collection and a discussion on what it takes to develop a community history, by a community.
Produced in partnership with the LIVE from NYPL.
This program will be streamed on Zoom and simulcast to YouTube. You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. Please check your email shortly before the discussion to receive the link. Captions for this event will be provided.
Rhythm and Revolution: Expressions of Struggle, Collaboration, and Peace
For more than 20 years, the Stax Music Academy has been wowing audiences around the world with performances in places like Australia, Italy, France, England, Germany, New York’s Lincoln Center, and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Smithsonian Institute festivals. It has also for many years presented Memphis, Tennessee’s premier Black History Month performance to sold-out crowds. Now, in February 2021, because of COVID-related safety precautions and because people from all walks of life are yearning for access to the arts during pandemic restrictions, this year’s concert will be virtual and free.
R & R: Rhythm and Revolution: Expressions of Struggle, Collaboration, and Peace will feature the music of soul greats from Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples to Al Green, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, and the legendary artists of Stax Records. Mixed with jazz, spoken word, and original music from SMA’s talented students, viewers will not only feel the beat, but will also learn about history makers such as Ida B Wells, Robert Church, and Langston Hughes and their lessons that are as relevant today as they were in the past.
Informed & Engaged Discussion: “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” by Isabel Wilkerson
February 24 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
This Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s latest book examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. Hosted in partnership with the PBC Criminal Justice Commission and Converge & Associates. Copies of the book available in the library catalog. (60 min.) Presented by the Community Engagement.
Black History Month Virtual Concert: Preserving and Persevering
February 25 at 8:00 PM EST
Black History Month Virtual Concert: Preserving and Persevering recognizes that one of the most underappreciated contributions to American music is the African sound and spirit. Chicago Children's Choir's (CCC) 2021 Black History Month concert explores how the power of Black music has been the cultural key in both preserving African traditions in America and in helping millions persevere in the face of racial injustice. Join us for a dynamic virtual educational program and performance exploring music’s role for Black Americans in maintaining a sense of community in the United States.
CCC is proud to bring our annual Black History Month concert to the digital stage. All are invited to tune in to the free Livestream on the CCC's Facebook and YouTube channels on Thursday, February 25 at 7 PM CT (8 PM EST).
Shared Legacies Documentary
Information about the Film
The crucial historical lessons of Black-Jewish cooperation are revisited and revived in this utterly fascinating, urgent call to action.
Common cause was found in the turbulent ‘60s Civil Rights era, as Jewish leaders backed Dr. King’s efforts at racial equality and harmony. Yet, the relationship has frayed in recent years, as a once-mighty bond of support and respect has seemingly faded, been forgotten, or ignored.
Pivotal events come alive through a treasure trove of archival materials, narrated by eyewitnesses, activists, Holocaust survivors, and leaders of the movement, including prominent Atlantans such as Congressman John Lewis, Amb. Andrew Young, Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Rabbi Peter S. Berg, Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., members of the King family, and many others.
With divisive seeds of hate taking root anew in the American landscape, a new generation also affirms their pledge to actively promote the values of social justice. This potent, inspiring story of unity, empathy, and partnership validates the ubiquity of the human experience, and how freedom and equality for all can be achieved only when people come together.
Additional Information and Resources
Executive and Legislative Documents
The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to African American History Month.