February Celebrates African-American History. So Does Muskegon County!
While the month of February may be the shortest month on our calendar, it is packed full of holidays, famous birthdays and commemorations. Among these celebrations is Black History Month, which began in 1926 as “Negro History Week”. Fifty years later, in 1976, the seven day celebration would become Black History Month.
The first weeklong event, falling between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, was pioneered by “Father of Black History” Carter G. Woodson. Carter was an African American writer and historian. He was also one of the first scholars to study African-American history and founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
Muskegon County takes full advantage of the month long celebration, hosting many events recognizing and paying tribute to the contributions, struggles and history of Black Americans.
If you have not yet discovered this gem of a museum, Black History Month makes the perfect time to discover The James Jackson Museum of African American History. The museum was named for and cofounded by Dr. James Jackson. Jackson was an ardent champion of civil rights who passed in 2018. Visitors can learn about African-American contributions made to the growth of America and see the past come to life. The collection takes viewers through the African diaspora to present and future generations. Visitors will develop a greater appreciation of African American history and culture.
The Hackley Library has a full schedule of events paying tribute to the African American contribution and community. The events range from music to crafts, food and more. The entire program is open to the public and is free of charge:
Think you know your Black History? Find out at the Trivia Contest! Get a team together and vie for prizes.
Read your own poetry or read works from your favorite Black History/Black Experience/African American poet. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can register in advance with the library. This evening the Black History month calendar will be revealed and distributed. Those who submitted designs that were accepted will also be honored.
Get your recipes out and create something sweet for Hackley Library’s Sweet Soul Food Contest. Bring enough for attendees and the judge to taste! Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place contestants in the adult category, as well as to the 1st place winner in the children’s category.
Create your own bracelet in celebration of Black History Month!
Don’t miss this moving play, depicting the supposed meeting of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Differing in their philosophies, but alike in their mutual respect, the two men debate their varying approaches to the same grave social problems, both prepared to die for their beliefs but neither aware of how soon their assassins’ bullets await them.
Join a discussion on one of 2019’s bestselling non-fiction titles, written by former first lady Michelle Obama. Check at the Hackley Public Library reference desk for available copies of the book; issued on a first come first served basis.
Muskegon native Jon Covington’s documentary “Black Man” comes to life in a live version at Hackley Public Library. Unfolding past and present-day stories of African American men, this compelling event will showcase influential and universal stories from all walks of life.
Muskegon Community College also invites the public to several interesting events for Black History Month:
Muskegon Community College’s 2020 Black History Month celebration includes hosting its first-ever Black History Month Film Festival on Wednesday evenings throughout February. Free and open to the public, each film begins at 5 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1300 and will be followed a discussion. In addition to free admission, popcorn will also be provided at no charge. Just LOOK at that lineup of films, ranging from classic to contemporary.
- February 5: Imitation of Life (1934), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Lana Turner, Juanita Moore, Sandra Dee, John Gavin and Mahalia Jackson.
• February 12: BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee and starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Corey Hawkins, Harry Belefonte and Laura Harrier.
• February 19: Fences, written by August Wilson and directed by Denzel Washington, starring Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley, Russell Hornsby and Jovan Adepo.
• February 26: The Hate U Give, directed by George Tillman Jr. and starring Amanda Stenberg, Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Algee Smith and Anthony Mackie.
On Wednesday, February 26 from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm, come to the Blue & Golf Room at Muskegon Community College as they celebrate Black History Month with an African American Read-In Chain. Students, instructors, staff and community members are invited to read aloud and listen to selections of prose and poetry from the body of African American literature. The Read-In is part of a national event sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English.
“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history”