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Mayor Wu Announces City's Black History Month Programming

Mayor Michelle Wu and the City of Boston’s Equity & Inclusion Cabinet today announced a series of programming to mark the start of Black History month and create space for residents and families to celebrate and be in community. This year’s Black History Month theme is "African Americans and the Arts".

“Boston’s Black communities are foundational to the fabric of our city, and we honor their contributions during Black History Month and throughout the year,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m thrilled to announce our Black History Month programming, where Boston residents, families and visitors can be in community and learn about the contributions and history of Black communities all month long.”

"In observance of Black History Month, we acknowledge the profound influence of black culture on the artistic milieu, serving as a source of inspiration, catalyst for movements, and resilience in the face of challenges,” said Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity & Inclusion. “We invite all to partake in this month-long journey of education, community engagement, and celebration, as we illuminate the richness inherent in Boston's Black history and cultural heritage."

“Celebrating African Americans in the arts is a timely theme that honors the many forms of expression of black culture,” said Lori Nelson, Senior Advisor on Racial Justice. “It has been the center of how the narrative of black people create, inspire, birth movements, and resist.”

For all programming hosted by the City of Boston, please visit boston.gov/equity-and-inclusion/black-history-month.  

City of Boston Lights Up (Red, Yellow, & Green)

Thursday, February 1 through Friday, February 2

Boston City Hall will light up red, yellow, and green commemorating the start of Black History Month along with the following buildings:

  • Bolling Building 
  • The Hub on Causeway
  • Government Center
  • UMB - Integrated Science Complex
  • One Financial Ctr.
  • John Hancock
  • 200 Berkeley
  • TD Garden
  • Prudential 
  • BCEC Convention Center
  • 888 Boylston 
  • Rose Kennedy Greenway

City of Boston Black History Month Celebration and Flag Raising Program

Tuesday, February 6, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. 

This event will feature remarks from Mayor Wu, Keynote Speaker Taneshia Laird Greater, President & CEO of Roxbury Arts & Cultural Center and a flag raising 

Location: Boston City Hall - Third Floor Mezzanine: 1 City Hall Square, Boston MA 02201 

Lunch and Learn: Gender in the Workforce thru the Black Lens

Thursday, February 8, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

A panel discussion that will explore the role gender, race and their intersections play in the workforce

Locatio​​n: Boston City Hall - Mezzanine, 1 City Hall Square, Boston 

Black Employee Network (BEN) ERG Black History Month Celebration

Friday, February 9, 7:00 - 10:00 p.m

Location: Florian Hall, 55 Hallet St. Dorchester

Connecting Black City employees and the community with City Leadership to celebrate all of the triumphs of the Black diaspora!

Please register here

Sankofa: Selections from Songs of Free Men: Honoring Baldwin’s Centennial

Friday, February 9, 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.

A celebration of the Black Diaspora with music in honor of James Baldwin

Location: Black Market, 2136 Washington St, Roxbury

Please register here

The Melanin Roll

Saturday, February 17, 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.  

Location: Chez Vous Skating Rink: 11 Rhoades Street, Dorchester

Please register here

BCYF Skate and Trivia Night (For ages 17 and under)

Thursday, February 22, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

This event will create space for young residents ages 17 and under to be in community and skate with friends and families

Location: Chez Vous Skating Rink: 11 Rhoades Street, Dorchester 

Bring It to the Hall Featuring London (Escada) Saint Morta of LEGENDARY

Friday, February 23, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. 

Join the Mayor's Office of LGBTQ+ Advancement for a Youth Tour followed by a panel and demonstration; registration is limited, and lunch will be served, as we explore the history of the House-Ball Culture, an underground LGBTQ+ subculture created by Black and Brown individuals in opposition to racism within established drag queen pageant circuits, with a voguing performance by the Legendary House Mother London Saint Morta and their house members, who were also finalists on HBO Max’s LEGENDARY.

Location: City Hall Civic Pavilion: 1 City Hall Square, Boston MA 02201 

Black Veterans Appreciation Brunch

Saturday, February 24, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

This event, hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Veteran Affairs, will celebrate and honor the contributions and sacrifices of Black Veterans in helping to create and add to the United States' legacy. The City will also be honoring deserving veterans with Community and Outstanding Service awards.

Location: Prince Hall Lodge, 24 Washington St., Dorchester MA 02121

Please RSVP here

Age Strong Black Heritage Luncheon

Monday, February 26, 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

This event will celebrate the City’s Black older adults and uplift the storied history and life of African American Arts and Artisans.

Location: Russell Auditorium, 71 Talbot Avenue

To register, please call 617-635-3979 or email nuria.silva@boston.gov.

Boston Public Library Programming

Boston Public Library “Black is…” Booklist

The Boston Public Library’s annual “Black is…” booklist features 75 recent titles commemorating the achievements, complexities, struggles, and culture of the Black experience. Copies of the “Black Is…” booklist will be available at all BPL locations starting February 1, 2024 and can also be accessed digitally.

The Tuskegee Airmen: A History Lecture by Muqeedah Salaam

Thursday, February 1, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. - Charlestown Branch

Local historian Muqeedah Salaam discusses the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces.

Author Talk: Jeffrey A. Denman - John Quincy Adams, Reluctant Abolitionist

Wednesday, February 7, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., Central Branch

Jeffrey A. Denman discusses his 2023 nonfiction book, John Quincy Adams, Reluctant Abolitionist, which looks at the life of John Quincy Adams as seen through the lens of slavery.

Author Talk: Dr. Jacqueline Jones - No Right to an Honest Living: The Struggles of Boston's Black Workers in the Civil War Era 

Saturday, February 10, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. BPL Hyde Park Branch

Dr. Jacqueline Jones discusses her 2023 nonfiction book, No Right to an Honest Living: The Struggles of Boston's Black Workers in the Civil War Era, which presents inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of Boston's Black workers.

Introduction to African American Genealogy

Saturday, February 10, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Virtual

A virtual introduction class to African American genealogy with a focus on resources and online tools that help trace family histories.

Register here

Massachusetts's 54th Regiment: A Lecture by Shawn Quigley 

Saturday, February 10, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. - BPL Parker Hill Branch

Shawn Quigley of the National Park Service will give a presentation on the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, one of the first Black regiments to serve in the U.S. Civil War.

An Artist's Talk with Shea Justice: History Unfolds 

Saturday, February 24, 11:00 - 1:00 p.m. - BPL Hyde Park Branch

Roxbury native, Boston-area educator, and artist Shea Justice will discuss his recent work, which investigates the way American society, policies, laws, and customs have impacted African Americans throughout history