Black History Month events
Complied by Ronald E. Carrington | 2/18/2021, 6 p.m.
A variety of events are planned in and around Richmond for Black History Month.
The annual observance originated as “Negro History Week” in 1926 with Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Virginia native, and the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, which Dr. Woodson helped to found.
It has since expanded to a monthlong observation honoring the contributions and accomplishments of Black Americans.
Some of the month’s events include:
Thursday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m., “Finding My People: African-American Genealogy Workshop.” Dr. Jajuan Johnson, a Mellon postdoctoral research associate at the College of William & Mary, will talk about resources to help research African-American family history. Spon- sored by The Lemon Project at the College of William & Mary in partnership with the Let Freedom Ring Foundation. Details and registration: https://events.wm.edu/event/view/lemonproject/120737
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2 to 3 p.m., Black History Month Highlights, The Valentine, 1015 E. Clay St. Take a live, interactive Zoom tour exploring highlights and stories from the museum’s core exhibit, “This is Richmond, Virginia.” Free Details and registration: www.thevalentine.org or (804) 649-0711
Monday, Feb. 22, noon to 1 p.m., Public historian and researcher Elvatrice Parker Belsches of Richmond talks about the noted 1951 student walkout led by Barbara Johns to protest dilapidated conditions at Farmville’s Robert Russa Moton High School. Ms. Belsches late father, Ernest Parker Sr., was Ms. Johns' algebra and homeroom teacher at the time. The walkout ultimately laid the groundwork for the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that deemed racially “separate but equal” public school systems unconstitutional. Free, virtual talk is part of “Moton Mondays” series sponsored by the Moton Museum in Farmville at www.facebook.com/motonmuseum. Details: https://motonmuseum.org/events/category/webinar/ or (434) 315-8775.
Monday, Feb. 22, 7 to 9 p.m., History of the Buffalo Soldiers, the 9th and 10th Calvary Regiment of the U.S. Army, sponsored by the Virginia Military Affairs Committee of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Speakers for the free, virtual event include Steven Nave, executive board member of the 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Tacoma, Wash., and Hank Mabry, president of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Virginia. Zoom meeting. https://vccs.zoom.us/j/94270431148?pwd=ZIB 0bEFJa1ZzckV1c2R1eUxTTjVHdz09 Details: Contact Kevin at (804) 601-0215.
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 6 to 7:30 p.m., “The Black family and its representation, identity and diversity.” An online discussion with Dr. Michael Dickinson, assistant professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University; Dr. Kimberly Wallace-Sanders, associate professor of American and African American Studies at Emory University; and Dr. Grace Gipson, assistant professor of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Sponsored by Richmond Public Library. Registration required at rvalibrary.libcal.com/event.
Saturday, Feb. 27, 3 to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 28, 3 to 6 p.m., Black Book Expo, sponsored by Elegba Folklore Society, 101 E. Broad St. Featured author: Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher, president of the University of Richmond and author of the new memoir “I Had No Idea You Were Black: Navigating Race on the Road to Leadership.” Other celebrity guest authors will make presentations and sign their books. Entertainment and refreshments featured on Saturday. COVID-19 protocol in place. Details: www.efsinc.org or (804) 644-3900.
Virginia Museum of History & Culture
The museum is hosting a series of virtual events that are free, but registration is required. Details: virginiahistory.org/events.
Thursday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m., “Hidden Figure of GPS,” a conversation with Dr. Gladys West, a trailblazing mathematician who helped develop GPS and other satellite mapping technology during her career at the Naval Surface Weapons Center at Dahlgren. She was one of the first two Black women to join Dahlgren in 1956.
Thursday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m., “Activism from Home 101,” a virtual panel discussion with changemakers featured in the museum’s recent exhibit, “Today’s Agents of Change.” Panelists will offer insights from their experience and discuss how to tap into your passion, get involved in a cause and conduct advocacy work from home.
Virginia State University and Chesterfield County
present the 32nd Annual Black History Month Celebration, a variety of free, virtual programs. Register for any of the events below by going to www.chesterfield.gov/4256/Celebration-Events
Thursday, Feb. 18, 4 to 6 p.m., “Our History, Our Resilience: Our Survival Beyond COVID,” sponsored by VSU’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Details: www.grgo.page.link/gCcoH
Thursday, Feb. 18, 7 to 8 p.m., The Jazz of Plunky and Oneness. Musician J. Plunky Branch gives a short talk on jazz and the Black experience followed by a performance with his band. Video is available for 30 days after premiere.
Friday, Feb. 19, 8 a.m. Chesterfield County Annual Scholarship Recognition. A virtual program to recognize six outstanding Chesterfield County high school seniors and the business community for their achievements and contributions. Program can be viewed on Comcast Channel 98, Verizon Channel 28, and live streamed on www.chesterfield.gov and the county’s YouTube channel.
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2 to 3 p.m., Let it Shine! Bright Star Theatre introduces children to signifi- cant events and notable names of the Civil Rights Movement. Registration begins Feb. 6. Video is available for seven days after premiere.
Monday, Feb. 22, noon to 12:30 p.m., Tour of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. This virtual tour of the exhibits at the museum in Jackson, Miss., will provide information about the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Registration begins Feb. 8. Video is available for 30 days from premiere.
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m., African American Read-In, Zoom event, sponsored by VSU’s Depart- ment of Languages and Literature and the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. Link: www.vsu zoom.us/3731937380
Through June, Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, 122 W. Leigh St. “VIRGINIA JAZZ: The Early Years,” a comprehensive exhibition highlighting seven decades of Virginia artists and their contributions to the development of jazz as an art form from the early 1900s through the 1960s. Visitors also share their family stories and inspire a new generation to keep jazz alive. Details: www. blackhistorymuseum.org or (804) 780-9093.