February marks Black History Month. Although many traditionally held events are on hold for this year, there are many ways in which visitors and locals can celebrate Black history and culture in Flint & Genesee.
To keep with tradition, the Genesee District Library and abc12 have partnered to bring locals the 20th Anniversary Black History Celebration on Thursday, February 11. The local channel will stream the 60-minute celebration live featuring past honorees from the library’s annual Black History Month Brunch, a live performance by Linkin’ Bridge and a spoken word piece by Dr. Traci Currie.
Beyond the celebration, one way is to celebrate the month is to learn about the prominent Black organizations in Flint’s history. The University of Michigan-Flint’s Francis Thompson Library holds a variety of documents in the Genesee Historical Collections Center on the history of the African American community in Flint including the Edgar B. Holt papers, the Olive Beasley Papers and the Peter T. Jacquette papers all of whom were involved in civil rights movement and lead or participated in civil rights organizations in Flint. Some of these documents can be read on the University of Michigan-Flint’s website.
Another way to celebrate the month is to appreciate art created by Black individuals. The MW gallery contains exhibits from the Mott-Warsh Collection, a private collection of art from artists related to the African Diaspora.
Additionally, the Flint Institute of Arts is currently showing the exhibit Posing Beauty in African American Culture which explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through a diverse range of media including photography, film, video, fashion, advertising, and other forms of popular culture such as music and the Internet.
Finally, programming from Flint cultural institutions have programming that relates to Black History Month. At Longway Planetarium, families can attend the science workshop African American Heroes which explores the accomplishments of African American figures on February 6. Additionally, the African American Film Series presented by Communities First, Inc. will be hosting a virtual showing of the movie Fast Colors from February 18 – 21.