Local Events Celebrate Black History Month


Black History Month

In February, the nation honors the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. The observance became a month-long celebration in 1976. This month was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. It is a time to reflect on the past, how far we have come and how far we still have to go. Here are some of the planned events happening in Flint to engage in and celebrate Black History Month.


Now through 3.31.2018
Ubuhle Women: Beadwork
and the Art of Independence
Flint Institute of Arts

This exhibition showcases a form of textile art known as ndwango, developed by a community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Established on a former sugar plantation in 1999, Ubuhle began as a way to create employment for rural women, using traditional skills like beadwork, and making them profitable. The artwork provides an emotional, as well as artistic outlet for a community impacted by HIV/AIDS and low employment, and serves as a pathway for the financial independence of the artists.


Movie: Carmen Jones (1954)
Flint Public Library, 4PM
The award-winning version of the musical; a contemporary adaptation of the Bizet opera “Carmen” with new lyrics and an all African American cast.


Service & Reception
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 10AM
St. Paul’s will host a special service followed by a reception and dance performance by Angels in Motion. All are welcome!


Exhibit on African Architecture
UM-Flint UCEN Happenings Room, 2-6PM
This temporary exhibit is presented with the African Students Association.


Luncheon and Lecture
UM-Flint UCEN Michigan Rooms
The annual lunch and lecture will feature Professor Dorceta E. Taylor, a Crowfoot Collegiate Professor of Environmental Justice & Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Registration is required to attend.


Documentary: Through a Lens Darkly
Flint Institute of Arts, Isabel Hall
Inspired by Deborah Willis’ book Reflections in Black, this is the first documentary to explore the American family photo album through the eyes of black photographers. Probing the recesses of American history, the filmmakers discover images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost.


Movie: Soul Power (2008)
Flint Public Library, 4PM
This rockumentary documents the three-day soul music concert in Zaire preceding 1974’s “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, featuring James Brown, B.B. King, Miriam Makeba, the Spinners and others.


Movie: Step
Flint Institute of Arts, 7PM
Suggested donation: $2
Part of the Communities First Inc. Culture Shock Film Series. Pre-film reception at 5:30PM. Follow the senior year of a high school girls’ step dance team against the backdrop of inner city Baltimore. (Also showing at FIA Wednesdays at 12:15PM – Art á la Carte, free and open to the public.)


Meet the Authors
Flint Public Library, 1PM
Authors Teresa L. Baker and Lydia L. Miles will read their book, Josie’s Bedazzled Shoes.

Children’s Storytime
Totem Books, 11AM-12PM
An event for little readers! Join us for children’s tales from Africa during Totem Books’ Saturday Storytime.


Movie: Tupac Vs. (2004)
Flint Public Library, 4PM
Hip hop documentary featuring an in-depth, never before seen 1995 interview with the artist, rare footage and stills.


Now through 2.17.2018
This is Us: The Art of Four African American Women
Flint Public Library, Reading Room
Discover the works of local artists Carla Harden, Janice Harden, Marcia Watkins and Edith Withey. Presented by The Flint Chapter of The Pierians Inc.


Black Classical Origins Annual Scholarship Gala
Flint Institute of Arts, 5PM

Enjoy an exceptional experience with great food, stimulating fellowship, and entertainment featuring the Flint Jubilee Chorale. Continue your evening at The Whiting with the Flint Symphony Orchestra including flautist, Amy Porter. Enjoy music from African American composers Scott Joplin and William Grant Still along with composers Aaron Copland and Michael Daugherty. For more information about Black Classical Origins or the FSO, visit thefso.org/bcogala

Hidden Colors Marathon
The New McCree Theatre, 10AM-8PM
An all-day presentation of the complete documentary series directed by Tariq Nasheed. A total of eight hours and 20 minutes of viewing time with a ten-minute discussion period following each film.


Double Feature: The Call of the Jitterbug, The Life & Art of William H. Johnson
Flint Institute of Arts, 12:15-2:15PM

The first artform to break the color barrier, dancing the Jitterbug brought blacks and whites together in a time when integration was still far off. Interviews with musicians and dancers, combined with lovely vintage footage, bring back the sights and sounds of this unique era.

The Life & Art of William H. Johnson: This African American painter’s life was truly extraordinary. His artistic career mirrored the complexities of art and society between the two World Wars. Although Johnson remained largely unknown during his lifetime, his work survived, and he has become one of America’s most important artists.
Fiction Only Book Club
X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz
Flint Public Library, NOON
B.L.A.C.K. Poetry Slam
University of Michigan-Flint FH161, 6PM


Movie: Afro-Punk (2003)
Flint Public Library, 4PM
Directed by James Spooner, this rockumentary focuses on the lives of fowwur African Americans dedicated to the punk rock lifestyle during a time when the punk scene was overwhelmingly white in the U.S. and abroad.


Two One-Act Plays by Douglas Turner Ward
The New McCree Theatre
These satirical, award-winning one-act plays “Happy Ending” and “Day of Absence” offer a compare-and-contrast journey to the past.


Saturday After Hours Concert
Flint Public Library, 6:30
High Definition presents “Let the Story be Told … The Evolution of Music in African American History and Culture.” Discover music from four different eras with guest artists joining the band.


Freedom Riders
The Whiting, 7:30PM
Featuring original songs and music, this new play demonstrates the importance of working together to affect change and specifically, how non-violent protests were used to focus attention on the cruelties of segregation.


Independent Lens: More than a Month
Flint Institute of Arts, 12:15PM

Young, African American filmmaker, Shurkee Hassan Tilghman, sets out on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. Through this thoughtful and humorous journey, he explores what the treatment of history tells us about race and equality in a “post-racial” America.



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