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Philly Black History Month Events for Kids

From Frederick Douglass to Misty Copeland, here's where to celebrate.

In February, Philadelphia institutions have special programming to celebrate and educate about the role that African-Americans have played and the innumerable contributions they have made to our nation. From museum events to an extensive schedule of activities from the Free Library, there is so much to learn, see, and do. We will be updating this post as more places announce their plans, so be sure to check back throughout the month!

African-American History Month at the National Constitution Center

Through February 28 (Free admission on February 18)

525 Arch St., Philadelphia

 

Throughout February, the Constitution Center will host a variety of programs in honor of African-American History Month. There will be an interactive show called “Breaking Barriers,” which highlights Thurgood Marshall, Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson, and other groundbreaking African-Americans throughout history, the struggles they faced, and the rights they secured for all citizens.

 

Visitors will learn about the history of the Emancipation Proclamation and view a rare copy of the document signed by Abraham Lincoln in June 1864.

 

You can also pick up a flyer at check-in to take a self-guided museum tour highlighting important moments in African-American history. The museum is also offering free admission on February 18 for the Presidents Day holiday. Visitors can also test their knowledge of African-American history at the Constitution Center’s giant game board activity. The museum is also offering free admission on February 18 for the Presidents Day holiday.

African American Children’s Book Fair

February 2, 1—4 pm

Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St.

 

One of the oldest and largest single-day events for African-American children’s books in the country, this fun-filled afternoon is packed with activities that promote the power and joy of reading. Authors and illustrators will make presentations and sign their books, and there will be a wide selection of affordable literature available to purchase.

Virginia Hamilton Campfire Stories

February 4, 4:30 pm

Eastwick Library, 2851 Island Avenue

 

Kids can have fun “camping out” and listening to African American folktale stories by celebrated author Virginia Hamilton. Sit around a pretend campfire and enjoy some s’mores!

Black History Month ‘Road Trip’

February 6, 4 pm

Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library, 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway

 

School-age children will discuss what it was like to travel during the 1950s for African-Americans, then use their imagination to take their own “road trip.”

African Drumming at West Oak Lane Library

February 6, 4 pm

2000 E Washington Lane

 

Mr. Baba Tyrone will present a program of drumming, and kids will have the chance to try out some drums too. This event is described as appropriate for school-age and up.

Celebrate Black History Month at Reading Terminal Market

February 9, 11 am—2 pm

51 N. 12th St.

 

Reading Terminal Market has partnered with the African American Museum in Philadelphia to celebrate Black History Month with food demonstrations, musical performances, arts and crafts, and more!

A Ballerina’s Tale: Misty Copeland Documentary

February 9, 2 pm

Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue

 

Lovett Library is holding a family-friendly viewing of a documentary about Misty Copeland, the first African-American to become principle dancer at American Ballet Theatre.

Black History Month Mural Tour

February 10, 12:30—2:30 pm

Starts at 128 N. Broad St.

 

Mural Arts Philadelphia is planning a special mural trolley tour that highlights prominent African-American figures within Philadelphia’s “visual autobiography,” and explores topics of civil rights and freedom. A tour guide will discuss each mural, the artists, and the mural-making process. Tickets are available online, and are discounted for students and kids under 12.

Take to the Skies like Bessie Coleman

February 13, 4:30 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd St.

 

Learn about the famous pilot, make your own paper airplane, and test it against others in the test zone!

Douglass Day at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

February 14, 4—7 pm

701 Arch St.

 

Frederick Douglass never knew his birthday, but he chose to celebrate it every year on February 14. In honor of his legacy, the museum is holding a 201st birthday party with a “Read-a-Thon.” From 4—7 pm, they will be reading and discussing Black authored texts by and about Douglass and his wife Anna Douglass. This will also be streamed online, with a discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

‘Mae Among the Stars’: Mae Jemison in Outer Space

February 16, 3 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd St.

 

Learn about Mae Jemison’s space trip, and make outer space slime for a hands-on lesson about stars and planets!

Black History Month Inventors Showcase

February 20, 4 pm

Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library, 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway

 

School-age children will learn about African-American inventors and their inventions.

George Washington Carver Peanut Craft

February 20, 4:30 pm

Eastwick Library, 2851 Island Avenue

 

Learn about George Washington Carver and make a peanut man out of a real peanut shell in this fun craft.

The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat: Share Your Creativity

February 21, 4:30 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd St.

 

Kids will explore Basquiat’s life and work through stories, and then make their own art with color and collage.

Sundays on Stage: Titans of Song: A Musical Tribute to Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson

February 24, 2 pm
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.



Hear their dramatic stories – and glorious music – in this unique multimedia tribute created and performed by the musical group Follow the Drinking Gourd.

 

 

Photographs courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Assistant Editor | Email tips to laura@familyfocus.org

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