Creative ways to celebrate black history month with kids

    February is short but full of action. We’re half-way through and it’s still warm enough to step out and about the city to enjoy Black History month activities. Philly sure does know how to celebrate the achievements, culture and history of people of color through the arts.  Here’s our listing of family-friendly events so you can check it out for yourself!



    February 18th

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    Don’t miss Bash the Trash: African Folktales at the Kimmel Center, where participants can use recycled materials to build their own musical instruments to take home. This is a free event and starts at 11a.m.

    Come on out to Stenton and learn about Freedom Bound: African American Women in 18th and 19th Century Philadelphia and then take a post-discussion tour of Stenton. 

    Enjoy African artifacts, music, dance and storytelling at The Penn Museum’s year long exhibit Imagine Africa.


    February 19th

    If you’re interested in learning more about your roots/family tree, consider attending the Introduction to Black Geneology workshop at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.


    February 22nd:

    Voices of Africa brings traditional African and African-American songs, gospel, messages and inspiration to Penn Museum’s year long exhibit: Imagine Africa.


    February 24th:

    The Arts Sanctuary hosts its monthly showcase that will feature local songstress Karen Shaw.

    The African American Awareness Society of Chestnut Hill College presents the 1959 classic and one of my childhood favorites, by Lorraine Hansbery, “A Raisin in the Sun.”


    February 25th:

    Take the kids to storytelling and reading by artist and historical re-enactor Carla Wiley as she presents Running the Road to ABC at the African American Museum of Philadelphia.

    Enjoy a trolley tour followed by a free workshop at the African American Museum of Philadelphia as part of the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection.


    February 27th:

    The Free Library of Philadelphia-Walnut Street West Branch hosts a celebration of African American music. Program starts at 6:00p.m.


    February 28th:

    Take advantage of pay-as-you-wish for a contemporary South African performance by Dr. Carol Muller, professor of ethnomusicology at Penn Museum’s year long exhibit, Imagine Africa.


    Throughout the month of February & beyond:


    James Forten’s Display case at The Independence Seaport Museum on Columbus Blvd. (in partnership with the African American Museum). Forten was an African-American businessman and abolitionist who owned and operated his own sailmaking company in Philadelphia after the Revolutionary War. This exhibit will be around until the end of the month.

    The Philadelphia Academy of Art’s exhibit by Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit, includes over 100 pieces of art, sculptures and paintings. This exhibit will be around until April 15, 2012.

    The Penn Museum’s year long exhibit Imagine Africa featuring many Africa-inspired events, such as music dance and storytelling.

    Visit the National Constitution Center from 10-3, for Breaking Barriers to honor and celebrate the lives of Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Bessie Coleman and other historical and influential African-Americans. During the weekends, you can also enjoy stories of early African-Americans by Once Upon a Nation storytellers.

    At the Arden Theater  from now through May 18th, check Clybourne Park, a play created in response to “A Raisin the Sun”, which tells the story of the evolution of a community throughout five decades.


    Enjoy these wonderful events in the spirit of Black History month through February and all year long. Visit the links for more information. Share your experiences with us. We welcome your additions, reflections, insights, or photos.


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