Black History Month in
Special tours, movie screenings, performances and so much more
African-American culture and the accomplishments of African-Americans have played significant roles in the shaping of Philadelphia.
Throughout the month of February, Philadelphia's museums, attractions, venues and more pay homage to the city's African-American history — and look to the future — by hosting a number of special events for Black History Month.
Read on for our guide to the cultural dance performances, themed tours, movie screenings and more going down during Black History Month in Philadelphia.
Black History Month at the National Constitution Center
Celebrate Black History Month with special tours and exhibits at the National Constitution Center. (D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia)
The National Constitution Center presents a slew of special programs to mark Black History Month in Philadelphia. Throughout February, the museum teaches guests about the lives of African-Americans leaders and the history of the Emancipation Proclamation with self-guided African-American history tours and exhibits featuring rarely seen artifacts — including items from President Obama's inauguration.
Black History Month at the Free Library of Philadelphia
January 21 - February 28, 2017
A number of the public libraries in Philadelphia roll out special programs for Black History Month. Events include a cooking workshop featuring ingredients that are deep-rooted in African heritage, a dance workshop and a folk art exhibition.
Black History Month at the African American Museum in Philadelphia
Browse the impressive collection at the African American Museum this February. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
One of the best places to visit during Black History Month is perhaps the African American Museum in Philadelphia, a museum that is home to a diverse collection of folk art, photographs, costumes, memorabilia, fine art and more. In February, the museum opens two new photography exhibitions — Shawn Theodore: Church of Broken Pieces and Dawoud Bey: Harlem, USA and hosts a free open-to-the-public reception on February 2 to celebrate. (RSVP required.)
Black History Untold: Black Joy at WHYY
February 28, 2017
On the final day of Black History Month, WHYY hosts a fascinating event with the folks featured in Philly.com's Black History Untold, a series created by Sofiya Ballin. The Philadelphia Media Network teams up with WHYY to present a special program that centers on the celebration of black people during times when celebration is hard.
Black History Month at the Kimmel Center
Dance troupes take the stage in February to celebrate a fusion of classic African-American dance and modern dance techniques. (Photo courtesy the Kimmel Center)
Two talented dance troupes known for their celebration of traditional African-American dance take the stage during Black History Month. The events kick off on February 3 and 4 when the Alvin Ailey American Dancer Theater fills the Merriam Theater for a show of African-inspired modern dance. On Wednesday, February 8, PHILADANCO presents The Great Mix, Jazz and Dance, a free event intended for school groups. Another free event fills the stage on Wednesday, February 15 as the recurring Sittin' In jam session hits the theater. During this special edition of Sittin' In, guests can groove to Big Band tunes and hear from music experts as they speak about the history of the jam session in African-American culture.
Black History Month at Independence National Historical Park
Head to Philadelphia's Historic District for performances, discussions and more during Black History Month. (Photo courtesy Independence National Historic Park)
Throughout the month of February, Independence National Historical Park hosts a number of special events to celebrate Black History Month. Throughout the month, guests of Philadelphia’s Historic District can listen to stories about free blacks in Philadelphia, learn about 19th-century civil rights activist Octavius V. Catto and more.
Black History Month at the Penn Museum
Celebrate with the whole family at African Culture Day at the Penn Museum. (Photo courtesy Penn Museum)
Throughout Black History Month, the Penn Museum presents everything from an African Culture Day on February 25 to a Nigerian mask-making workshop on February 12. Black History Month is also the perfect time to peruse the museum’s extensive African collection, which is one of the largest in the United States.
A Freedom To Go Forth at Historic Strawberry Mansion
February 25, 2017
The Historic Strawberry Mansion celebrates Black History Month with a special one-day exhibition featuring items from the Lest We Forget Slavery Museum, the only local museum with a vast collection of slavery artifacts. The display will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. Curators from the Lest We Forget Museum will be on site to guide guests through the display.
Black History Month at the Annenberg Center
The Annenberg Center continues its African Roots, American Voices series all month long. (Photo courtesy the Annenberg Center)
University City’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is always home to excellent live shows throughout the year, and during Black History Month the venue continues to impress. Throughout February, the center's African Roots, American Voices
African-American Children’s Book Fair
February 4, 2017
Known as one of the largest single-day events celebrating African-American children books, the African-American Children's Book Fair returns to promote literacy, recognition of African-American children’s literature and African-American authors.
Black History Month at Johnson House Historic Site
Germantown's Johnson House Historic Site hosts a slew of special events in celebration of Black History Month. On select Saturdays in February, enjoy performances, conversations and tours of the home, which was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Black History Month Celebration at Reading Terminal Market
February 18, 2017
Philadelphia's popular Reading Terminal Market honors Black History Month with a day-long event featuring cooking demonstrations, live performances and discussions. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is completely free to attend.
African-American Historic Sites in Philadelphia
Visit sites across the city to learn about African-American history in Philadelphia. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)
As the birthplace of the nation, Philadelphia’s African-American historical roots run deep. Black History Month is the perfect time to learn about the influential role African-American culture played in shaping Philadelphia. Today, area institutions like the African American Museum in Philadelphia, The Johnson House and Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church present this rich history through a host of public programs, special exhibitions and educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.
Support Black-Owned Shops in Philadelphia
Visiting one of Philadelphia’s great black-owned businesses is the perfect way to celebrate Black History Month in Philadelphia. There are scores of fine shops that are owned by black Philadelphians throughout the city. Add spots like Charlie’s Jeans, Cultured Couture Vintage and Philadelphia Diamond Company to your must-shop list.
Support Black-Owned Restaurants in Philadelphia
This Black History Month (and beyond!), treat your taste buds to a meal at one of the great black-owned restaurants in Philadelphia. Enjoy eats at popular spots like Aksum Café, Dos Tacos, Relish and Jamaican Jerk Hut for a top-notch meal while supporting the city’s black business owners.
Support Black-Owned Art Galleries in Philadelphia
The black-owned art galleries in Philadelphia are known for their forward-thinking exhibitions that bring guests in throughout the year. This month, visit black-owned galleries like the Bazemore Gallery, Rush Arts Philly (the gallery of renowned artist Danny Simmons), the Tiberino Museum and more.