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Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

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February is Black History Month and Central Florida has many ways for you to celebrate the month with your children.  Central Florida is filled with towns and cities with a strong African American influence.  Here are a few things to do with the family this month to celebrate Black History Month.

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Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

Here are various ways to celebrate Black History Month with your kids.

celebrate black history month

Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando – Live Events

These are live Black History Month events in Orlando to attend with the kids.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be in the Orlando area February 22 and 23.  Enjoy dancing and rhythmic movements representing all Africa and the Caribbean.  This is surely one that the entire family will enjoy.

Black History Month Celebration

On Saturday February 12, from 10am to 2pm, join the Black History Month Celebration in Winter Garden.  There will be music, food, children’s games, as well as reenactments of civil rights’ speeches, and guest speakers.  You will have to register for this event as spaces will go quickly.

The Mountaintop

The Garden Theatre in Winter Garden presents The Mountaintop, an imagining of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on Earth and a conversation on Civil Rights, what he has accomplished and who he hoped to be. The show will play February 3 to February 6.
Note: This is a great option for tweens and teens.

Promised Land: A Gospel/Spiritual Spectacular

The Seventh Annual MLK  Concert: “Promised Land”, A Gospel/Spiritual Spectacular will take place at the Dr. Phillips  Center for the Performing Arts on February 27. The concert will feature performances from the UCF Gospel Singers, the UCF Women’s Choir, the Orlando Choral Society, Tuskawilla United Methodist Church and more.
Note: This event is free to the public, but they ask that you fill in an interest form.

The 1619 Fest in Orlando

The third annual 1619 Fest in Orlando will take place on February 12 and 13 in Heritage Square, Winter Park.  Enjoy the two day festival with something for the entire family.  There will be live music, historical tours, stuff for the kids, and a 5k on Saturday.  The two day event is free, however, there is a cost for the race.

Trav’lin: A 1930s Harlem Romance

Introduce kids to the great music of the 1930s Jazz age through the musical Trav’lin: A 1930s Harlem Musical Romance at The Winter Park Playhouse.  The show includes a score by Harlem Renaissance composer J.C. Johnson, whose songs were  recorded by musical greats such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. The show will be playing every Thursday through Sunday until February 19.
Note: This is a great option for tweens and teens.

Three Little Birds

Orlando REP, in partnership with UCF, will present the musical, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds , based on the song of the same name by and the children’s book by his daughter, Cedella Marley. The show highlights themes of peace and love.  Shows will take place on February 5, 6, 11 and 12.

Voices:  A Celebration of African American Voices!

This year, Voices:  A Celebration of African American Voices will be singing and performing a concert version of Porgy and Bess.  Although this event will be held on March 4 at the historic Theater Winter Haven, this will surely be a good time for the entire family to enjoy.  There is a cost to this event.

Voices of Freedom & Justice: An Evening of Spoken Word Poetry

Voices of Freedom & Justice is an evening of spoken word poetry, taking place on February 11, with City of Orlando Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome, local spoken word artists and emerging local high school talents. Topics will include justice, self-identity, and other social issues.
Note: This is a great option for tweens and teens.

Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando – Online Events

Here are online Black History Month events to check out.

Black History 365 Camp

In this four part online course, your child will learn about the many contributions of African Americans to music, technology, entertainment, and sports.  The Black History 365 Camp is best suited for children ages 7 through 10.  There is a cost for this class and the class times do vary.

The FunkiJam Show Celebrates Black Musicians:  the MOTOWN Edition

Music is a huge part of African American culture.  What better way to teach your child about the contributions of African Americans to music by having them enjoy some Motown classics?  The FunkiJam cast hosts a high energy online class and interactive show.  This class is better suited for children ages two through seven.  There is a cost to this class and varying class times to fit any schedule.

The Origins of Black History Month – How and Why It Started

In this online class, your middle schooler to high schooler will learn about The Origins of Black History Month – How and Why It Started.  The class will discuss in detail the history of Black History Month as well as some little known facts about the celebration.  There is a cost to this class and there are varying class times that will fit any schedule.

Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando – Museums and Exhibits

Here are museums and exhibits you can take the kids to in order to learn more about Black History Month.

Bronze Kingdom

Located on international Drive in Orlando, the Bronze Kingdom has more than two thousand sculptures representing several countries on the continent.  Some of these sculptures date back to the early 1600s.  Children six and older will enjoy the museum and then the whole family can have lunch at the museum restaurant, Serengeti.

Hannibal Square Heritage Center

Hannibal Square is located in Winter Park, just a few miles north of Orlando.  The Hannibal Square Heritage Center gives visitors a chance to learn about Winter Park’s origins as an African American city.   Members of the community have tried to preserve the history of the city.  There are even walking tours where families can see and learn more about some of the historical sites of Winter Park and Heritage Square.

Heroes and Monsters:  Jean – Michel Basquiat Collection

The Orlando Museum of Art will be showcasing the exhibit Heroes and Monsters:  Jean – Michel Basquiat Collection from February 2022 through June 2023.  Middle and high schoolers and art enthusiasts in the family will enjoy some of his never before seen pieces on display that speak to his time spent in New York as well his Afro – Caribbean heritage.

Other Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Here are some other ways to celebrate Black History Month with kids.

Watch movies Featuring Black Stories

Take a look at these movies that feature black stories. They can be found on different streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and more.

Remember the Titans – a high school is forced to integrate and so is the football team under a black coach
Hidden Figures – three black women, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, help the US work towards winning the space race
Akeelah and the Bee – a young Akeelah is on her way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee and the community rallies around her to help
Drumline – life at HBCUs and the battle of the bands featuring the drumline
Hairspray – a musical comedy set in 1960s Baltimore that tackles issues on race on segregation
The Great Debaters – a group of underdog African-American college students turn into a historical powerhouse that took on the Harvard elite
42 – The story of how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball

Read Books about Black Figures and History

Readings with your kids is a great way to teach them about Black History. Below, are some great options for books to read with kids that cover black historical figures.

“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

 

 

 

 

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