List: West Michigan events to commemorate Black History Month

Black History Month

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — During a Black History Month amid a national reckoning about racism and racial inequity, many Grand Rapids-area organizations are moving events online.

Below, find a list of events in and around Grand Rapids, listed alphabetically by the organization running the program:

ArtXchange will display art by local Black artists at Woodland Mall from Feb. 12 to Feb. 14.

Aquinas College, as part of St. Thomas Aquinas Week, is hosting a virtual program at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 entitled “Black Christian Experience: Race in America and what the Christian’s Approach Ought to Be.” | Event information

Calvin University will have a series of virtual speeches throughout the month as part of its “Reimagining Black History Month” program. Presentations include:

  • 4 p.m. Feb. 4: “Building Life Beyond Whiteness” by Dr. Willie Jennnings
  • 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10: “Stewards of Adamah: The Intersection of Race, Theology and the Environment” by Lyonel LaGrone
  • 4 p.m. Feb. 11: “What is the Value of Black History Month? Exploring Race, Time, and Space in America” By Dr. Mark Hopson
  • 4 p.m. Feb. 18: “Ain’t I an Innovator: The Missing Narratives of Black Women in the Field of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship” by Nicole Parker
  • 3 p.m. Feb. 22: “Watching Jesus Hang: Reading the Gospel Accounts of Jesus’ Crucifixion through African American Biblical Histories” by Rev. Dr. Shively Smith
  • 4 p.m. Feb. 25: “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein

Event links

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is holding two virtual programs related to race:

  • 7 p.m. Feb. 4: “Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood: The Complicated past and the Paradoxical Relationship Between Slavery and Freedom in the Nation’s Capital” presented by Lina Mann and Matthew Costello. | Register
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 11: “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican” presented by Dr. David Hamilton Golland. | Register

The Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives is facilitating a free self-guided tour of 11 points in downtown Grand Rapids focusing on civil rights. The program was developed by local high school students and features memories from residents. | Download via

Grand Rapids Community College’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will host a virtual presentation on Black-Latinx issues in the 2020 election in “Mi gente es Fuerte, ¿pero unida? … Well, it’s complicated” by Rosa Celemente at 4 p.m. Feb. 16 | Register

The Grand Rapids Public Library is offering Black History Month Craft Kits and hosting a number of free programs:

  • 6 p.m. Feb. 2 and Feb. 9: “African American Architects” with Isaac Norris
  • Noon Feb. 3: “Community Spotlight: Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses”
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 4: “Music (NOT) In the Stacks: Edye Evans Hyde”
  • 10 a.m. Feb. 6, Feb. 13, Feb. 20, Feb. 27: Black History Month Storytimes
  • Noon Feb. 10: “Community Spotlight: A City Within A City”
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 22: “Music (NOT) In the Stacks: Tom Cutts”
  • 6 p.m. Feb. 16: Ebony Road Players Present “Anne and Emmett”
  • Noon Feb. 17: “Community Spotlight: We Are Lit GR” with Kendra McNeil
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 18: “Music (NOT) In the Stacks: Karisa Wilson”
  • 1 p.m. Feb. 21: “Taste of Soul Sunday”
  • Noon Feb. 24: “Community Spotlight: Luxe Artisan Preserves” with Kimberly Marie
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 25: “Music (NOT) In the Stacks: Jordan Hamilton”

Event information

Grand Valley State University is hosting several virtual programs:

  • 7 p.m. Feb. 2: “The Resilience of Black Americans: The Need for Racial Equipty and Justice Within the Black Community” by Greater Grand Rapids NAACP President Cle Jackson. | Event details
  • 1 p.m. Feb. 5: “Better or Worse”: A discussion of prejudice in the classroom.| Event details
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 11: “Black Masculinity”: A discussion on stereotypes, perceived masculinities and gender nonconformity. | Event details
  • Noon Feb. 17: “Conversations of Color”: A discussion of being Black and LGBTQ. | Event details
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 24: “Black-haus-tion”: A panel with Black graduate students on succeeding at a predominantly white institution. | Event details

World of Winter will hold free Black History Walking Tours on Feb. 4, Feb. 7, Feb. 20 and Feb. 21. The event is first come, first served with a maximum participation of 25 people per group. Those interested in attending should arrive at Rosa Parks Circle. | RVSP on Facebook

WOOD TV8 will run a series of reports in February Honoring Black History, culminating in a half-hour special that will air at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, and again at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27.

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