February is Black History Month, a time to honor and celebrate the contributions Black people have made to the world. From special exhibits to supporting Black-led organizations, here are 13 ways to honor Black History Month around Chicago.
Arts & Theater
The city of Evanston and the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre will broadcast a different story of an influential Black woman who made an incredible contribution to the building of America each week, narrated by Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 star, Jazzma Pryor. Tune in every Tuesday at noon during Black History Month.
Through Feb. 20, the Northlight Theatre is hosting the powerful drama Fireflies, about a couple during the Civil Rights Movement. The charismatic Rev. Charles Grace needs a new speech to galvanize the people, and his wife Olivia is the one that writes his fiery speeches in this powerful tale. 9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie
The Chicago Children’s Choir aims to “remember African legacy in America; reclaim the pride, dignity, and joy that was strained by the grip of colonialism; and, reconnect generations to Africans globally,” during their signature concert. The concert will be live-streamed through YouTube, Facebook and their website.
Included in museum entry, the new Black Creativity: Architecture exhibit celebrates the strong presence that black architects have had throughout history. Guests can follow the timeline of important buildings and see models of famous buildings and artifacts from influential architects including Roberta Washington, Philip G. Freelon and Georgia Louise H. Brown. 5700 DuSable Lake Shore Dr, Chicago
Throughout the month, The Field Museum will hold virtual events where you can hear hear from Field staff, collaborators, and guest speakers about their lived experiences in museums and the sciences. Illinois residents can also visit for free on Wednesdays in February. 1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr., Chicago
Visit the Chicago History Museum and walk through a winding gallery with over 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King’s work and the Civil Rights Movement, with a special focus on his time in Chicago. Included in museum admission. 1601 N Clark St, Chicago
The South Side Community Art Center serves to preserve, promote and progress the value of Black Art. Current exhibits include THE UNDERWORLD: George Crump, displaying the artist’s most recent body of work, and WE ARE HERE: Women in the Center’s Collection, featuring artworks made by several women artists in the Center’s collection. 3831 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Celebrate Black History Month and support small businesses by dining at Chicago’s Black-owned restaurants during the two-week event. Celebrating their seventh year, CBRW has a full list of participating restaurants and partners on their website.
On Sat., Feb 12 at 6:30 p.m., Time Out Market and B_Line Projects will pay special tribute to the late fashion designer and former Chicagoan Virgil Abloh, who was the first Black man to be an artistic director for Louis Vuitton, and the third to lead a French luxury fashion house. A “Virgil Forever” art mural will be unveiled, followed by a panel discussion on the designer’s influence in the art, music and fashion community. Admission is free and donations to the Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund will be accepted through ticket sales. The mission of the Virgil Abloh™ Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund is to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African-American, or African descent. 916 W Fulton Market, Chicago
In celebration of Black History Month, Haymarket Pub & Brewery in the West Loop will host four of the state’s few breweries with at least partial Black ownership. Breweries include Moor’s Brewing Company, Funkytown Brewery, Black Horizon Brewing and Turner Haus Brewery. The breweries also collaborated with Haymarket on an exclusive beer, Chicago Uncommon Ale, that will be taped on Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. at a Super Bowl viewing party. 737 W Randolph St., Chicago
Support Black Nonprofits and Organizations
Brave Space Alliance is a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ center. Located on the South Side of Chicago, it provides many affirming resources and programs for LGBTQ+ Chicagoans. To donate food to the crisis food pantry or to make a monetary donation, visit Brave Space Alliance for more information.
I Grow Chicago aims to grow the Englewood community from surviving to thriving. They provide community members with several programs including Mentorship & Supportive Services, Restorative Justice & Community Building, Urban Farming & Food Access and more. During the pandemic, they are providing families and students with the supplies they need for virtual learning. To donate to this program or assist in another way, visit their website.
My Block My Hood My City offers opportunities for young people in under-resourced neighborhoods to access amenities not typically available to them. Their programs encourage youth to explore different neighborhoods, cultures and cuisines. The organization also offers opportunities for young people to get involved in STEM programs, volunteering, civic engagement, and community development.