Celebrate some of history’s most important Black figures with Denver’s cultural centers.
It’s February, and that means it’s time to celebrate Black History Month. It’s important to celebrate Black innovators and creators throughout history every single month, we know that cultural centers and museums amp up the celebrations in February. While things are still a little bit different, there’s still a lot of ways to celebrate Black History Month. Whether it be virtual or in-person, these 5 cultural centers in Denver have got some amazing and educational resources for you to enjoy.
The Black American West Museum is closed for renovations this year as they reconstruct Dr. Justina Ford’s (the first Black physician in Denver) home, but they’re still celebrating. A film has been made in her honor, and is available to watch here on Youtube. The film documents the people who attempted to save her house from being demolished in the 80s, and recounts her life and personal struggles. The Black American West Museum reopens later this year, so make sure to check it out when it does to learn more about the history of Black people in the West.
The Denver Public Library has always got something fun and educational going on. This year, the library will be virtually hosting a ton of Black History Month activities all throughout February. Every week, on kanopy.com, the Library will screen a different film celebrating the lives of impactful Black icons throughout history and hosting discussions, called their ‘Doc & Talk Series’. This week, they’ll be showing and hosting a discussion on the award-winning documentary, ‘Mavis! Gospel Music Legend and Civil Rights Activist Mavis Staples.’ The week of February 11th, they’ll be hosting a documentary on racism in Mardi Gras. The week of February 18th, they’ll be screening ‘Thunder Soul’ which is about Kashmere High School Stage Band and the leader who turned them into a funk powerhouse in the 70s. Finally, the week of February 25th, they’ll be hosting a documentary on Jean-Michael Basquiat, an iconic artist. All information about the event, like how to access the discussions, can be found here.
This year, the Museo De Las Americas is celebrating Black History Month by making February 5th free all day long and extending museum hours. Their latest exhibit is Testigos / Witnesses in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Center. Testigos / Witnesses is a portrait exhibit that examines themes of life, death, and the universe. The portraits are a collaboration between artist Gaal D. Cohen and artisan Genaro Fuentes Trego of the Indigenous Otomi community in San Pablito Pahautlán, Mexico. The museum is also hosting various workshops. For more information about the exhibit, check out their info page.
Aurora Fox Art Center will be live streaming a variety of performances celebrating the cultural diversity in Colorado to celebrate Black History Month. Their Cultural Concert Series will include artists, dancers, and storytellers, plus some other types of artists. They’ve already kicked off the start of this series in January to honor Martin Luther King Jr., but there’s still a lot to see in February. Check out this page for a list of previous and upcoming livestreams.
5. Active Minds
Active Minds is hosting a ton of live webinars centered around Black history this month, all virtually. Every week will be a new topic, starting with week one, which is about the Tuskegee army, the first Black aviators in World World 2. Week two will be about the year 1963, a pivotal year in the civil rights movement. Week three is all about ragtime music and the legacy of musician Scott Joplin. Finally, week 4 will have two events surrounding two impactful figures in the civil rights movement. First on February 22nd, their webinar is about the legacy of Malcolm X, and February 23rd will be about Harriet Tubman, the famous “conductor” of the Underground Railroad. For information about the webinars, you can check out their information page.