All across Kansas City, schools and businesses take time to recognize the contributions of African-Americans as February is Black History month. Several area attractions pay tribute to African Americans this month and all year long. Below is list of special celebrations for the month and on-going exhibits that commemorate KC’s black history.
Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City
- Feb. 1 – Poetry Slam, local artists, 6 p.m.
- Feb. 23 - “Separate to Equal,” this documentary screening chronicles the history of African- American health care in Kansas City. Panel discussion to follow, 3 p.m.
All events held at The Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City, 1722 E. 17th Terr. More information available at www.blackarchives.org
The National Archives at Kansas City
- Feb. 8 – Genealogy workshop, “United States Colored Troops During the Civil War,” discusses African-American ancestors and their contributions to the Union during the Civil War, 10 a.m.
- Feb. 20 – Genealogy workshop, “Exploring Civil Rights in the Holding of the National Archives,” will explore the vast array of civil rights court cases that document the struggle for civil rights and demonstrate the wrongs that took years to overcome in the holdings of the National Archives, noon.
- Feb. 21 – Genealogy workshop, “African-American Census Research,” discusses the challenges of tracking free and slave African-American ancestors in the 1880s, 1 p.m.
For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit www.archives.gov/kansas-city
Kansas City Public Library
- Feb. 20 – “The Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves and the Creation of America.” Author Henry Wiencek examines the relationship between George Washington and slavery.
- Feb. 22 – Tommy Terrific’s Magic Show, for children of all ages, honoring George Washington Carver
- March 1 – “The Long March: America’s Enduring Struggle for Civil Rights,” symposium examines the history and legacy of the American civil rights movement. A Kansas City civil rights roundtable and panel discussion follows.
For times and branches, go to www.kclibrary.org
All Year Long
American Jazz Museum
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
- Located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District in Kansas City, this is the place where jazz masters such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie and hundreds of others defined the sounds of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The museum includes interactive exhibits and educational programs.
Mutual Musicians Foundation
- On view now through April 7: Frederick James Brown: Modern American Storyteller. Frederick James Brown passed away in May 2012, leaving a legacy of painted stories. Best-known for his portraits of jazz performers, fellow artists and other creative individuals, Brown created the Kemper Museum's monumental work The History of Art (1994/2000), a series of 110 paintings that lines the walls of Café Sebastienne. The exhibition features paintings from the Kemper Museum's permanent collection, a significant holder of the artist's works.
National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
- Located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District, the Foundation was originally home to the Black Musicians' Protective Union Local 627 American Federation of Musicians., This national historic landmark hosts fierce late-night jam sessions, midnight-6 a.m., Fri.-Sat.
- The exhibit showcases African-American men serving in cavalry, infantry, signal, medical, engineer and artillery units, as well as serving as chaplains, surveyors, truck drivers, chemists and intelligence officers and African-American women who were employed in a number of war industries, including munitions production.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
- The 10,000 square-foot multimedia exhibit chronicles the history and heroes of the Negro Leagues from their origin after the Civil War to their demise in the 1960s.
- Located on the Missouri River, Quindaro began as a boomtown and evolved into a stop on the Underground Railroad. Artifacts are on display at the Wyandotte County Museum.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
- The museum’s acclaimed African collection comprises approximately 300 objects that are diverse in form and in media. Masks, sculptures, hair combs, headrests, textiles and vessels are among the many types of works represented; media include fiber, metal, wood, beads and clay.