Each February, we honor and celebrate the Black heroes, dreamers and fighters who have bravely stood up for equal rights for generations and shaped our country’s culture.
There are many upcoming local events related to Black History Month. Below, find events by and for Black artists, authors, vendors, historians, activists and more.
Black Wall Street Heritage and History Festival
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 4 Big 10 Ballroom, 1624 E. Apache St.
The 10th annual Black Wall Street Heritage and History Festival will take place Feb. 4 at the newly renovated Big 10 Ballroom. This event, hosted by Lakita Parker and Ashlee Dorsey, will honor and celebrate talented young Black people in the Tulsa community.
Attendees can shop from Black vendors and enjoy soul food and live music. Sugar Chic Glam will again put on a fashion show for all to enjoy. There will be speakers to give updates on community happenings, and the event’s special guest is Tanya Wilson.
People are also reading…
The cost of admission is a $10 donation benefiting the Community Pride Farmers Market or $15 for entry and a meal.
Circle Cinema films6 p.m. Feb. 2 8 S. Lewis Ave.
Celebrate the Black experience on screen with five romantic movies this month, including “Love and Basketball” and “Love Jones.” Circle Cinema’s Black Love series begins Thursday, Feb. 2, with a happy hour and live music by Tulsa R&B artist OmaleyB and a movie screening to follow. More events are scheduled; see circlecinema.org for tickets and details.
Roundtable on Values and Justice
Feb. 1-2 322 N. Greenwood Ave.,
Greenwood Cultural Center
This multi-day roundtable discussion will cover the reimagining of the future of justice policy across Oklahoma. It is hosted by Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, The Education and Employment Ministry, in partnership with The Square One Project at Columbia University’s Justice Lab.
This event will bring together advocates, scholars, artists, community members and justice-impacted people across the state to reimagine the criminal legal system in Oklahoma. More information and tickets for this free event are available at eventbrite.com.
Art Talk series
Doors at 6 p.m. Feb. 3 Tulsa Central Library, 400 Civic Center
Art 4orms Foundation presents its quarterly community Art Talk series, which gives visual artists of color in Tulsa an opportunity to craft a visual and verbal literacy experience. There will be a presentation from painter, muralist and bead artist Alexander Tamahn. Tamahn is a founding member of Black Moon Collective, a cohort of young Black artists helping lead Tulsa’s renaissance.
Light refreshments will be served, and artwork will be available for purchase. This event will be held in the Aaronson Auditorium at Tulsa Central Library. Tickets are $15 plus fees at eventbrite.com.
Gathering Place events
2-4 p.m. each Saturday in February 2650 S. John Williams Way Gathering Place will host free events for Black History Month. Tulsa in Harmony will highlight local musicians and artists and pay homage to historical Black artists.
Guests also can enjoy a selection of works on display in ONEOK Boathouse by Black Moon Collective. Fulton Street Books & Coffee will also curate a variety of children’s books to read.
Multi-author book signing
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 4 Barnes & Noble, 8620 E. 71st St.
The Woodland Plaza location of Barnes & Noble will hold a multi-author book signing. Meet Dr. Taiwo T. Ajumobi, aka “Dr. Tee Tee,” author of “Together Til the End: Ife’s Incredible Friends;” Carlos Moreno, author of “The Victory of Greenwood;” and KJ Williams, author of “Keepers of the Secret Code.”
Boley book launch
6-9 p.m. Feb. 4 Boley Community Center, 13 W. Grant, Boley
Visit one of only 13 remaining Oklahoma Black towns for a Black History celebration and book launch event. C.J. Kirkland, author of “Self Made: Boley, Oklahoma,” will be featured, as well as performances by local artists and readings from town historian Henrietta Hicks and Sen. Kevin Matthews.
All proceeds from the sale of the book will go back to the town and Project 2020, which assists in the growth and revitalization of Boley’s historic downtown district and its businesses. Tickets to the event are free and can be found at eventbrite.com.
‘Understanding Racial Massacres’
1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 Fort Smith Museum of History,
320 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith native Hannibal B. Johnson will present a program that will cover the history and impact of two race massacres in Arkansas (Elaine in 1919 and Catcher in 1923) and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. The Tulsa Race Massacre will be a core part of a discussion that includes the events at Elaine and Catcher, examining the effects left on the Black communities there. There will be a Q&A at the end of the presentation.
Johnson is an author, attorney and consultant whose books include “Images of America: Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District” and “Black Wall Street–From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District.”
This event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Tickets can be found at fortsmithmuseum.org.
All-Black Towns of Oklahoma Symposium
9:30 a.m. Feb. 18 Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education, 124 E. Reconciliation Way
The Oklahoma Center for the Humanities will host an conference on the All-Black Towns of Oklahoma. Authors, historians, town and state-level leaders and other experts will convene to explore the concept of all-Black spaces and their role in Oklahoma’s history and future. The conference will also address the decline of the remaining 13 historic townships and their potential for opportunity and growth.
Tickets are free and available at human ities.utulsa.edu.
Justin Hansford lecture
3-5 p.m. Feb. 19 Greenwood Cultural Center,
Justin Hansford is the executive director and founder of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. Hansford will speak as part of the Don Ross Lecture series at the Greenwood Cultural Center. Hannibal B. Johnson will moderate this free event.
Support Tulsa’s Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs year-round by shopping and eating local. You can find limited and authentic sneakers and streetwear at Silhouette Sneakers & Art, grab a coffee at Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge or sink your teeth into authentic slow-smoked barbecue at Leon’s Smoke Shack BBQ.
The 19&21 shop at Mother Road Market, 1124 S. Lewis Ave., features products by Black-owned businesses, such as clothing from Greenwood Ave.
At Fulton Street Books & Coffee, 201 W. Latimer, at least 70% of the books for sale are written by or featuring people of color and marginalized communities. It also hosts a women’s book club. Pick up the first read of the year at the Feb. 16 meetup.
Find a directory of many more Black-owned businesses at buyblacktulsa.com.
Black Wall Street history
Greenwood Rising, 23 N. Greenwood Ave., is an immersive, interactive museum that brings the story of Black Wall Street to life. Tickets are required for scheduled visits and can be scheduled online in advance. greenwoodrising.org.
The Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Ave., has a mission to preserve African-American heritage and promote positive images of the community and encouraging cultural tourism. greenwoodculturalcenter.org.
John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, 302 N. Elgin Ave., is a memorial to the Tulsa Race Massacre. It features bronze sculptures that represent actual photos from the 1921 tragedy as well as the Tower of Reconciliation, a 25-foot memorial tower that depicts the history of African-Americans’ struggle from Africa to America. jhfcenter.org.
African-American Heritage Bowl
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford Ave. Teams will compete in the Tulsa City-County Library’s 2023 African-American Heritage Bowl. This year’s theme is “Black Renaissance.” The event is hosted by the African-American Resource Center at Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford. It is free and open to the public.
The trivia competition will feature a Middle School Bowl, High School Bowl and a Community Bowl.
Black History Month on PBS
Documentaries and more are available on PBS for Black History Month throughout February. Here are a selected few.
“Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World”
From Executive Producer Chuck D, this four-episode series focuses on the way hip-hop has chronicled the struggles and triumphs of Black and Brown communities. Killer Mike, Will.i.am, Monie Love, Ice-T and more speak on the history of the genre and its connections to social justice in the United States. 8 p.m. Tuesdays starting Jan. 31
“Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming A Space”
This episode of “American Experience” follows music icon Zora Neale Hurston from a piano lounge to her rise to stardom and civil rights activism. Streaming now
Directed by Erika Alexander and Whitney Dow, this documentary explores how a rookie alderwoman from Evanston, Illinois, led the passage of the first tax-funded reparations bill for Black Americans, and the debate that followed. Streaming now
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