February may be a short month but it’s big in many ways. Most notably the fact that it happens to be Black History Month! From events to ways to learn and give back, here are the best ways to celebrate Black History Month in Seattle this year.
This is SAL’s first free community event of the year and is highlighting Derecka Purnell, author of Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom. You’ll also be able to hear from Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley, a widely published American historian and one of MCF’s 2021 Freedom Scholars.
When: February 3rd
Seattle has tons of Black owned businesses ranging from restaurants to retail to services and more. Tools like Intentionalist can help you find these businesses so you can support them directly. Not only that but its a tool available in cities across the country so you can share it with your friends and family.
One of the best ways to celebrate BHM is by making a commitment to unlearning racist biases. An excellent way to do that is by educating yourself, something you can easily do thanks to do SPL’s list of anti-racism reads. You’ll find books talking about history, current movements as well as children’s books.
On the topic of books and knowledge, one of Seattle’s best bookstores happens to be Black/Brown founded with a focus on social justice and the community. At this time the physical bookstore and library is closed but you can support them by donating online or making book purchases online.
The MOHAI is highlighting The Green Book which is a piece of history that many probably don’t know about. First published from 1936 to 1967 during Jim Crow segregation, “it identified state by state the establishments deemed friendly, safe, and willing to serve Black people.”
When: February 19th
Where: 860 Terry Ave N
The MOHAI’s newest exhibition celebrates the Black and Tan Club which existed on 12th and Jackson until 1966. The club “hosted legendary musical acts and local bands for patrons of all races as one of the first interracial establishments in Seattle. To honor the influential history of Seattle’s early Black jazz scene, artist Bonnie Hopper created oil paintings of the renowned musicians who played at the nightclub.”
When: February 19th-21st
Where: 860 Terry Ave N
For those of you who love the performing arts, you can check out Blue this month. It portrays contemporary African American life with themes of love and loss, church, sisterhood, and most importantly, family. “A young couple celebrates the joy of family with the birth of their son. And, later leans on their close-knit community in the aftermath of his death at the hands of a police officer.”
When: February 26th-March 12th
Where: 321 Mercer St
Cost: $35 – $199
There you have it Seattle. We hope you get out there and check out a few of these events or find ways to give back. Happy Black History Month!