February 1, 2018

Chicago Celebrates Black History Month

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

The City of Chicago today begins a month-long celebration of Black History Month. City departments are hosting a myriad of family friendly events in neighborhoods across the city for residents to gather, learn and reflect on the accomplishments, history, culture and contributions of black Americans in Chicago and throughout our nation’s history.

“From our city's founding by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable to today, black history has been inseparable from Chicago’s history. The lasting contributions of Chicago's African American community have defined our past and continue to shape Chicago's future,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "This month is an opportunity to reflect on the ways African Americans strengthened our nation and sacrificed for it, to share those stories with our children and to celebrate a spirit of unity and equality as one city.”

Below is a listing of some of the events open to the public, many free of charge, hosted by the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago Public Library, Department of Family and Support Services, the Chicago Park District and City Colleges of Chicago.

City Colleges of Chicago: Children’s Book Drive featuring African American Characters
February 1, 2018 – February 28, 2018
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Truman College, Room 1623, 1145 W Wilson Ave

Chicago Police Department District 10: Children Stories from Baba Tony and Kucha
February 1, 2018
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Manning Library, 6 S Hoyne St

Chicago Public Library: Chasing Light: Photographs by Amanda Lucidon
February 1, 2018 - March 3, 2018
Third Floor Exhibit Cases, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St

Chicago Public Library: Patrick Thompson: The Color of Jazz
February 1, 2018 - February 28, 2018
Third Floor Exhibit Hall, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St

Chicago Public Library: Terri Mae Owens: Been Yah Gullah Dolls & Sweetgrass Baskets
February 2, 2018 - March 31, 2018
Eighth Floor Exhibit Cases, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St

Chicago Park District: Black History Family Night
February 2, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Brainerd Park, 1246 W 92 St
Families come out and celebrate Black History Month while playing free games and learning about Black History.

Chicago Police Department District 7: Chicago Park District Teen Fair
February 3, 2018
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Kennedy King College, 6335 S Halsted St

Chicago Police Department District 7: Evolution of Afro American Music
February 3, 2018
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
DuSable Museum, 740 E 56 Pl

Chicago Public Library: African American Litfest
February 3, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St
The African American Literary Festival is in partnership with the Soulful Chicago Book Fair. During the 6-day festival, patrons will get to meet, interact and hear from 35+ authors (two of whom are children) and 3 local publishers. There will be 18 program offerings, including panel discussions on how-to write, publish and add your book to the CPL book collections. Ongoing activity stations will include author carrels where patrons can meet and talk to local African American authors and publishers, crafts tables for making items such as Afrocentric bookmarks, keychains and African masks, games tables with literary-focused games including author word search and puzzles and a photo station with literary props and placards for patrons to take selfies against a library-themed backdrop. Each day will feature a different theme including “Writing and Getting Published,” “Children’s Day,” and “Family Non-Fiction.” Some of the authors making an appearance include Nora Brooks Blakely, Haki Madhubuti, Jeri L. Wright, P. Arthur Townsend, Cherron Byrd-Smith, Nichelle Joi and Dr. Janice Hooker Fortman. Kujichagulia Press and Books Ink Literary Services will also be present.

Chicago Public Library: From Lionel Hampton to Thaddeus Tukes: The Story of Vibes in Chicago
February 3, 2018
2:00 PM
McKinley Park, 2210 W Pershing Rd
Musical demonstrations of the vibraphone by Thaddeus Tukes, as he discusses working with Chance the Rapper and explores the pivotal role the vibraphone has had in Chicago's African-American Jazz community.

City Colleges of Chicago: Najwa Dance Corps – African Drumming & Dance Performance
February 5, 2018
12:00 PM
Beattie Theatre, Richard J. Daley College. 7500 S. Pulaski Rd

Chicago Public Library: African American Litfest
Februrary 6, 2018
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St
The African American Literary Festival is in partnership with the Soulful Chicago Book Fair. During the 6-day festival, patrons will get to meet, interact and hear from 35+ authors (two of whom are children) and 3 local publishers. There will be 18 program offerings, including panel discussions on how-to write, publish and add your book to the CPL book collections. Ongoing activity stations will include author carrels where patrons can meet and talk to local African American authors and publishers, crafts tables for making items such as Afrocentric bookmarks, keychains and African masks, games tables with literary-focused games including author word search and puzzles and a photo station with literary props and placards for patrons to take selfies against a library-themed backdrop. Each day will feature a different theme including “Writing and Getting Published,” “Children’s Day,” and “Family Non-Fiction.” Some of the authors making an appearance include Nora Brooks Blakely, Haki Madhubuti, Jeri L. Wright, P. Arthur Townsend, Cherron Byrd-Smith, Nichelle Joi and Dr. Janice Hooker Fortman. Kujichagulia Press and Books Ink Literary Services will also be present.

Chicago Police Department District 10: Story Time for Littles
February 8, 2018
10:30 AM
Roosevelt Branch Library 1101 W. Taylor

Department of Family and Support Services Senior Services: Renaissance Court
February 8, 2018
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
78 E. Washington Ave
Author Bonnie Blue will recite the story of Emmett Till

Chicago Police Department District 10: Family Black History Month Celebration
February 9, 2018
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Douglas Park 1250 S. California

Chicago Public Library: Heritage Makers: Benjamin Banneker’s Clock
February 9, 2018
2:00 PM
Harold Washington Library Center –CPL Maker Lab, 400 S State St
Born in 1731, Benjamin Banneker was an astronomer and surveyor. He recreated using just a pocket watch for reference an hourly striking clock that continued to chime for 40 years. Learn the basics of Inkscape software as you a design a clock face using the laser cutter.

Chicago Public Library: African American Litfest
February 10, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St
The African American Literary Festival is in partnership with the Soulful Chicago Book Fair. During the 6-day festival, patrons will get to meet, interact and hear from 35+ authors (two of whom are children) and 3 local publishers. There will be 18 program offerings, including panel discussions on how-to write, publish and add your book to the CPL book collections. Ongoing activity stations will include author carrels where patrons can meet and talk to local African American authors and publishers, crafts tables for making items such as Afrocentric bookmarks, keychains and African masks, games tables with literary-focused games including author word search and puzzles and a photo station with literary props and placards for patrons to take selfies against a library-themed backdrop. Each day will feature a different theme including “Writing and Getting Published,” “Children’s Day,” and “Family Non-Fiction.” Some of the authors making an appearance include Nora Brooks Blakely, Haki Madhubuti, Jeri L. Wright, P. Arthur Townsend, Cherron Byrd-Smith, Nichelle Joi and Dr. Janice Hooker Fortman. Kujichagulia Press and Books Ink Literary Services will also be present.

Chicago Police Department District 24: Meet Cartoonist Tim Jackson, Author of Pioneering Cartoonists of Color
February 11, 2018
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Chicago Public Library, 6907 N Clark St

City Colleges of Chicago: “Our Images, Our Stories, Our Thoughts”
February 13, 2018
2:00 PM
Kennedy-King College Library, 6301 S. Halsted St
“OUR” is a combination of images through photography and content in books, that reflect our African American community and culture. This event is the opening of an exhibit of photography and showcase of the special library collection.

Chicago Police Department District 9: Seniors Valentine and Black History Appreciation Event
February 14, 2018
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Fuller Park, 331 w 45th St

Chicago Public Library: Bryant Young, Singer
February 16, 2018
12:15 PM
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St
For African-American History Month, lyric baritone and concert artist Bryant Young performs "Unsounded Melodies," a recital of classical music by African-American composers including Margaret Bonds, H. Leslie Adams, and Florence Price. Young is a Chicago native who serves as a Cantor at the Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish, located in the Old Town neighborhood.

Department of Family and Support Services Senior Services: Southeast Regional Center
February 16, 2018
2:00 PM
1767 E 79 St
Featuring “The Days of Glory,” a live play performance by playwright Beatrice Watson and actors from the “Life Every Voice Drama Group” of Park Shore East Elderly.

Department of Family and Support Services Senior Services: Southwest Regional Center
February 16, 2018
12:30 PM - 3:30 PM
6117 S Kedzie Ave
Dance music by DJ Chico celebrating the African Diaspora.

Chicago Park District: UMOJA
February 17, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Homan Square Park, 3559 W Arthington St
UMOJA highlights the cultures of Africa and African Americans. There will be special free performances of music, dance, and spoken words. The event is designed to showcase how the rich legacies of the African experience have enhanced the lives of Chicago communities, national communities as well as global communities. Programming includes vendors of African cultural items and is designed to engage inter-generational participation. Special performances are featured during the day-long celebration.

Chicago Public Library: African American Litfest
February 17, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St
The African American Literary Festival is in partnership with the Soulful Chicago Book Fair. During the 6-day festival, patrons will get to meet, interact and hear from 35+ authors (two of whom are children) and 3 local publishers. There will be 18 program offerings, including panel discussions on how-to write, publish and add your book to the CPL book collections. Ongoing activity stations will include author carrels where patrons can meet and talk to local African American authors and publishers, crafts tables for making items such as Afrocentric bookmarks, keychains and African masks, games tables with literary-focused games including author word search and puzzles and a photo station with literary props and placards for patrons to take selfies against a library-themed backdrop. Each day will feature a different theme including “Writing and Getting Published,” “Children’s Day,” and “Family Non-Fiction.” Some of the authors making an appearance include Nora Brooks Blakely, Haki Madhubuti, Jeri L. Wright, P. Arthur Townsend, Cherron Byrd-Smith, Nichelle Joi and Dr. Janice Hooker Fortman. Kujichagulia Press and Books Ink Literary Services will also be present.

Chicago Park District: Black History Month Concert 
February 17, 2018
12:00 PM- 3:00 PM
Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72 St
Please join in celebrating Black History Month through music and dance with this free event.

Chicago Public Library: From Lionel Hampton to Thaddeus Tukes: The Story of Vibes in Chicago
February 17, 2018
3:30 PM
Jeffrey Manor, 2401 E 100 St
Musical demonstrations of the vibraphone by Thaddeus Tukes, as he discusses working with Chance the Rapper and explores the pivotal role the vibraphone has had in Chicago's African-American Jazz community.

Chicago Police Department District 11: CAPS Black History Month Celebration
February 18, 2018
3:30 PM
3151 W Harrison St
CAPS Office and Congressman Danny Davis office planning a Black history music and dance program.

Chicago Police Department District 7: National Organization of Law Enforcement Executives Black History Month Skate Jam
February 19, 2018
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Markham Roller Rink, 16630 Dixie Highway

Chicago Public Library: Heritage Makers: Benjamin Banneker’s Clock
February 20, 2018
1:30 PM and 6:00 PM
Harold Washington Library Center –CPL Maker Lab, 400 S State St
Born in 1731, Benjamin Banneker was an astronomer and surveyor. He recreated using just a pocket watch for reference an hourly striking clock that continued to chime for 40 years. Learn the basics of Inkscape software as you a design a clock face using the laser cutter.

Chicago Public Library: African American Litfest
Februrary 20, 2018
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St
The African American Literary Festival is in partnership with the Soulful Chicago Book Fair. During the 6-day festival, patrons will get to meet, interact and hear from 35+ authors (two of whom are children) and 3 local publishers. There will be 18 program offerings, including panel discussions on how-to write, publish and add your book to the CPL book collections. Ongoing activity stations will include author carrels where patrons can meet and talk to local African American authors and publishers, crafts tables for making items such as Afrocentric bookmarks, keychains and African masks, games tables with literary-focused games including author word search and puzzles and a photo station with literary props and placards for patrons to take selfies against a library-themed backdrop. Each day will feature a different theme including “Writing and Getting Published,” “Children’s Day,” and “Family Non-Fiction.” Some of the authors making an appearance include Nora Brooks Blakely, Haki Madhubuti, Jeri L. Wright, P. Arthur Townsend, Cherron Byrd-Smith, Nichelle Joi and Dr. Janice Hooker Fortman. Kujichagulia Press and Books Ink Literary Services will also be present.

Chicago Police Department District 2: Black History Month Celebration
February 21, 2018
Time: pending
Ray Elementary School, 5631 S. Kimbark

Chicago Park District: Black History Event
February 21, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:0-0 PM
Mandrake Park 3858 S Cottage Grove
Mandrake Park will host their Annual Community Black History Program. Music, performances, and refreshments are featured.

Chicago Police Department District 10: Black History Month Celebration and History Fair
February 22, 2018
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
William H Brown Elementary School, 54 N Hermitage Ave

City Colleges of Chicago: “Behind the Badge”
February 22, 2018
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Kennedy-King College, U Building, Theater, 740 W 63 St
A panel of Students and local Englewood Police Officers will discuss strategies for building positive community relationships.

Chicago Park District: Black History Month Concert
February 22, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Austin Town Hall Park, 5610 W Lake St
Please join in celebrating Black History Month through music, dance and theatre. The celebration theme is Pass the Peace.

City Colleges of Chicago: Black History Month Read-in
February 22, 2018
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Truman College, Room 1623, 1145 W Wilson Ave
Faculty, staff and students read poems, passages, lyrics, speeches of plays written by African Americans.

Chicago Police Department District 10: Black History Month Celebration and History Fair
February 23, 2018
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Andrew Jackson Language Academy, 1340 W Harrison Ave

Chicago Police Department District 9: Youth Black History Concert
February 23, 2018
Time: pending
Sherman Park, 1301 W 52 St
Sponsored by: Chicago Police District 9, Sherman Park, Libby School, Sherman School, Precious Blood-Bishop Shepard Little.

Chicago Department of Public Health: The Chicago Black LGBTQA Recognitions
February 23, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S Michigan Ave
The Chicago Department of Public Health with the Black Gay Men's Caucus is hosting The event is designed to highlight and uplift individuals and allies from the Black LGBTQA community of Chicago who's work helps elevate and bring attention to the LGBTQ community. Special guest appearance by Taylor Bennett.

City Colleges of Chicago: The Story of Milton Lee Olive III
February 23, 2018 and March 2, 2018
6:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Olive-Harvey College, Bruce Cherry Theatre, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave
Interested patrons should call (773) 701-2419 for ticket information. This is not a student group performance but it is a play about the college namesake that is taking place at the college.

Department of Family and Support Services Senior Services: Central West Regional Center
February 23, 2018
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
2102 W. Ogden Ave
Featuring live entertainment.

Chicago Park District: Black History Month Performance
February 23, 2018
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Franklin Park, 4320 W 15 St
Park youth ages 5 through 18 provide performances celebrating Black History Month.

Chicago Police Department District 10: Craft Careers
February 24, 2018
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Douglas Park, 1401 S Sacramento Dr
Sponsored by Illinois Humanity Society of Women.

Chicago Police Department District 2: Black History Month Celebration
February 24, 2018
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Trinity Senior Building Lot, 3939 S Calumet

Chicago Police Department District 7: African American Youth Showcase
February 24, 2018
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Stagg School, 7424 S Morgan St
Sponsored by: The 17th Ward Alderman's office.

Chicago Public Library: African American Litfest
February 24, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St
The African American Literary Festival is in partnership with the Soulful Chicago Book Fair. During the 6-day festival, patrons will get to meet, interact and hear from 35+ authors (two of whom are children) and 3 local publishers. There will be 18 program offerings, including panel discussions on how-to write, publish and add your book to the CPL book collections. Ongoing activity stations will include author carrels where patrons can meet and talk to local African American authors and publishers, crafts tables for making items such as Afrocentric bookmarks, keychains and African masks, games tables with literary-focused games including author word search and puzzles and a photo station with literary props and placards for patrons to take selfies against a library-themed backdrop. Each day will feature a different theme including “Writing and Getting Published,” “Children’s Day,” and “Family Non-Fiction.” Some of the authors making an appearance include Nora Brooks Blakely, Haki Madhubuti, Jeri L. Wright, P. Arthur Townsend, Cherron Byrd-Smith, Nichelle Joi and Dr. Janice Hooker Fortman. Kujichagulia Press and Books Ink Literary Services will also be present.

Chicago Park District: Black History Month Celebration
February 25, 2018
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Loyola Park, 1230 W Greenleaf Ave
This event, sponsored by the Loyola Park Advisory Council, celebrates the rich heritage of the African-American, African and Caribbean families at the park. The program includes music, spoken words, historical remembrances and refreshments.

Chicago Police Department District 19: Black History Month Celebration
February 25, 2018
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave

City Colleges of Chicago: KC Black History Open Mic
February 28, 2018
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Kennedy-King College, U Building, Theater, 740 W 63 St
Come out and see the various talents of the KKC student body.

Chicago Police Department District 24: Black History Month Program
February 26, 2018
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Loyola Park, 1230 W Greenleaf Ave

Chicago Public Library: Walk Together Children
February 26, 2018
6:00 PM
Archer Heights Branch, 5055 S Archer Ave
Storyteller extraordinaire Oba King presents African American songs, music, African drums, and loads of learning and fun.

Chicago Police Department District 5: Black History Month Celebration
February 27, 2018
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
District 5 Community Room, 727 E 111 St

Chicago Police Department District 2: Black History Month Celebration
February 28, 2018
Malison Elementary School, 4415 S King Dr

Chicago Public Library: Walk Together Children
February 28, 2018
10:30 AM
Douglass Branch, 3353 W 13 St
Storyteller extraordinaire Oba King presents African American songs, music, African drums, and loads of learning and fun.

Chicago Public Library: An Evening with Blues Legend Holle Thee Maxwell
February 28, 2018
6:30 PM
Woodson Regional, 9525 S Halsted St
Join Holle Thee Maxwell for an interview, performance and discussion of her new book Freebase Ain't Free. Come for the singing. Stay for the talk. Enjoy the evening!

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