February is Black History Month, a special time during the year when we observe, remember and celebrate African American history and culture. By showcasing the many contributions of trailblazing Black pioneers, we are able to celebrate diversity in America.
Visitors of all races can learn how African Americans were able to rise from the ashes of oppression, challenge biased flaws in the legal system, and accomplish exceptional feats. Philadelphia is home to many historical landmarks showcasing not only the beginning of American History, but also African American history.
All across our region, celebrations of Black culture as well as historical retellings of landmark events are taking place right here in our backyards. Here are 4 exhibits happening now in the city in honor of Black History Month:
1. Vision & Spirit, The African American Museum
One of the first institutions built by a major US city to preserve and exhibit black culture and heritage, The African American Museum is a great place to visit during this celebratory month. The museum is currently featuring a moving and powerful exhibit showcasing a collection of more than 100 works from 48 artists exploring the theme of Black resilience titled, Vision & Spirit: African American Art exhibition. February is your last chance to experience the collection before it’s gone. For more info., check their website here.
2. Betsy Ross House
Every Saturday, The Betsy Ross House takes you on an immersive experience of life for African Americans living in Philadelphia during the Colonial period. Visitors will be able to meet and learn about History Makers such as Bishop Richard Allen, who founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1974, the first independent Black denomination in the U.S. Meet abolitionist James Forten as well as a free, black woman living in Philadelphia known as the “cake baker”, or Maragaret Woodby. This experience is free to all and open to the public. You can learn more about this and other happenings at The Betsy Ross House by clicking here.
3. Keep Going, Independence Visitor Center
Dive deep into the stories of Black Resilience by partaking in an all-ages scavenger hunt, Keep Going: A Black History Hunt at the Independence Visitor Center. Learn about history as hunters uncover clues to hidden stories and gems. Schedule your history hunt by clicking here.
4. Sisterhood Sit-In Trolley Tours
This popular event is returning for a second year and is a great opportunity to support Black Businesses in our area. The Sisterhood Sit-in Trolly Tours is running three times a day on Saturdays in February until March. Participants will stop at various Black-owned businesses but also women-owned businesses. The theme for this year’s tour is “Rebel Rides,” an honorary ode to Rosa Parks on what would have been her 110th birthday. You can purchase your tour ticket by clicking here.
5. Celebrations of African Americans in Science, The Franklin Institute
Learn about contributions made by African American leaders in the STEM Fields at this celebratory event. Visitors can also enjoy traditional African performances as well as modern day Hip Hop performances. The event takes place this Saturday in the city and is brought to you by the Kule Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble. The family friendly event is a sure way to enjoy both music as well as the sciences. Learn more about this event by visiting their website here.