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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 2024

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

Published on: January 23, 2024

Kids perform a dance at the Hilltop Healthy Kids and Family Carnival, part of a month-long celebration of Black History Month at People’s Center in Tacoma.
Dancers perform at Hilltop Healthy Kids and Family Carnival to celebrate Black History Month. Credit: Metro Parks Tacoma.

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.

Tuesday–Sunday, through Feb. 29: Attention, pop culture fans, head to MoPOP to catch a Black History pop-up gallery celebrating a key figure in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, Bo Diddley. 

Daily, Feb. 1–29: The People’s Center in Tacoma has free offers, family activities and events happening all month long in celebration of African American achievement. On Saturday, Feb. 3, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. kids can take part in a free scavenger hunt and art activities or get a free swim cap during family swim. Don’t miss the Hilltop Healthy Kids Carnival on Saturday, Feb. 17, noon–4 p.m., which features live music, free services and tons of fun.

Tuesday–Sunday, Feb. 1–29: Book tickets for “Call to Conscience Black History Month Museum,” a month-long installation celebrating Black excellence in the Pacific Northwest. The temporary museum will be on display through the end of February at the Columbia City Theatre.

Monday–Friday, Feb. 1–29: Drop by Tacoma Community College during open school hours to view the Black Artists Exhibition which features paintings, photographs, murals and other works of art by 22 Black artists. Don’t miss family day on Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. for hands-on activities especially for kids. Free.

Monday–Friday, Feb. 1–29: Another art exhibit in honor of Black History Month has popped up at Bellevue City Hall. “Elevating Voices” features the work of 17 Pacific Northwest Black artists and includes paintings, photography, sculptures, textiles and fashion. View this free exhibit anytime during business hours, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. in the City Hall Concourse. The community is invited to the opening reception on Thursday, Feb. 1, 6–8 p.m. Preregistration for the reception only is requested.

Thursday, Feb. 1, 5:30–8:30 p.m.: Learn the role the Black military played in expanding civil rights for all in the U.S. from UW Professor, Luther Adams, Ph.D., during a discussion in partnership with the Buffalo Soldiers Museum. Pre-register for this free event held at the Washington State History Museum.

Thursday, Feb. 1 and Tuesdays, Feb. 6–27: Drop into Tacoma Public Library’s Moore location during open hours to explore a different Black artist each week, plus create a masterpiece of your own. Free.

Various dates Tuesday–Thursday in February: Also part of Tacoma Public Library’s Black History Month programming, take part in Black History-themed STEAM Days with craft activities at select branches. Free.

Saturday, Feb. 3, 1–2 p.m.: Head to The Museum of Flight to experience a historical reenactment of the world’s first African-American female licensed pilot, Bessie Coleman, performed by her great-niece, Gigi. Included with museum admission.

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

Wednesdays, Feb. 7 and 14, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.: Sign up to take a free tour of the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia and learn about notable local Black artists. Preregister.

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 7–9 p.m.: For a musical evening out, book your tickets to experience the songs of a beloved American classic, but through an afrofuturistic lens in “The Sound of (Black) Music” playing at Kirkland Performance Center. All seats are $62.

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 7:30–9 p.m.: Learn about the life and work of Malcolm X from author Tamara Payne, as she presents her book “The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X,” at Town Hall Seattle. Authored with her father, investigative journalist Les Payne, the biography incorporates hundreds of hours of interviews from those who knew the Civil Rights leader. Prebook your tickets (sliding scale $5–$25; ages 22 and younger are free).

Saturday, Feb. 10, 1–4 p.m.: Gather your crew to explore art together at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass during its special Family Day programming for Black History Month. View the exhibit “A Two-Way Mirror: Double Consciousness in Contemporary Glass by Black Artists” then meet the curator and create your own artwork inspired by the collection. Included with museum admission.

Sunday, Feb. 11, 1–1:30 p.m.: Join the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) for a virtual interactive story time featuring "The Story of Rap," about the history of rap music and its early adopters from Grandmaster Flash to Kendrick Lamar.

Tuesdays, Feb. 13 and 27, 5–7:15 p.m.: Teens can catch free movies featuring iconic heroes in Black culture as portrayed by Chadwick Boseman. University Place Library will be showing “42” about baseball legend Jackie Robinson and Marvel’s popular “Black Panther.” Both films are rated PG-13. Preregister.

Feb. 15–March 10: Drop by Bellevue Square's Center Court to experience MoPOP's Black History Month tribute, Icons of Style, an immersive interactive video presentation exploring the influence of music artists on fashion. Free.

Thursday, Feb. 15, 5:30–8:30 p.m.: The community is invited to attend a free celebration of Black history and heritage at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia featuring presenters, music and food.

Thursday, Feb. 15, 6–8 p.m.: NAAM presents its Black History Month Keynote Program with Dr. Doretha Williams and her family history team from the Smithsonian Museum who will talk about Black family history and genealogy.

Friday–Saturday, Feb. 16–17: All are invited to celebrate Black community and creativity at a 2-day event in downtown Seattle's Occidental Park featuring arts, food, music, pop-up night market and more.

Saturday–Sunday, Feb. 17–25, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.: The Outlet Collection in Auburn celebrates Black History Month throughout February with art displays and educational exhibits highlighting prominent Black artists. During the last two weekends, shoppers can support small and local Black-owned businesses at a special vendor market.

Saturday, Feb. 17, 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 so you can shop and support Black-owned businesses. 

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 4–5:30 p.m.: Join an all-ages collaborative art project to recreate a painting by a famous Black artist at Pierce County’s Summit Library. The free workshop is part of the library’s Black Voices in the Arts program.

Saturday, Feb. 24, noon–3 p.m.: Enjoy music, spoken word and other live performances at the Black Legacy Celebration taking place at Eastside Community Center in Tacoma. You can also score a free haircut and get your face painted!

Select dates Feb. 24–March 9: Visit Civil Rights icon Malcolm X at pivotal times in his life and gain a better understanding of the man in the Seattle Opera musical production, “The Life & Times of Malcolm X.” Considering a runtime of over three hours and mature content, this show is best for families with teens. Tickets start at $35.

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