What to Do in February: Black Awareness Events in and Around Charlotte, North Carolina

What better time to learn about African American History than during Black Awareness Month.
There are many events to pick from to learn the rich and inviting culture of African American History.

Starting with the basics, there are several Charlotte area institutions offering entire programs dedicated strictly to the heritage of African Americans.

> The African American Heritage Tour is running 2/27/2006 – 3/4/2006. Carolina Shuttle is offering tours around Charlotte, providing the passengers with an elaborate view of African American landmarks, successful businesses stared by local African Americans, and sites of historical value.

> The Levine Museum of the New South is presenting a new exhibition from 1/9/2006 –
5/15/2006. This exhibition is an exploration between similarities between the American South and the South African experience, as well as telling the struggle of a difficult democracy in Johannesburg.

> A short drive away is the International Civil Rights Center && Museum in Greensboro, NC. This is a great month to visit the museum, as February marks the 46th year anniversary of the Greensboro Sit-Ins at the Woolworth’s counter, at the original site.

> In Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of History is hosting an African American Reading Room, where tons of books are available. Open Saturdays and Sundays, Feb. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, and 25-26.

> The African American Cultural Center is showcasing South by South Africa: Crafting Cultural Understanding, an exhibit of South African crafts. $5.00, or Sundays free.

Seminars are abundant in Charlotte, where one can no only learn history, but also become knowledgeable in current events and current social issues which face African Americans today.

> The Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum is hosting a lecture as one of the many Black History month programs throughout February on the 19th from 3-5pm. The program, entitled “The Slave Family”, will feature Dr. Parker discussing the daily life and routine of slaves and their families.

> The North Carolina Museum of History is offering tours on Saturdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18, and 25
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m of History of African Americans in North Carolina.

> In Carboro, The African American Dance Ensemble will be providing a workshop and performance on February 7th. Other performances, concerts and lectures are scheduled throughout the month, in cities ranging from Greensboro to Tarboro to Kitty Hawk.

Looking for something unusual or different?

> The Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte is performing “Crowns”, a musical pronouncing the joy of African American women and their church hats. The show runs from February 15th until March 6th.

> SLAM Charlotte at the Blumenthal Performing Arts center is a Def Poetry reading for $5. It is hosted by HBO Def Poetry Jam artist Terry Creech.

> Inspirational gospel music can be heard at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum at Brown Memorial Singers Concert. This performance is February 27th, from 3-5pm.

> The African American Culture Tour is sponsored by fourteen African American non-profit organizations. In Charlotte, the African American Cultural Center is promoting the “Off the Wall and Onto the Stage”, a show of music, art and ballet rolled into one beautiful visual.

> The Black Diaspora Film Festival at Durham’s St. Joseph’s Historical Center will feature the African American film tradition. Last year featured a showcase of “Saluting Black Icons in Films”, including Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Morgan Freeman, Angela Basset, and Harry Belafonte. Program for this year to be determined.

> The University Branch of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library is celebrating Black History Month with a viewing of the film “Chisholm ’72”, from 7-9pm on February 1st. The first African American woman elected to congress mounts a campaign for president.

The real treat is joining in the actual celebrations- the festivals and the jubilee.

> A tradition is the 7th Harambee festival at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. This festival is lively with its food, music, art, and live stage performances. Saturday, February 25th, from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the HRC Arena.

> Music and dancing is always abundant as Johnson C. Smith University. While the university plans activities for the entire month, with panels, lessons and movies, the official dates will be updated by the university closer to February.

> The Levine Museum of the New South presents Youth Freedom Song Workshop with Saundra Thomas. Students learn about the history of the Mississippi Freedom Summer and the South African Freedom Struggle on February 25th, from 1-4pm. Includes a tour of exhibits, craft activity, freedom songs, and a performance for parents.The cost is $6.

Many other events will take place in Charlotte and surrounding areas, and a good time is always guaranteed.

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