Outside of politics, D.C. is filled with rich culture and history, and Black History Month is the time to celebrate it.
The District will host dozens of events throughout February, each touching on a different element of African American culture. From black art shows at coffee shops to civil rights memorials, here are some of the top events to check out during Black History Month.
Friday, Feb. 7: ‘Meditations,’ A Black History Art Show
Kick off the month at the black-owned business Culture Coffee Too in Northeast D.C. The coffee shop is showcasing pieces from two African American artists, husband and wife James and Zsudayka Terrell, who produce prints, paintings and textiles. All of their work will be on display and available for purchase.
Culture Coffee Too, 300 Riggs Road NE, 6 to 8 p.m., free.
Saturday, Feb. 8: Black History Read-in
The D.C. chapter of The North Carolina A&T State University will host a black history read-in to commemorate the 1960 Greensboro, N.C. sit-in when black students refused to leave a segregated lunch counter after being denied service. Anyone is welcome to read a piece of literature about the movement or attend as an audience member. Interested readers can register online through Eventbrite, but drop-in performers are also welcome.
Aggies Helping Aggies, Inc., 1525 Iris St. NW, noon to 2:30 p.m., free.
Saturday, Feb. 15: The Beloved Community: MLK Jr. and Activism
Archivist Derek Gray of the D.C. Public Library will give a presentation on King’s activism in D.C., focusing on his community organizing efforts and speeches, at the Anacostia Community Museum. When you attend, you can also visit a related exhibit called “A Right To The City,” which features stories of how D.C. residents advocated for better city planning and civic engagement throughout history.
Thursday, Feb. 20: Rayceen Pendarvis Is Living Black History
Head to Cleveland Park Library for an evening recognizing black history and art. Black entertainer and D.C. community advocate Rayceen Pendarvis will host an event celebrating the accomplishments of African American people throughout history. The program will include several different performers, including singer and songwriter Nia Simmons and poet Micah Powell. Head to Cleveland Park Library for an evening recognizing black history and art.
Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, 5 to 8:30 p.m., free with registration.
Saturday, Feb. 22: Black History Luncheon and Book Signing
Grab lunch and listen to a book reading at the Washington Renaissance Hotel later this month. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History, which is headquartered in D.C., is hosting a book reading and signing event centered around the theme, “African Americans and the Vote.” The event will bring in more than 20 different authors to discuss books like “Meet Jim Crow!,” “Trailblazer” and “Coming Home” by Lee Chavous, Dorothy Gilliam and CeLillianne Green, respectively.
Washington Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th St. NW, book signing begins at 10 a.m. and is free, $115 for luncheon tickets.