Black History Month, always celebrated in February, is an important reminder to Americans to reflect and truly learn about not only the history of African-Americans in local communities, but how these citizens have influenced and changed the way this country works. As a culturally diverse city, Houston has many ways for people to celebrate Black History Month and learn more about this diverse and important part of American culture. Don’t miss out on these events, exhibitions and shows this February!
Knock Me A Kiss
3535 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002
Hours: Through Feb. 24
This play, written by Charles Smith, is set in 1920’s Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. It follows Yolanda DuBois, an up-and-coming young woman who is torn between the love of two men: the musician Jimmy Lunceford and the poet Countee Cullen, who is the preference of her activist father (the famous W.E.B. DuBois). Based on the true story surrounding Yolanda DuBois’s 1928 marriage, the play asks the question of what one should do when advocating for an entire people – do what is best for the group, or follow one’s heart, even if it is somewhat selfish?
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
3816 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004
One of Houston’s most interesting museums, the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum tells the story of the African American soldiers who fought bravely for their country during the Revolutionary War. Originally a label for the 10th Calvary Division, the term “buffalo soldier” eventually came to refer to any African American Soldier. This museum features exhibits honoring all African Americans who served the American military from the Revolutionary War to the current day.
Discover Black History At Spring Branch Memorial Library
930 Corbindale Road
Houston, TX 77024
Hours: Feb. 21 – 3:30 p.m.
Intended for children 5 and up, this event, sponsored by the Harris County Public Library, will teach children and their families about seven important figures in African-American History, and will especially cover how these figures have influenced the country in its current state. There will be related games for the children to play as they learn, and at the end of the session, those in attendance can place their “dreams” up on the board for the community to see for the whole of Black History Month.
Dream Of Doors
Express Children’s Theatre
446 Northwest Mall
Houston, TX 77092
Hours: Through March 8
Express Theatre opened in 1991 specifically as a children’s theatre and presents a play with an important message every year for Black History Month. The performance for 2013 is entitled “Dream of Doors,” and is based on the lives of many historical figures who helped to open doors for those who came after them. The musical, written by Thomas Meloncon, focuses on the “doors” of equality, education, justice and employment.
The African American Library At The Gregory School
1300 Victor St.
Houston, TX 77019
The African American Library was officially opened in November 2009 and is located in the first public school for African American students in the city of Houston, the Edgar M. Gregory School. The historic school was renovated to house historical documents, rare books, oral histories and artifacts important to the African American culture of the area; the library is used by researchers, historians and the general public of the Houston area to further understand the African Disapora. The library hosts several speakers and performances each year, and there will be special exhibits for Black History Month – though this is a Houston treasure that can be enjoyed all year long!
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.