17 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

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This February, celebrate Black History Month by supporting these local Chicago businesses or learning about African American history in Chicago.

EVENTS

AMERICAN WRITERS MUSEUM

On Sunday, February 18 and Monday, February 19, the American Writers Museum will offer two Family Free Days to celebrate Black History Month. Visitors can enjoy free entry from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., experience several engaging activities within the museum for all ages, join guided tours of exhibits such as Forever Free: A Frederick Douglas Tour, and explore the histories of other Black writers.

CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM

On February 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Chicago History Museum offers a Black History Month Family Event for art, music, and crafts related to African American history in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. Admission to the event is included with tickets to the Chicago History Museum.

FORMER WABASH YMCA HISTORIC TOUR

The birthplace of Black History Month, join a guided tour of the Wabash YMCA to learn about African American history in Bronzeville. Tours will be offered on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays in February starting at $20.

FIELD MUSEUM

In the month of February, the Field Museum is hosting events to tell stories about how African Americans have contributed to science and history. Featured events include a Pathways to STEM Career Panel, Mini Movers Dance Workshop, and Ayodele Drum and Dance performance. Come on a Wednesday for free admission for all Illinois residents.

LIVE CONCERTS & SHOWS

THE SECOND CITY

The Second City presents Black By Popular Demand: A Black Excellence Revue starting February 9. An elevated comedy experience, this interactive improv show runs 90 minutes long. Tickets sold out fast last year, so get yours now.

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Christian McBride comes to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on February 2 in Christian McBride’s The Movement Revisited. This Grammy-award-winning musician will perform a musical tribute to Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, and President Obama. He joins with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra for one night only at 8:00, so get your tickets here.

BUSINESSES

MOMENTUM COFFEE

A Black owned coffee shop, Momentum Coffee started in the South Loop in May 2020 with a desire to connect people over excellent coffee. Now with five locations around Chicago, Momentum is purposefully located in areas that are under-resourced to provide an inviting space.

KIKWETU COFFEE

The Kenyan coffee shop was built by immigrants seeking to make connections in their community. Kikwetu’s mission is to slow people down and make those bridges themselves. The shop sources their beans from small-scale Kenyan farmers and serves a delectable Kenyan pastry, Kikwetu mandazi.

BATTER & BERRIES

Known for their world-famous French toast flight, Batter & Berries serves a unique selection of food in an upbeat and inviting atmosphere. The Black owned breakfast diner partners with local artisans to serve two Chicago locations and catering opportunities.

SEMICOLON

As featured in Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and CNBC Make It, Chicago’s only Black woman-owned bookstore connects minority groups to and through a love of books. Additionally, Semicolon seeks to raise literacy rates in Chicago by offering free books to Chicago Public Schools students every month to #ClearTheShelves. On February 22, Semicolon is hosting a conversation and book signing with Arlan Hamilton, author of “Your First Million.”

BLANC GALLERY

Adding to a resurge of artistic energy in Bronzeville, Blanc Gallery engages with African Americans and Chicagoans through the arts. By regularly showcasing local and non-local artists, Blanc aims to start conversations of political and social significance.

BEAUTY

URBAN BEAUTIQUE

From makeup to hair tools to wigs, Urban Boutique offers a wide range of beauty products on two floors. With the assistance from employees, this Black owned beauty store will have what you need.

ESSATIONS

The hair products brand Essations offers a selection of hair care lines for salon-quality hair treatment right from your home. Owned and operated by three sisters, Essations was started by the siblings and their older, deceased sister and inspired by their parents.

PEAR NOVA

Pear Nova is a cruelty-free, vegan nail care company started in Chicago by student Rachel James. Rachel designed her business to cater to medium to dark skin tones in nail colors and posts to her online blog to encourage women across the United States.

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