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Black History Month events in the Carolinas this year

While COVID-19 has prevented large gatherings, there are still many events going on to honor Black History Month.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Below is a list of events happening in the Carolinas to celebrate Black History Month. 

If you have an event you'd like added to this list, email the details to bhm@wcnc.com.

MONDAY, FEB. 1

Recognizing 60th anniversary of the Friendship 9; 6-7 p.m.; Kicking off Black History Month and recognizing the 60th anniversary of the Friendship 9 is a virtual event the evening of Feb. 1.  There will be a conversation between Claudia Smith Brinson, author of “Stories of Struggle: The Clash over Civil Rights in South Carolina,” and Friendship Nine organizer Tom Gaither, moderated by Professor Adolphus Belk, Jr.  This event is sponsored by the York County Library, Freedom Walkway Committee, Historic Rock Hill, Rock Hill Community Relations Council, and USC Press. Visit https://www.historicrockhill.com/upcoming-events to register. 

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 3

Gaston County Library event: Masters of Jazz Storytime; 10:30 a.m.; Join us as we share picture books on great jazz artists and show you fun rhymes and songs you can do at home. This 30-minute storytime is geared at children under the age of 5 and their families. No registration is required. It will be broadcast via Facebook Live on the Gaston County Public Library Youth Services Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/gcplyouthservices.

THURSDAY, FEB. 4:

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library event: Equity Impact Circle; 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. -  Join us for a weekly discussion series hosted by the Community Building Initiative. This five-week series will be guided discussions around topics of equity and inclusion. Registration required. To express interest in this series, please fill out this application form. You will be contacted with additional details.

SATURDAY, FEB. 6

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library event: Story Explorers: Rocket Like Mae Jemison (A Black History Month Program); 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Age 5-11 - Kids ages 5 to 11 are invited to this special Black History Month literacy program celebrating Mae Jemison.

TUESDAY, FEB. 9

Historic Rock Hill event: Genealogy and oral history workshop; 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; 258 E White St Rock Hill, SC or virtually; On Feb. 9, there will be a Genealogy and Oral History Workshop. The event can be accessed virtually or in person. Register at cityofrockhill.com/historic.

THURSDAY, FEB. 11

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library event: Equity Impact Circle; 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Adults - Join us for a weekly discussion series hosted by the Community Building Initiative. This five-week series will be guided discussions around topics of equity and inclusion.

Gaston County Library event: Gordon Parks and his Camera; 2 p.m.; Let's learn more about Gordon Parks! We will read the book Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America and talk about how we can use photography to capture the world around us. This virtual program is aimed at kids in grades K-5. No registration required. It will be broadcast via Facebook Live on the Gaston County Public Library Youth Services Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/gcplyouthservices.

Mr. Soul screening and Q&A; 7:30-9:30 p.m.; Get tickets at cineodysseyfest.org.

MONDAY, FEB. 15

Johnson C. Smith University event: Racial & health pandemic and what’s next for the Black community; 5:30 - 7 p.m.; Dr. Terza Lima-Neves, Johnson C. Smith University political science professor, will do a program on February 15th from 5:30 - 7 p.m. featuring three guest speakers (1 JCSU alum, 2 scholars/experts). The program will focus on the racial and health pandemic and what’s next for the Black community in the post-Trump era.

THURSDAY, FEB. 18

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library event: I can Celebrate National African American Read-In; 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Age 3-11 - The National African American Read-In is the nation’s first and oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature. Join us as we celebrate this event with a virtual read-in featuring local authors, and students from Westerly Hills Academy.

Iredell County Public Library event: Dancing Stories Workshop; 4 - 5 p.m.; Storyteller and performance artist April C. Turner presents a live professional development session for parents and educators. Experience Dancing Stories like never before and learn how you can incorporate West African culture into your child's learning. More information about April C. Turner can be found on her website, Life As Art Productions. This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Registration required through Iredell County Public Library website.

Gaston County Library event: Katherine Johnson saves Apollo 13; 2 p.m.; Discover new facts about mathematician Katherine Johnson as we read Counting on Katherine and share trivia about the Apollo 13 mission and Project Mercury. This virtual program is aimed at kids in grades K-5. No registration required. It will be broadcast via Facebook Live on the Gaston County Public Library Youth Services Facebook page

FRIDAY, FEB. 19

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library event: ImaginOn Family Storytime: Black History; 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Age 0-5 - This program will be provided by ImaginOn library staff. Bring your whole family out to enjoy stories, songs, and movement activities that support early literacy skill development and help foster a love of books and reading in your child. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate.

Johnson C. Smith University Office of Alumni Relations event: Bantaba Breakthrough with April C. Turner; 7 p.m.; Bantaba Breakthrough uses traditional West African dance principles as a system for whole wellness – integrating mind, body, spirt and culture to achieve wellness of the individual and as an extension, the community.

SATURDAY, FEB. 20

Esports and Gaming in the Black Community; 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.; Age 12-18; Registration required - Do you love gaming, and would you like to know more about playing competitively? Connect and learn how can get involved in esports. Meet the founders, Dr. Lawson Williams and Professor Cash, of the 1st HBCU Esports and Gaming program at Johnson C. Smith University. Plus, meet local entrepreneur Rick Suarez, who took his love of sports to create Stay Plugged IN, a virtual gaming company.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library event: Story Explorers: Jazz Stories (A Black History Month Program); 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Age 5-11; Registration required - Kids ages 5 to 11 are invited to this special Black History Month literacy program focusing on jazz! Together, we’ll discuss several jazz-themed books, listen to two stories, and play a fun trivia game. This virtual program will be provided by Myers Park Library staff and will take place using the Zoom platform.

SUNDAY, FEB. 21

Rock Hill Community Relations Council event: “Harlem Renaissance:  The Manifestation of literature, art, stage performance & music in the African American culture”; 5 p.m.; The Rock Hill Community Relations Council is putting on a virtual event on February 21 at 5 p.m. with the theme of “Harlem Renaissance: The Manifestation of Literature, Art, Stage Performance, & Music in the African American Culture.”  There is an oratory contest and coloring competition as well. Can be viewed on the City of Rock Hill live stream.

TUESDAY, FEB. 23

Western North Carolina Historical Association's Smith-McDowell House Museum event: When All God’s Children Get Together with Ann Miller Woodford; 6-7 p.m.; In the spirit of exploring great WNC writing and writers, we are reprising our popular LitCafe series with the multi-talented Ann Miller Woodford, author of "When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina." Woodford's exhibit of the same name is currently on display through April at the Smith-McDowell House. Join us as Ann discusses her research, writing, and the people behind the book. Attend the Zoom webinar.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 24

Gaston College Multicultural Affairs Committee event: Gender and Genius in Black Women’s Writing; 2 p.m.; Janaka Bowman Lewis, Ph.D., will discuss “Gender and Genius in Black Women’s Writing” in a Feb. 24 virtual presentation sponsored by the Gaston College Multicultural Affairs Committee. The presentation focuses on some Black women writers whose works are relevant and includes commentary on Black womanhood in our society. Dr. Lewis is Associate Professor of English and Founding Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her areas of research interest include African American literature of the 19th century and African American women’s writing. She is the author of “Freedom Narratives of African American Women,” wrote the children’s books “Brown All Over,” and “Bold Nia Marie Passes the Test,” and co-authored “Dr. King Is Tired, Too!!” with Mac A. Bowman, M.D. She has written widely on Black womanhood, girlhood and material culture. Join the Zoom Meeting (Meeting ID: 932 3379 8132 - Passcode: 576484)

THURSDAY, FEB. 25

Gaston County Library and North Carolina Digital Library present: Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine virtual book discussion; 7 p.m.; Join us on Zoom for a special book discussion of Damon Tweedy's bestselling memoir: Black Main in a White Coat! Books are available for curbside pickup, and on the North Carolina Digital Library through Libby! Registration is required.