Seeking to bring national attention to the important contributions of Black Americans to the history of the United States, historian, scholar, educator and publisher Dr. Carter G. Woodson initiated Negro History Week in 1926, which became Black History Week, and finally, Black History Month in 1976. February was chosen because it includes the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes and Abraham Lincoln.
All around Montgomery County, celebrations are being held for all of us to learn from and enjoy. Take a look at our favorite Black History Month events below.
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
ANKH Repertory Theatre and The Finest! Performance Foundation, Inc. will present “Stick Fly” Feb. 9 through 25 at the Arts Barn, 311 Kent Square Road, Kentlands. The show runs starts at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. and Sundays. The family drama is about the affluent African-American LeVay family’s weekend gathering at their Martha’s Vineyard home. Admission is $20, $18 for students, ages 17 to 21. www.gaithersburgmd.gov, 301-258-6394.
Benjamin Gaither Center
Susan Soderberg, of Montgomery History, will explore the role of African Americans in Montgomery County during the Civil War during a Tuesday Talk at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the Benjamin Gaither Center, 80A Bureau Drive. Admission is free.
Josiah Henson Park
Josiah Henson Park is the former plantation property where Reverend Josiah Henson was enslaved. This park is a historic resource of local, state, national and international significance because of its association with Reverend Henson, whose 1849 autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The park is currently open only during a limited number of dates each season. The Park contains the Riley House (1800-1815) and its attached log kitchen (1850-51). Josiah Henson Park, 11420 Old Georgetown Road, www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/josiah-henson-park.
Screening of the Time Team America documentary, “The Search for Josiah Henson,” at noon, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Feb. 10, 17 and 24, free.
“A Walk in Father Henson’s Footsteps” retraces the footsteps of Reverend Josiah Henson from his enslavement to escape on the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. His life inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Screenings of the Time Team America documentary, “The Search for Josiah Henson,” noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 10, 17 and 24, free.
Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center
C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park sponsor a presentation on African American Civilian Conservation Corps camps along the C&O Canal from 1938 to 1942, noon to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, RSVP requested, Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, 11710 MacArthur Blvd., https://www.eventbrite.com/e/african-american-ccc-camps-along-the-co-canal-research-presentation-tickets-42131000958.
Peerless Rockville’s Speaker Series will screen Heritage Montgomery’s documentary, “Community Cornerstones,” about Montgomery County’s historic African American communities. 7p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, Glenview Mansion, 603 Edmonston Drive, www.peerlessrockville.org/events-and-programs.
Sandy Spring Slave Museum
The Sandy Spring Slave Museum, 18524 Brooke Road, will hold special programs every weekend in February. The site features an extensive collection of historic art and artifacts in the Great Hall, plus a cross-section of a slaving clipper ship, log cabin and African arts pavilion. www.sandyspringslavemuseum.org, email@example.com, 301-774-4066.
“Buffalo Soldiers,” at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, will focus on African American regiments established after the Civil War.
“Liberty and Justice for All,” 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11.
“The Living Museum: A Live Interactive Experience,” 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, and Sunday, Feb. 25.
Woodlawn Museum,16501 Norwood Road, features three floors of self-guided, interactive exhibits that highlight the area’s agricultural landscape, the Underground Railroad, local free black communities and the Quaker experience in Montgomery County, revealed through the lives of the Woodlawn’s residents and enslaved laborers. Admission $5, $4 for seniors & children, free ages 5 and younger, 301-563-7505, www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/woodlawn-manor-cultural-park/woodlawn-museum.
“A Long Way from Home” celebrates the heritage of African cultures with storytelling and hands-on activities with master storyteller and griot, the Honorable Baba-C, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, $3, registration requested.
Black History Winter Walking Tour: Tour the grounds of Woodlawn Manor Culture Park with a focus on the role enslaved labor played on this 19th-century farm, for ages 8-plus. 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 24, $8. Registration requested.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES (MCPL)
All library programs and free and open to the public. Some require advance registration.
Silver Spring Library
900 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring, 240-773-9420
Thursday, Feb. 8, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Montgomery County African Affairs Advisory Group and MCPL present an evening of Black History and Heritage, with special guest H.E., Dr. Arikana Chihobori-Quao, African Union Ambassador to the United States. Limited seating; RSVP: panafricanblackhistorymonth.eventbrite.com. Learn more.
Saturday, Feb. 24, 1 p.m.: Montgomery County Historical Society presents The Heritage Signature Chorale: A Musical Performance on the third-floor stairs area. The Chorale is committed to the performance tradition of African-American choral music, especially the Negro Spiritual, as well as to elevating the African-American singer and composer in all musical genres. Learn more.
Monday, Feb. 26, 5 p.m.: Movie Screening: “Hidden Figures,” story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program, followed by community discussion. Learn more.
Rockville Memorial Library
21 Maryland Ave., Rockville, 240-777-0140
11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. to noon: Clarence Lusane, Ph.D, chair of the Howard University’s Department of Political Science, will discuss his book, “The Black History of the White House,” from its construction to the present. Learn more.
Kensington Park Library
4201 Knowles Ave., Kensington, 240-773-9515
Ongoing through Feb. 17: In “I Have a Dream,” patrons are invited to fill out a card with a dream or vision to post on the library wall. Learn more.
3500 Olney-Laytonsville Road, 240-773-9545
Saturday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m.: Illustrated Talk: “Thurgood Marshall: A Trail-Blazing Civil Rights Victory in Montgomery County,” about the civil rights icon’s early blow to school segregation in Montgomery County, gaining equal pay for the county’s African American teachers in 1937. Learn More.
18330 Montgomery Village Ave., 240-777-0922
Saturday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m.: Ralph Buglass will talk about civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall’s early blow to school segregation in Montgomery County, gaining equal pay for the county’s African American teachers in 1937. Learn more.
Chevy Chase Library
8005 Connecticut Ave., 240-773-9590
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2 to 4:30 p.m.: Movie Screening: “Remember the Titans,” a film based on real-life events in 1971 at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. After the film, learn about Black History Virtual Reality Google Expedition Kits. Learn more.
Marilyn J. Praisner Library
14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, 240-773-9460
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.: Movie Screening: “Akeelah and the Bee,” inspirational story about African American 12-year old girl who competes in the National Spelling Bee. Learn more.
Maggie Nightingale Library
19633 Fisher Ave, Poolesville, 240-773-9550
Saturday, Feb. 24, 3 to 5:45 p.m.: Use a Google Expedition Kit to “travel” to the locations and memorials that bear witness to the civil rights struggle in Selma and the road to Montgomery. Virtual reality viewers will allow participants to see and learn about exciting new locations. A screening of the film “Selma” will follow. Learn more.