Black History Month goes virtual
This year, you can learn about Black history, culture and heritage without leaving your home, as most Black History Month events have gone virtual. Art exhibits, musical performances, poetry readings, films, lectures and discussions will offer a variety of ways to explore Black history.
Wednesdays, through Feb. 24
'Black Voices, Black Joy': Virtually from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24 through Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin. Families will celebrate Black history, culture and heritage by sharing stories together. No registration is needed to participate -- just go to Facebook Live: gbpl.info/FBLV.
Thursday, Feb. 4
Trivia night: Virtually, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. Join College of DuPage's Student Life for a game of trivia on YouTube Live. Visit cod.edu/bhm.
Fridays, Feb 5-26
African American Heritage Prayer Service: Virtually at 10 a.m. Fridays, Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26, through the Archdiocese of Chicago. The 43rd annual African American Heritage Prayer Service. Catholic schools around the archdiocese will gather online to pray and celebrate African American heritage, culture, community and contributions to the church. The theme this year is "We Are Called: Umoja for Black Lives, Justice and Peace." The link to each prayer service can be found on the archdiocese's YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/CatholicChicago.
Friday, Feb. 5, to Sunday, Feb. 7
Black History Month Virtual Short Film Festival: Friday, Feb. 5, to Sunday, Feb. 7. The Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Hoffman Estates Chapter of The Links, Inc., present the third annual Black History Month Short Film Festival. This virtual, three-day event will showcase five short films to continue to spotlight bold, talented and creative African American filmmakers. To RSVP, visit bit.ly/Films2021.
Saturday, Feb. 6
Profiles in Excellence: Virtually from 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. The event theme is "Our Voice is Black History," featuring students and faculty from CLC sharing their experiences through stories collected from Lake County's African American community. Register to attend for free at www.lcfpd.org.
• Ida B. Wells -- Her Life and Legacy: Virtually at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, Des Plaines Public Library. Author, speaker, and educator Michelle Duster will discuss the life and legacy of her great-grandmother Ida B. Wells, an African American journalist and activist and early leader in the civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. For information and to register, visit bit.ly/3qB01v9.
Sundays, Feb. 7-21
Lift Every Voice: Virtually at 2 p.m. Feb. 7, 14 and 21, Poplar Creek Public Library, Streamwood. "Lift Every Voice" is a series of programs that explores the African American experience through poetry. Feb. 7: Why African American Poetry Matters, a poetry reading and discussion presented by Chasity Gunn; Feb. 14: Stories & Songs of the African People, presented by Shanta Nurullah; Feb. 21: The Downtown Charlie Brown Blues Band. For information, call (630) 837-6800 or visit www.pclib.org.
Sundays, Feb. 7-28
'New Letters On the Air': During February, College of DuPage WDCB 90.9FM Radio will present special archival installments of "New Letters On the Air," featuring interviews with notable Black American writers from 7:30 to 8 a.m. Sundays. On Feb. 7, the station will feature an interview with playwright August Wilson, followed by poet and author Gwendolyn Brooks Feb. 14, journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson Feb. 21, and author Ernest Gaines Feb. 28. In addition, WDCB also will spotlight the work of great Black jazz artists, past and present, throughout the month of February.
Monday, Feb. 8
Conversations About Race: Virtually at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, North Suburban YMCA, Northbrook. The North Suburban YMCA will partner with RAIN (Racial Awareness in the North Shore) for a special event titled "How to Have Conversations About Race." The program is free and open to the public. For information or to register, email Karen Brownlee at email@example.com.
• Teen Read Along -- Black History Month: Virtually at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, Des Plaines Public Library. Listen to and discuss a story celebrating Black voices. Register for this free, live Zoom event at (847) 376-2840 or bit.ly/2MFXIbf.
Tuesdays, Feb. 9, 16 and 23
'Hidden Colors': Virtually from 3-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 9, 16 and 23. A documentary about the real and untold history of people of color around the globe, which also discusses some of the reasons their contributions have been left out of the pages of history. Presented by the College of Lake County. Free. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/black-history-month.
Wednesday, Feb. 10
Soul Food Cooking Demonstration: Virtually from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. Chef Robert Collins, owner of Youthage Culinary, will provide an overview of soul food and show healthy ways to cook honey glazed hen and soul food stuffed peppers. Presented by the College of Lake County. Free. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/black-history-month.
• "Global Flicks": 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, virtually. The College of DuPage film series will host a discussion of the film "Daughters of the Dust." Prescreening of the film is required. The film is available through the COD Library on Kanopy for students and employees. Set in 1902, the film tells the story of three generations of Gullah, also known as Geechee, women living on Saint Helena Island as they prepare to migrate off the island, out of the Southern U.S. and into the North. Sign up at cod.edu/bhm.
• Black History Month Banner Craft: Register by Monday, Feb. 8, for program held virtually from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. Create your own banner craft at home while learning about significant Black History with the Waukegan Park District. Free. To register, visit www.waukeganparks.org/blackhistorymonth.
Thursday, Feb. 11
"A Crucial Conversation About Race and Justice: A Student-Led Town Hall": Virtually at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, Elgin Community College. A student-led town hall about the role of race and its intersection with justice in our society. Watch on Zoom. Free. Get the full event schedule at elgin.edu/BHM or call (847) 214-7079.
• Jesse White speaks at Harper: Virtually at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11. Harper College has partnered with the University of Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago, Rockefeller Chapel and Illinois Joining Forces to hold a virtual Black History Month event, featuring speakers Jesse White, a U.S. Army veteran and Illinois Secretary of State, and William (Bill) Hooks, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Cook County Criminal Court Judge. Free. Visit events.harpercollege.edu.
• Health in the Black Community: Virtually from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11. Led by Dr. Deborah Smart, Dr. Yolandra Johnson and Dr. Dalavia Edmon, the discussion will focus on preventive health care in the African American community. Presented by the College of Lake County. Free. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/black-history-month.
Thursdays, Feb. 11 and 25
'Connect, Engage and Uplift': 3 to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 11 and 25, virtually. Get creative and share stories, poems, spoken words, songs, raps or any other form of expression with other participants in College of DuPage's "Connect, Engage and Uplift: Have Some Fun and Be Encouraged." Sign up at cod.edu/bhm.
Friday, Feb. 12
Concert at noon: Virtually, noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12. The Chamber Singers will celebrate Black History Month during College of DuPage's "Music Fridays @ Noon." The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Lee R. Kesselman, is a choral ensemble that specializes in vocal chamber music of all periods. This performance features selections that celebrate Black History Month. Visit atthemac.org/events/musicfridays-feb12/.
• Black Jeopardy: Virtually from 1-2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12. Test and expand your knowledge of the various contributions people of African descent have made to society. Presented by the College of Lake County. Free. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/black-history-month.
Monday, Feb. 15
Author interview: Virtually, at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin. Join a presentation by children's author Charles Waters in "Raising Black Voices: Author Interview with Charles Waters." His book, "Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship," has won many awards. Register at gailborden.info/register.
Tuesday, Feb. 16
'The Black Panthers': Virtually from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, with Lisle Library District. What was the Black Panther Party, and how did their tactics differ from those of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Join Dr. Theodore Darden, professor of Justice Studies at College of DuPage, to discuss the history of the Black Panthers. Darden will delve into the community activism of the Party, the assassination of its pivotal members, and how it relates to today's Black Lives Matter movement. Register for the Zoom program at lislelibrary.org.
Wednesday, Feb. 17
Black culture: Virtually at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17. College of DuPage alumna and former Black Student Alliance President Veronica Williams-Hall will speak on the impact of the Black family in America and share an interactive experience on Black culture, social awareness and the plight of success for a young generation of leaders. Sign up at cod.edu/bhm.
Wednesdays, Feb. 17 and 24
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Virtual College Fair: Virtually from 12:30-2 p.m. and 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 17 and 24. Connect with selected colleges and hear about their admission process, tuition, what makes their campus unique and notable alumni. Presented by the College of Lake County. Free. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/black-history-month.
Thursday, Feb. 18
Ask Big Questions Conversation Circle: Virtually at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. Join representatives from College of DuPage's Student Life for a conversation circle to explore "who belongs to us and to whom do we belong?" For some people, family is the deepest and firmest bond. For others, family is something to escape, a source of pain and frustration. For some, "family" prompts the mainstream picture of mom-dad-kids. For others, family structure is described with modifiers: blended, extended, chosen, single-parent, foster or multiracial. Regardless of what it looks like, the concept and importance of "family" looms large in our individual and communal lives. Sign up at cod.edu/bhm.
• 'A Discussion on Ball Culture' with Dr. Marlon Bailey: Virtually at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, Elgin Community College. Bailey, a professor at Arizona State University, will discuss the impact of ball culture on the African American and LGBTQ+ communities. Watch on Zoom. Free. Get the full event schedule at elgin.edu/BHM or call (847) 214-7079.
• First Ladies-Unsung Sheroes: Virtually from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. A program to showcase the careers and experiences of Lake County African American women leaders, which will be moderated by Waukegan Supervisor Patricia Jones and State Rep. Rita Mayfield. Presented by the College of Lake County. Free. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/black-history-month.
Friday, Feb. 19
Historical Figures Collection Cards: Virtually from 6-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19. Make your own unique card with historical figures. Presented by the Waukegan Park District. Free. To register, visit www.waukeganparks.org/blackhistorymonth.
•'This is Black America': Virtual talent showcase at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19. Elgin Community College students will showcase their talents in the arts with a social justice, Black family, Black patriotism, or Black history theme. Hosted by Christopher D. Sims, nationally known poet and performance artist. Watch on Zoom. Free. Get the full event schedule at elgin.edu/BHM or call (847) 214-7079.
• Black History Month Expressions competition: College of DuPage students are invited to submit an essay, story, piece of art or music, poem or any other form of expression as part of the annual Black History Month Expressions competition. Select a quotation by a noted African American that is relevant to the 2021 Black History Month theme, "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity." Creators of the top four submissions will be notified March 12 and each will receive a $500 award. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19. Learn more about the competition at cod.edu.
Monday, Feb. 22
'Understanding Our Racial Past and Present': Virtually at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, with Messenger Public Library. College of DuPage Sociology Associate Professor Robert Moorehead will present "Systemic Racism in America: Understanding Our Racial Past and Present." Moorehead's teaching and research focus on issues of race, ethnicity and immigration in the United States and Japan, including the incorporation of Japanese Peruvian immigrants into Japanese society. Register at www.messengerpl.org.
Wednesday, Feb. 24
The MAC Presents 'The Life of Katherine Dunham': Virtually, time to be announced, Wednesday, Feb. 24. Listen to a discussion on the life and works of Katherine Dunham, an African American dancer, choreographer, author, educator, anthropologist, social activist and creator of the Dunham Technique. Dunham was born in Glen Ellyn and a few years later moved to Joliet. Sign up at cod.edu/bhm.
• "The Impact of Intersection With Whitney Hill": Virtually from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24 via Webex at Harper College. Hill is the founder and director of the nonprofit SPORK!, which serves people with cognitive, physical and non-apparent differences. Hill will share her story and discuss diversity, intersectionality and how compounding identities manifest our lived experiences. Free. Visit events.harpercollege.edu.
• The Underground Railroad: Virtually from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, Palatine Public Library. Terry Lynch portrays an owner of a "Safe House" in Illinois, describing how these houses were used as a stopping point for slaves before going on to safety in Canada. Sign up begins Feb. 10 for this online program. For information, call (847) 907-3600, ext. x167 or visit palatinelibrary.org.
• 'The Long Shadow': Virtually from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, Schaumburg Township District Library. "The Long Shadow," a documentary, will be the subject of an online conversation and Q&A with Emmy Award winning Director Frances Causey. Causey traces her family's legacy of white privilege, placing it in the context of the history of anti-Black racism in the United States that began with slavery and continues to impact our society today. Free; register at www.SchaumburgLibrary.org. The library encourages participants to view the documentary prior to the discussion. It is available to stream Friday, Feb. 19, through Friday, Feb. 26, at thelongshadowfilm.com/libraries.
Thursday, Feb. 25
Finding Your Ancestral Roots: Virtually from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. An interactive family history workshop facilitated by Patricia Bearden, retired educator, author and CEO of International Society of the Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry. Participants will learn how to promote strong writing about family history, use other expressive forms such as "sketch-to-stretch," link family history with literature and math, find internet resources and government archives for tracing family origins and meaningfully assess student work. Presented by the College of Lake County. Free. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/black-history-month.
• 'Black Lives Matter: A Historical Perspective': Virtually at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, Elgin Community College and sponsored by MAGIC. Gain insight into the systemic racism Black families found (and still find today) in the Midwest. Learn how to act to help Black families feel welcome and supported in the community. Watch on Zoom. Free. Get the full event schedule at elgin.edu/BHM or call (847) 214-7079.
• Annual African American Read-in: Virtually at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. Listen to volunteer readers from across the College of DuPage community present their favorite selections from African American books, essays and poetry collections, as well as brief biographical sketches of the authors. Sign up at cod.edu/bhm.
• 'Athletes in Protest 2020': Virtually, time to be announced, Monday, Feb. 25. Join a discussion, facilitated by College of DuPage faculty, regarding the history of professional athletes against racial injustices in America. Sparked by Colin Kaepernick's "taking a knee" to the recent professional athletes who have demonstrated against racism, this panel discussion will bring awareness to how the actions of professional athletes impact a movement and how these actions impact the Black family. Sign up at cod.edu/bhm.
• A Foot Soldier's Journey: Virtually from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday Feb. 25, Schaumburg Township District Library. Civil rights activist Thomas Armstrong will present "A Foot Soldier's Journey." A native of Mississippi, Armstrong will share his story of joining the Freedom Rides in 1961, publicly confronting segregation and being forced to leave home in fear for his life. Register at SchaumburgLibrary.org to receive the Zoom link or watch the livestream at SchaumburgLibrary.tv.
Friday, Feb. 26
Online Family Picnic and Game Night: Virtually at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, Elgin Community College. In the spirit of the Kwanzaa principles Umoja (Unity) and Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), celebrate the closing of Black History Month with a night of fun and fellowship with games and food from local restaurants. Join on Zoom. Free. Get the full event schedule at elgin.edu/BHM or call (847) 214-7079.
• 'A Taste of History': Virtually, time to be announced, Friday, Feb, 26, College of DuPage. Share an interactive at-home experience and learn how the Black family has impacted culinary diversity in America. Explore healthy options and disaggregate the story behind some familiar dishes in a live virtual streaming format with professional chefs. Sign up at cod.edu/bhm.
Saturday and Sunday, Feb 27 and 28
Salute to Gospel Concert: Virtually at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. The 37th annual College of Lake County Salute to Gospel Music Program is an outreach activity that aims to encourage African American youth to appreciate the many advantages of a CLC education. Having evolved as a support to the organization of the college's Gospel Choir in 1986, the program advocates personal development and cultural enrichment among people of color. Free. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/events/black-history-month.
Monday, March 1
Fireside Chat With Dr. Eve Ewing: Virtually from 6-7 p.m. Monday, March 1, Schaumburg Township District Library. Dr. Eve L. Ewing, award-winning author and assistant professor at the University of Chicago, will share her perspectives on racism, social inequality and urban policy. The evening will be moderated by WBEZ reporter and author Natalie Moore. To register, go to SchaumburgLibrary.org.
Exploring Black lives: As part of its Black History Month celebration, Elgin-based Gail Borden Public Library offers a virtual, multimedia exhibit that honors some of the most influential Black Americans and their contributions. It will include the stories of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Barack Obama, Harold Washington, Oprah Winfrey and Muddy Waters, and local Black leaders, as well as "Project 2-3-1," an exhibit created by Elgin historian Ernie Broadnax and the Elgin History Museum. Visit gailborden.info/blackhistory.
• Art exhibit at Oakton: Oakton Community College will offer a free virtual art exhibit during Black History Month. Oakton's Koehnline Museum of Art presents a selection of works drawn from its permanent collection, featuring African American artists' works and other artists who depict African American topics. The exhibit can be viewed online at www.oakton.edu/about/thearts/museum/current_exhibition/index.php through Sunday, Feb. 28.
• Arts at Dark: Throughout February. Jack Benny Center for Arts' Facebook page will be featuring African American composers, performers, and artists throughout February. A new art post will go up around sunset each day. Visit www.facebook.com/WPDArtsHistoryCulture.