Top 5 Black History Month Events

African Americans have played an integral role in shaping the nation we know and appreciate today.  Here are just a few ways you can join in the celebration of February Black History Month.

1. Thru Feb 26: Walk-in Tours of Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial
Born in Dayton in 1872 to former slaves, Dunbar is famed as the first African-American poet to earn national acclaim. Though he only lived to age 33, his prolific legacy includes dialect poems, essays, and novels. Visitors can tour his home that, in 1936, became the first state memorial to honor an African American. Admission: $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12, free ages 5 and under, Wed–Sat 10 am–4 pm. 219 North Paul Laurence Dunbar Street, Dayton, (800) 860-0148.

2. Feb 10: Roland Martin
The nationally syndicated journalist, named one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States by Ebony Magazine, discusses the historical context of the Civil Rights and how the debris of those struggles manifest today. The luminary also shares insight into how we can take steps toward freedom in our own lives. Admission: free, Thurs 6:30 pm. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, downtown, (513) 333-7705.

3. Feb 12, 20, 26: This Little Light of Mine: The Stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price
Written by and starring Soprano Adrienne Danrich, this musical tribute celebrates the progressive careers of African-American opera icons. Through live and recorded music, plus historic photographs, the show displays music’s role in “opening minds” during the Civil Rights Movement. Admission: free. Visit www.cincinnatiopera.com/thislittlelight for the four show times and locations.

4. Feb 13: Hearts, Heroes and Heritage Concert
The U.S. Air Force Band of Flight honors Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents Day (phew, that’s ambitious!) through selections by Glenn Miller and John Williams, as well as a special tribute to “The Air Force Song.” A proud staple since 1942, the band performs more than 450 concerts annually nationwide. Admission: free, Sat 7:30 pm. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, 1100 Spaatz St., Dayton, (937) 255-3286.

5. Black History Month at Macy’s

Feb 14–20: National Great Blacks in Wax Exhibit
On loan from their permanent home in Baltimore, MD, this waxy crew includes Paul Laurence Dunbar, Henry Box Brown, Guion Bluford, Walter White, and Mother Mary Lange. Admission: free, Mon–Wed 10 am–9 pm, Thurs–Sat 10 am–10am, Sun 11 am–7 pm.

Feb 19: Family activities include African-American storytelling by Omope Carter Daboiku, crafts, gospel tunes from the Cincinnati Super Choir, and Kathy Wade’s “A Black Anthology of Music.” Admission: free, noon–3 pm. Macy’s at Kenwood Towne Centre, 7875 Montgomery Road., Kenwood, www.macys.com.

—Elizabeth Miller

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