Every February, the United States observes the achievements, and acknowledges the struggles, of the African American community throughout our nation’s history. The origins of Black History Month began in 1915 with the founding of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) by historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland. However, it didn’t become a national observance until 1976, when then President Gerald Ford declared it so. Although Black History Month originated in the U.S., it is celebrated in many other parts of the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom.

This year, The ASALH declared the theme of the month as Black Health and Wellness which you can learn more about on the organization’s website.

To celebrate Black History Month, we’ve rounded up virtual and in-person events and activities around the nation that celebrate the contributions of Black people. But remember, though Black History Month runs throughout February, you can choose to honor the richness of the community any time of year. Use these events as inspiration for future travels, and when you’re ready, celebrate Black history in person.

 

Events

African American Military History Museum: Throughout February

  • This museum in Hattiesburg, MS is dedicated to providing awareness and knowledge of the African American experiences and contributions to the United States Armed Forces. In-person events happening in February include Spirit of a Warrior Luncheon, Storytime with a Soldier, and Black Health and Wellness: Honoring Pioneers in Medicine.

Aquarium of the Pacific African-American Festival: Feb 26–27, 2022

  • The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA hosts its 20th annual African-American Festival featuring music, dance, storytelling, and historical displays. Museum highlights include the Shark Lagoon, Northern Pacific Galleries, and Sea Otter Habitat.

 

ASALH Black History Month Virtual Festival: Throughout February

  • The ASALH will host numerous events in February to celebrate Black History Month including author’s talks and panel discussionsWhile most events are free and available for streaming through YouTube, the ASALH will host a pair of virtual ticketed events under the theme Black Bodies: From Exploitation to Excellence, that will examine the historic exploration of Black bodies for scientific and medical discovery.

 

Black History Every Month: Virtual Events That Inspire Action, Education, and Connection: Throughout February

  • Ticketing website Eventbrite highlights online panel discussions, open mic nights, lectures, comedy shows, and more taking place throughout Black History Month.

 

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History: Throughout February

  • The Wright Museum in Michigan will host Youth Speaks, a free virtual program throughout the month highlighting the voices of young people through performing and visual arts. Every Thursday during Black History Month, the museum will also share parts of its ongoing exhibition “And Still We Rise.”

 

Smithsonian Heritage and History Month Events: Throughout February

 

Music & Podcasts

Celebrate Black History Month all February long with Spotify’s Black History Is Now page. From podcasts to playlists, Spotify celebrates African American culture with phenomenal Black music and powerful voices of culture.

Launched in 2021 in honor of Black History Month, Apple continues to curate shows, playlists, books, essays, original videos, and more from Black voices, influencers, musicians, authors, and directors. Visit any of the Apple apps for these collections and exclusive content.

 

Virtual African American Heritage Tour

Activities

Atlanta Black History and Civil Rights Tour

  • Roundabout Atlanta Tours & Transportation offer the chance to delve into African-American heritage and fully experience the historical and cultural significance of Atlanta, the home of the Modern Civil Rights Movement.

 

National Memorial for Peace & Justice and the Legacy Museum: All year

Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the National Memorial for Peace & Justice offers a six-acre site dedicated to the more than 4,400 African Americans who were hanged, burned alive, shot, drowned, and beaten to death by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. The Legacy Museum, meanwhile, uses interactive exhibits to immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of the slave trade, racial terrorism, the Jim Crow South, and the world’s largest prison system.

 

Providence Walks: Early Black History Tour: All year

  • This self-guided walking tour in Providence, Rhode Island highlights early colonial days and the Black experience, dating back to 1636. The walking tour can also be made virtual.

 

American Heritage Tour + National Museum of African American History and Culture Tickets

  • Take a 4-hour tour through Washington, D.C. Your guide will share stories of African American heritage in the U.S. capital with stops at the Frederick Douglass House and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial among other places along the way. Afterward, tour participants will receive tickets to the National Museum of African American History and Culture to use at a later date. A virtual version is also available.

 

Video Tour – Beaches in St. Thomas US Virgin Islands

  • Great Exploration Tours is a minority-run, family-owned tour company that offers the chance to experience the true essence of the US Virgin Islands. If you’d like to stay closer to home and support small and Black-owned businesses throughout the Virgin Islands, take a virtual tour of this paradise and enjoy a box of handcrafted goods shipped right to your home.

 

Hotels & Cars

 

Destination Guides

  • Reminder: While February marks a time to honor and reflect on Black history in the United States, we should be celebrating all year-round. And when the time comes that we are able to travel more freely, consider visiting some of these virtual events in person! Use this guide to bookmark 9 places to celebrate Black History Month for a future trip—or brush up on how to be a better ally while traveling.

 

How will you celebrate Black History Month?

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