The Evansville African American Museum has released its schedule of events and activities in celebration of Black History Month.
“Every month is Black History Month here at the EAAM, but we celebrate the national observance in February with the rest of the nation,” stated Executive Director Lu Porter. “In fact, the tradition of recognizing the achievements and contributions of African Americans can be traced back 100 years to the groundbreaking work of historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the man considered to be the father of African American History.” Ms. Porter adds, “Following the tradition Dr. Woodson established, we are proud to offer our calendar of events and activities to celebrate Black History Month.”
Evansville African American Museum Black History Month Calendar of Events
(All events are at the Museum unless otherwise noted.)
- Jan. 31 to Feb. 24, 2015: “Looking at Lincoln” Exhibit
Traveling exhibit from the Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History. Cost: museum admission; free for members; $5 for non-members; $3 for non-member students with school I.D.
- Feb. 6, 6 to 7 p.m.: Fabulous First Friday Speaker Series: Speaker Kimberly Dunning, Manager of Diversity & Development at Vectren Corp. Complimentary refreshments from Flames Grille. Cost: Free for members; $5 for non-members; $3 for non-member students with school I.D.
- Feb. 13, 6 to 7:15 p.m.: What is Freedom Lecture Series: The Emancipationist Memory of the Civil War,” by Mike Capps Lecturer, Chief of Interpretation & Resource Management at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Mr. Capps is the author of Indiana’s Lincolnland and has been featured on Book TV for C-SPAN. Cost: Free for members, $3 for non-members; $1.50 for non-member student with school I.D.
- Feb. 14, 2 to 4 p.m.: Free Community Movie Showing: Citizen King: This acclaimed documentary explores the last five years in King’s life by drawing on the personal recollections and eyewitness accounts of friends, movement associates, journalists, law enforcement officers, and historians, to illuminate this little-known chapter in the story of America’s most important and influential moral leader. This event is free to the public.
- Feb. 20, 6 to 7 p.m.: “The Poetic works of Paul Lawrence Dunbar” as interpreted by Mr. Orlando Johnson: Cost: Free for members; $5 for non-members; $3 for non-member students with school I.D.
- Feb. 27, 6 p.m.: Jazzy Nights at the Museum: Soulful jazz performance by Watez Phelps, Jr. and Friends. Admission Cost: Free for members; $5 for non-members; $3 for non-member students with school I.D.
- Feb. 28, 1 to 3 p.m.: Family History Day #1 – Free Family Genealogy Workshop: “The Basics of African-American and Minority Genealogy.” Location: Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library at 840 E. Chandler Ave. in Evansville. Computers are limited, guest are welcomed to bring their own computers to use. RSVP by Feb. 24. This event is free to the public.
- March 6 to March 8: Bus Trip to Montgomery and Selma, Alabama. Commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and events leading up to the historic march from Selma to Montgomery which galvanized support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Limited space is available. Vanderburgh County High School students are invited to enter an essay contest to win all expense paid trip on this bus tour. Deadline for entry is Tuesday, Feb. 10. Contact the Museum for more information about the trip and the essay contest.
The History of Black History Month
The roots of Black History Month go back to September 1915, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the second African American graduate of Harvard University and considered the “father of African American history,” co- founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other people of African descent. With Woodson leading the effort, the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. That event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures recognizing the many achievements of African Americans.
In the decades that followed, mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. As part of America’s Bicentennial Celebration, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since then, every American president has designated February as Black History Month.
About the Evansville African American Museum
Our mission: to continually develop a resource and cultural center to collect, preserve, and educate the public on the history and traditions of African American families, organizations, and communities.
Our Vision: as the last remaining building of Lincoln Gardens, the second Federal Housing Project in Indiana created in 1938, our building serves as a permanent artifact in itself. One section showcases life in the World War II era. The remaining sections of the building have been renovated as a modern museum serving to promote arts and education programs, cultural events and festivals. The Evansville African American Museum is open Tuesdays – Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.
Evansville African American Museum
579 S. Garvin St.
Evansville, IN 47713
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