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5+ events to honor, celebrate Black History Month in Seattle

While we may not be able to gather in person these days, there are still so many wonderful ways to celebrate Black History Month.

"Black History Month was established almost 100 years ago in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson" said LaNesha DeBardelaben, President and CEO of The Northwest African American Museum located in Seattle. "It was established as Negro History Week and it has thus expanded. It calls us all to honor and to uplift Black lives, Black brilliance, Black excellence, Black voices."

She says this year is extra special because of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"It’s a milestone here in King County. Washington," said DeBardelaben. "This is the 60th anniversary here of Dr. King’s single visit to Seattle. He came in 1961 and 60 years later, 2021, we are remembering his legacy and the legacy of all of the freedom fighters who we honor during Black History Month."

And this month, The Northwest African American Museum has a full calendar of events. There's something for everyone.

A Night at the Opera: Celebrating Black Voices

  • Saturday, February 13, 2021
  • 6:30 PM 8:00 PM
  • Museum of Flight - 9404 East Marginal Way SouthSeattle, WA, 98108
  • Get tickets here

"We are celebrating Black Voices on February 13, a special pre-Valentine's Day outing for the family. We're celebrating Black opera with Seattle Opera, and an outdoor, drive-in movie concert. It is going to be spectacular. It’s going to be in the parking lot of our partner The Museum of Flight and it will showcase some of the most profound and professional and beautiful voices in Black opera."

"The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke" with Jeffrey Stewart

DeBardelaben will be joining Professor Jeffrey Stewart, who brought Alain Locke’s story to the forefront with his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, to explore Locke’s legacy and his impact in promoting the cultural heritage of Black people.

The First 30 Days: Black Futures on Black History

  • Saturday, February 20, 2021
  • 5:00 PM 6:00 PM
  • Virtual Event
  • Free via Facebook Live

"On February 20th we are giving platform to our youth. They will present a panel discussion about their reflections on Black history as representatives of the future of our community."

From Migration to Mark Making: George Bush, Jacob Lawrence, and the Impact of Black Pioneers in Washington State

  • Thursday, February 25, 2021
  • 6:00 PM 7:00 PM
  • Virtual Event
  • Free via Facebook Live

"On February 25th we’re partnering with the Washington State Historical Society to honor two important pioneers in our state's history: George Bush and Jacob Lawerence. George Bush was one of the original African American pioneers in this area, and Jacob Lawrence - artistic virtuoso."

“That They Lived” with Rochelle Riley

  • Sunday, February 28, 2021
  • 3:00 PM 4:30 PM
  • Virtual event

"On February 28th we are going to be closing out our Black History Month with a special conversation with an award-winning author Rochelle Riley, who has published an important new book - called 'That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed the World.'"

"We are keeping families safe and sound during these times and so people can tune in from their own computers and enjoy Black history, art and culture," said DeBardelaben.

MoPOP is another place with a great roster of happenings this month. They recently reopened their doors and are offering free events online.

"It is so great to have people back inside the museum," said Michael Cole-Schwartz is Senior Communications Manager. "We’re really looking forward to this month of programing for Black History Month. It’s called ‘Through the Eyes of Art’ and the theme is the cookout - so it’s really focusing on food and how they relates to the Black experience."

They will also be offering a painting class with local artist Lester C. Pearson, also know as Les@Nite.

"At MoPop we love to celebrate different genres so if it’s painting or music or cooking you know all of these things that bring us life - and bring us joy," said Cole- Schwartz.

This year, Black History Month might be different - but it will still be meaningful.

"Black History Month allows us all to remember, to reflect, to recharge and to renew ourselves to the principles of justice and equity and dignity and hope for all," said DeBardelaben.