In celebration of Black History Month, I wanted to begin the post by giving a brief bio of a well known artist whose works are displayed here in town!
Artist Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000), whose painting is featured above, was one of the prominent African American painters of the 20th century. As depicted in his artwork and throughout his career as an artist, Lawrence placed great emphasis on the history and struggles endured by African Americans. Lawrence’s career skyrocketed at the young age of twenty-three when he completed the sixty-panel set of narrative paintings, called The Migration Series. The series marks the story of the migration of hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the South to the North after World War I. Visit The Phillips Collection, where even-numbered panels from The Migration series are on view or venture to the 3rd floor at The Hirshhorn Museum to see other paintings by Jacob Lawrence.
The big to-do’s around town worth checking out for Black History Month:
Smithsonian Black History Month 2012 Event Calendar : In Celebration of Black History Month there are several events taking place at various Smithsonian venues throughout the month of February. This site features heritage videos, kid’s activities, “Family Memory” storybooks and other related resources.
Black History Month at the National Museum of African Art: Features the performance of Haitian-American musician, Daniel Roumain, on Saturday, February 25. The Museum will also be hosting their 2012 African Art House Film Festival , on every Thursday evening in February. Also, stay tuned for this months after hours, Africa Underground on February 24, 2012!
On view at the National Museum of American History is the exhibit, Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello:Paradox of Liberty from The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The exhibit recognizes six slave families living at Jefferson’s estate, Monticello. The exhibit takes a deeper look into slavery along with the family’s ties to religion, literacy and struggle for freedom. The exhibit remains open till October 14, 2012 at.
African Voices at The Museum of Natural History is a permanent exhibit that examines various themes in the life of Africa’s peoples and cultures. The exhibit includes historical and contemporary objects, interactive stations, and various personal testimonies.
Anacostia Community Museum - On view in the permanent collection, Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia highlights the history of baseball in Washington, D.C. from Reconstruction to the second half of the 20th century.
In addition, here’s an online source worth exploring:
Smithsoniain.com-Black History & Heritage Month : If you can’t make it to any of the featured exhibits/events, here’s the site for you. This online dedication hub to Black History Heritage Month consists of articles rich with history and stories of legendary African American leaders and role models in the country. The site also includes personal testimonies from President Barack Obama, poet Rita Dove, and legendary dancer, Maurice Hines.
If you know of any other Black History Month related events or exhibits on view please fill us in! Thanks!