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Black History Month Events for Seattle-Area Families

Learn about and celebrate Black history at in-person and virtual events in 2023

Headshot of author Julie Dodobara, she is pictured from the torso up, standing on a boat with a waterfuall in the distance
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Published on: January 30, 2023

Jeffery Robinson, Seattle attorney and activist, stands next to a tree in a scene from the new film Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America
Photo:
Jeffery Robinson, Seattle civil rights lawyer, activist, father and subject of the documentary film “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America,” contemplates a tree where Black Americans were publicly lynched, in a scene from the film. The film is available on Netflix.

February is Black History Month, a time to dedicate attention to and seek deeper understanding of the many contributions of Black Americans to science, art, music, culture, human rights and more. Local museums and other organizations invite families to take part in workshops, discussions, learning opportunities and community celebrations.

Ongoing: Released in theaters a year ago, the groundbreaking documentary film “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” is now available on Netflix and other platforms. This moving, eye-opening film examines the history of white supremacy and anti-Black racism in the United States, and features Seattle attorney and activist Jeffery Robinson, founder of The Who We Are Project.

Feb. 1–14:  Hop online to shop a Black author book fair, part of Shoreline Public Schools’ annual event celebrating Black excellence, Black Voices.

Feb. 1–28: The People’s Center in Tacoma has free offers, family activities and events happening all month long in celebration of African American achievement. On Saturdays, kids can take part in free art activities or get a free swim cap during family swim. Don’t miss the Hilltop Healthy Kids Carnival on Saturday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., which features live music, free services and tons of fun.

Feb. 1–28: As part of Tacoma Public Library’s Black History Month programming, visit select branches to take part in a scavenger hunt exploring Tacoma’s Black history and learn about real Tacoma heroes.

Opening Feb. 3: Select an AMC or Regal theater near you and book tickets to the award-winning indie film “Freedom’s Path,” which follows the story of a Civil War soldier who learns the meaning of freedom and the cost of war from a young Black man. A portion of ticket sales will benefit underfunded Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Fridays and Saturdays in February: Stop by Tacoma Public Library’s Kobetich (Fridays) or Mottet branch (Saturdays) for story time with books written by African American authors as well as fun with rhymes and songs.

Saturdays, Feb. 4, 11 and 25: Another Black History Month program through Tacoma Public Library allows kids to learn about what life was like for Buffalo Soldiers through hands-on activities at the Fern Hill, Wheelock and Moore branches. Preregister. Families can learn even more about the history of these Black soldiers at the ongoing free exhibit at the Seattle Center Armory.

Beginning Feb. 4: Visit MOHAI to learn about the work and contributions of influential Black architects from the Seattle area and beyond in a temporary exhibit, “From the Ground Up: Black Architects and Designers.”

Feb. 4, 17 and 25: Inspired by Katherine Johnson and the other Black female NASA mathematicians who helped Apollo 11 land on the moon in 1969, Tacoma Public Library hosts a fun paper coding activity for kids, held at the Mottet, Kobetich and Wheelock branches.

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6 p.m.: Gather your crew around the computer and join the King County Library System for a Black History Month trivia night on Kahoot. Preregister.

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.: Sign up to take a tour of the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia and learn about notable Black Washingtonians. The 45-minute tours are free; preregister.

Saturday, Feb. 11, noon–5 p.m.: Bring the whole family to the Karshner Museum in Puyallup for music, theater, dance performances and hands-on activities for all ages to celebrate Black History.

Sunday, Feb. 12, 1–1:30 p.m.: Join the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) for a virtual interactive story time featuring “Jake Makes a World,” about a young Black artist who finds inspiration in his community.

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 3–6 p.m.: High schoolers can learn about Black History Month and hone their skills in a research and writing workshop offered through a partnership between NAAM and the UW Libraries’ Special Collections. The workshop is available virtually or in person. Preregister.

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6:30–8 p.m.: Also at MOHAI, learn about the many Black Seattleites whose names are found on local street signs, park sites and concert halls from historian Mary Henry, who will discuss her new book, “Tributes: Black People Whose Names Grace Seattle Sites.”

Thursday, Feb. 16, 6–7:30 p.m.: NAAM presents its Black History Month Keynote Program with an in-person conversation with Damion Thomas, Ph.D., curator of sports at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Starting Feb 21: Stop by Tacoma Public Library’s main branch or the Eastside Community Center to pick up a paper microphone craft kit to celebrate the achievements of Black musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Jimi Hendrix. Kits available while supplies last.

Thursday, Feb. 23, 4–5:30 p.m.: Join three children’s book authors virtually as they share their work during Pierce County Library’s annual African American Read-In. This year’s panelists are Rob Liu-Trujillo, Tyrah Majors and Lenny Williams.

Friday, Feb. 24, 6–10 p.m.: Spend an evening at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art in celebration of Black culture. This all-ages soirée features art, live performances and a special Black Love Market pop-up from which you can shop from Black-owned businesses. 

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