Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando (2023)

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Every February, the United States recognizes the contributions of African Americans that have shaped this country.  During Black History Month, Orlando, as well as other cities across the country, celebrate the rich cultural tapestry weaved by people that are an indelible part of our country’s history.   Here are a few activities that are sure to be fun to attend with your family as well as a learning experience for all.

Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

If you are looking for ways to celebrate Black History Month with the kids in Orlando, here are 10 activities that you can do.

celebrate black history

Black History Festival

Head over to Lakeland and enjoy their Black History Festival on February 18 from 10 am to 2 pm.  Spend the day with family and enjoy the day’s kid activities, entertainment, vendors, and food trucks.   While there, take a walk in the Coleman Bush Building to do the neighborhood history walk with information about some of the black pioneers in Lakeland’s history.

Black History Month Events at the Orange County Libraries

Each year, the Orange County Libraries host several free events to celebrate Black History Month.  This year is no exception.  The OCLS has more than fifty free events planned, including the National African American Read-In, held at the downtown Orlando library.  There will be music, dancing, poetry, and more.  This awesome, free family event will be held on February 5 from 2 to 3:30 pm.

Black History Walking Tour

The second annual Black History Walking Tour will take place in the Parramore neighborhood of downtown Orlando on February 10 at 2 pm.  The hour-long tour will delve into Orlando’s rich Black history while touring historic sites, including the Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture.  The tour is free, but registration is required.  This will be a great event for the entire family to enjoy.

Books about Black Figures and History that we recommend:

“What is the March on Washington”
Howard Thurman’s Great Hope
She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story
Who was Rosa Parks”
Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas 
“What is the Civil Rights Movement”
Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence

Crafternoons:  Celebrate Black History Month

Join fellow budding artists at the Winter Garden Branch of the Orange County Libraries on February 15 from 4 to 5 for Crafternoons.  Children six to eight years old will enjoy using creativity and collaboration during this hour-long event to create crafts that celebrate Black History Month.

Day trip to Eatonville

Eatonville is the first incorporated all-black city in the United States and is an important part of African American history in this country.  Eatonville is also the home of renowned Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston. While visiting the town, take in the cultural elegance of the city and visit the Zora Neale Hurston Museum of Fine Arts.  The museum houses information about Eatonville and displays works by artists of African American descent.  The Zora Neale Hurston Trail connects sixteen historic sites and ten markets with Hurston’s writings.

Joy Filled Noise:  A Musical Celebration of Black History

Join Kevin Harris and an all-star ensemble of singers for Joy Filled Noise:  A Musical Celebration of Black History on February 26.  The musical arrangements will vary from African spirituals to jazz, to blues, and gospel; even the South African hymn Siyahamba.  Show times are February 24 and February 26 and you can choose to view the concert in person or livestream.

MLK Gospel Concert

On February 18, join the joyful celebration at the eighth annual MLK Gospel Concert at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Steinmetz Hall.  Directed by Grammy winner Dr. Jeffrey Redding, the show will have an incredible assortment of music that the whole family will enjoy.  Admission to this event will be nonperishable food donations for a local non-profit organization.

The Story Quilters of Hannibal Square

The Hannibal Square Center in Winter Park is hosting The Story Quilters of Hannibal Square from January 27 to April 29.  The exhibition will feature beautiful quilts that will tell the stories and reflections of the Black experience, family, spirituality, and justice.  The exhibit is free to visit and is open and is open daily starting at 9 am.  Families can even learn to weave their own tapestry by signing up to take a quilting class with Lauren Austin, founder of the Hannibal Square Story Quilters.

Voices of Freedom:  An Evening of Spoken Word

Voices of Freedom:  An Evening of Spoken Word will be hosted by Orlando Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome.  It promises to offer visitors an evening of African American artists showcasing different performing arts.  Join other Central Floridians at the Dr. Phillip Center for the Performing Arts on February 10.  While this is an evening the entire family can enjoy, we recommend it for children middle school aged and older.

Wall Crawl

Who’s ready for their selfie?!  If you are ready to have fun and still learn about African American contributions to the City Beautiful, then head over Wall Crawl in the Parramore District.  In honor of Black History Month, Wall Crawl has debuted a special wall that honors African American historical figures with ties to Parramore.  There are several packages to choose from with pricing and availability on the website.  This activity is recommended for middle school-aged and older.  For the month of February, Wall Crawl will cover the cost of admission to the Wells’Built Museum when you purchase a general admission ticket.

What’s Up Downtown Parramore Historic Bus Trolley Tour

The name says it all!  Celebrate Black History Month and the contributions of African Americans to Orlando and the surrounding areas by taking a trolley tour.  The tour departs from the Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture on February 23 at 9:15 am and 11:30 am.  Due to limited spacing, walk-ups for the trolley will not be accepted.  This will absolutely be a fun time for all!






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