February Is Here! Honor Black History Month In One Of These 5 U.S. Cities
Photo Credit: Photo by Clay Banks

Photo Credit: Photo by Clay Banks

February Is Here! Honor Black History Month In One Of These 5 U.S. Cities

BHM23 , Atlanta , baltimore , memphis , new orleans , newyork
Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones Feb 1, 2023

Black History Month 2023 is upon us, and it’s a time for celebration and solemn reflection, especially in light of the present news cycle.

Through force or choice, Black people laid the groundwork for the United States in its earliest days. We continued to make our mark in just about every industry from entertainment to sports to the sciences. There’s more than enough to celebrate where we’re concerned.

But, on the flip side, there’s plenty of darkness and trauma as well, none of which died with slavery.

Reconstruction sought to dial down the temperature after the Civil War, and hopefully afford Black Americans some semblance of dignity. But, as noted by the Equal Justice Initiative, “it quickly became clear that emancipation in the United States did not mean equality for Black people. The commitment to abolish chattel slavery was not accompanied by a commitment to equal rights or equal protection for African Americans, and the hope of Reconstruction quickly became a nightmare of unparalleled violence and oppression.”

The Civil Rights era was equally brutal. Hoses and dogs were turned on Black people who dared to protest ongoing mistreatment at practically every level of society. This pivotal period spawned some of the most prominent activists in history, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. Until the day that he died, civil rights activist John Lewis encouraged us to get into “good trouble,” for the betterment of humanity.

As we usher in another February, it’s important to remember those who made sacrifices. We wouldn’t be where we are without our courageous predecessors, who dedicated their lives to Black liberation.

Here are 5 cities in the U.S. where you can celebrate both the history and excellence of Black people at various events.

1. New York

Some of New York’s BHM events are rooted in history and culture, while others are entertainment-based.

The Schomburg Center will be hosting its 15th annual BHM celebration. This live music event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required.

Have you ever wanted to do yoga with jazz music? The National Jazz Museum offers Move and Groove Yoga, taught in the Vinyasa format. Check the website for other jazz events set for February.

The Museum at FIT will host Fresh, Fly and Fabulous. This special exhibition chronicles the fashion trends over the 5 decades of hip-hop’s existence (yes, it really has been that long!). According to the site, “one exhibition could never hope to encompass every aspect of hip-hop style, and so Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous focuses on several themes that have carried through hip-hop style over the last five decades.”

Want to catch some melanated burlesque?Check out Frolic Black Burlesque Revue. Find info and tickets here.

While you’re in town, show love to Black-owned restaurants!

Brunch At Zion’s in the Bronx serves tasty fare with Caribbean and Mediterranean influence. Brooklyn is home to Slutty Vegan and Kokomo (home of the rum punch tower.)

2. Atlanta


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The ATL has always held a special place in the heart of the Black community, and with good reason.

According to Discover Atlanta, “Auburn Avenue, the heart of Black enterprise and the Civil Rights Movement, was called ‘the richest Negro street in the world,’ by Fortune Magazine in 1956.”

Auburn Avenue, to say nothing of the rest of Atlanta, is chock full of Black history. There’s the APEX Museum, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Park and Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Grab tickets to The Trap Museum and make your stomach happy at Old Lady Gang Southern Cuisine, Forks & Flavors and the many other Black-owned eateries.

Suite Food Lounge on Luckie Street is part restaurant and part nightclub.  It’s all about The Culture, from brunch to dinner. And the music? Hit after hit. You won’t want to leave. Trust.

3. New Orleans


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What comes to your mind when you think of New Orleans? Jazz. Bourbon Street. Mardi Gras. And incredibly flavorful food.

The New Orleans African American Museum is located in Treme, one of the oldest Black neighborhoods in the country.

Congo Square has historical significance. It was here where free and enslaved persons could congregate, buy and sell merchandise and play music. Today, there’s almost always something going on there.

If you’re a museum kind of person, you’re in luck. Visit Le Musée de F.P.C, Backstreet Cultural Museum and The Whitney Plantation. The latter, which opened to the public in 2014, is the only plantation museum with a focus on slavery in Louisiana.

4. Baltimore


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The James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Maryland Center for History and Culture and Sankofa Children’s Museum are just three of the cultural centers in Baltimore that have us in mind.

This city was the former residence of several prominent figures including Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall and Billie Holiday.

Toward the end of February, The DoubleTree by Hilton will host The Winter to Spring Concert, centering Black music, art and fashion. Click here for details.

Looking for something family friendly and educational? The Black Authors Book Expo will showcase writers of all genres and ages. According to Eventbrite, “last year, the youngest author was 9 years old, so feel free to bring the kids and be inspired!”

If you need a caffeine fix, go to Dovecote Café or Teavolve. Craving something stronger after a day of exploring? Try Serenity Wine Bar.

Baltimore has some fantastic soul food options, in case you didn’t know.

In the Lexington Market, Connie’s Chicken and Waffles has every variety of waffle you can think of. The Land of Kush delivers on flavor for the vegan and vegetarian communities. Next Faze Café offers not only catfish, hush puppies and other Southern favorites, but live music sessions on select days.

5. Memphis


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No trip to Memphis is complete without a visit to Beale Street, which has been lit since its earliest days.

According to Discover Music, “as more and more musicians fled the extreme poverty of the south in search of fame and fortune, Beale Street became flooded with blues clubs and bars, where hopefuls would plug in their guitars and play louder, more-driven blues.”

Here, you’ll find the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, which will be hosting a free Black History Month event virtually. It’s called Soul of America: The Evolution of Soulsville, and you can reserve your spot here. 

Set aside time for the National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was assassinated.

The Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum is another destination that should be on your itinerary as well. It is a guaranteed special experience to visit a place where our ancestors were able to find safe passage on the way to freedom. Check out the tour hours here.

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