BLACK HISTORY MONTH Calendar of events

A list of area events to commemorate in February, Black History Month, as submitted to The Vindicator:


Today: Beulah Baptist Church, 570 Sherwood Ave., Youngstown, will host Black History Month events every Sunday this month. A 4 p.m. event is a talent program featuring performers from churches in the Youngstown area. There will be miming, singers, acting, a black history month reading and other talents on display.

Today: Al Bright, professor emeritus of art and Youngstown Chapter of the Links Inc., will host a free Black History month lecture from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Zona Auditorium on the first floor of the Beecher Center at the Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave. Bright will discuss works by African-American artists in the Butler collection, including Romare Bearden, Horace Pippin, Sam Gilliam, Robert S. Duncanson, Jacob Lawrence, Benny Andrews, Elizabeth Catlett, John Wilson and Richard Hunt, among other prominent black American artists. Refreshments will be served. Seating is on a first- come, first-served basis. For information, contact or call 330-743-1107, ext. 123.

Monday: Sogbety Diomande, a native of the Ivory Coast, will offer a glimpse of West Africa through drumming and dance, colorful costumes, musical instruments, rhythms and songs in a 7 p.m performance at the Austintown library, 600 S. Raccoon Road.

Monday: Celebrate Black History month with crafts, books, and games at 6 p.m. at the East branch library, 430 Early Road, Youngstown.

Wednesday: Youngstown State University’s department of art and the Africana studies program will host art exhibit for African-American history month featuring the artwork of two YSU alumni, Maple Turner III and Henry Holden III, from Feb. 1 through 26 in the Judith Rae Solomon Gallery in Bliss Hall. An opening reception is set for 5 p.m. in the gallery, and there will be an artists’ presentation and discussion from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the McDonough Museum of Art.

Thursday: An evening of amateur-night performances by YSU students, “It’s Showtime at Pete’s Apollo!” will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. in The Hub at Kilcawley Center.

Thursday: Paul C. Bunn Elementary School will host a “Family Night – Black History Month at Bunn” event at 5 p.m. in the school gym and cafeteria of the school, 1825 Sequoya Drive, Youngstown. There will be performances by the Harambee of Youngstown dance troupe and the reading of African folk tales by storyteller Jocelyn Dabney. Each child in attendance will receive a free African-American history themed book. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are required by Monday. Call Principal William Baun at 330-744-8963.

Friday: There will be a Black History Month musical showcase with Youngstown’s Total Package Band, male singing group Charisma and Tara Elkin from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Monteen’s, 3807 Belmont Ave., Liberty. The event will be a musical revue of songs by Etta James, Barry White, Marvin Gaye, the O’Jays, Temptations, Yolanda Adams, Chaka Khan and more. Event will include line dancing and soul food. Admission is $10.

Feb. 14: A movie on African-American history is set for 4 p.m. at Beulah Baptist Church, 570 Sherwood Ave., Youngstown.

Feb. 16: Rory Rennick will tell the story of how Henry “Box” Brown escaped slavery by shipping himself to freedom in a wooden crate at 6:30 p.m. at the Youngstown library, 305 Wick Ave. Brown’s tale is based on a book by Ellen Levine. For children.

Feb. 19: A “Celebrating Black History at Williamson” event will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Williamson Elementary School, 58 Williamson Ave. The celebration of Black History Month will include performances by percussionist and motivational speaker Elec Simon, the Williamson Gospel Choir, and special presentations by distinguished Williamson students. In addition, throughout the week Simon will work exclusively with students in grades 4 through 6 to enable them to give a special percussion performance at the event. The public is encouraged to attend. For information, call Renee Foerster at 330-744-7155.

Feb. 20: Friends of the East branch library will host a BHM program at 1 p.m. at 430 Early Road. There will be a special presentation, crafts for children and sweet tea, black-eyed peas and sweet potato pie will be served.

Feb. 21: The Rev. Henry McNeil of Elizabeth Baptist Church will speak at 4 p.m. at Beulah Baptist Church, 570 Sherwood Ave., Youngstown. He will discuss the history and future of the civil-rights movement.

Feb. 23: Youngstown main library, 305 Wick Ave., will celebrate African-American authors, artists and inventors with a family story time, songs and activities at 6:30 p.m. Snack provided. Children under age 7 must be accompanied by an adult.

Feb. 24: “Black Voices Matter: Race and Gender in the Age of Social Media,” a talk by Angela Burt-Murray, will take place 2 p.m. in Williamson Hall Auditorium, Room 1171, at YSU. Burt-Murray is the former editor-in-chief of ESSENCE magazine and co-founder of Cocoa Media Group.

Feb. 24: Williamson Elementary School, 58 Williamson Ave., will offer a ”Living History Museum” from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fifth- and sixth-graders will participate in the museum event and welcome special guests and fellow students in kindergarten through fourth grade to travel through the museum and learn more about famous African-Americans in history. The public is encouraged to attend and support the fifth- and sixth-graders that have practiced their oral presentation skills while highlighting important individuals in African-American history. For information, call Renee Foerster at 330-744-7155.

Feb. 25: Each year, Chaney Visual and Performing Arts celebrates Black History Month by focusing on different eras of African-American history and music. Student performers will celebrate the era of the Harlem Renaissance by presenting “A Harlem Renaissance Experience” in a student body performance at 1:15 p.m. and a public performance at 6 p.m. in the Chaney auditorium, 731 S. Hazelwood Ave. Cost for the public performance is $4 for adults and $3 for students. The event will include vocal and instrumental music, dance and drama performance pieces. The visual and commercial artwork of VPA students will be displayed throughout the main lobby and in the set design for the performance. For information, call VPA coordinator Tracy Schuler Vivo at 330-744-8830.

Feb. 27: Mount Hope Veterans Memorial Park will host its fourth annual BHM celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Reed’s Chapel A.M.E. Church, 1939 Jacobs Road, Youngstown. There will be a presentation at 1 p.m. For information, email

Feb. 27: A BHM program featuring singing, dancing, poetry and other artistic performances will take place at 5 p.m. at Rising Star Baptist Church, 2943 Wardle Ave., Youngstown.

Feb. 28: The Rev. Emmanuel T. Adams of Old Glory Church will speak on the Black Lives Matter movement at 4 p.m. at Beulah Baptist Church, 570 Sherwood Ave., Youngstown.

March 4: Rayen Early College Middle School has moved their Black History Month event to March. “The Freedom Road,” a special tribute performance honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will take place at 12:45 p.m. in the Chaney Campus auditorium, 731 S. Hazelwood Ave. For information, contact Debbie DiFrancesco or Alicia Anderson at 330-744-7602.

Ongoing: A VPA visual and commercial art exhibit, “A Harlem Renaissance Experience,” will be on display throughout the month of February in the main lobby of the Chaney Campus, 731 S. Hazelwood Ave., Youngstown, during regular school hours. For information, call VPA coordinator Tracy Schuler Vivo at 330-744-8830.

Ongoing: “Ebony Lifeline Sports Museum: The Valley’s Diverse Athletic Heritage” is on display through April 30 in the Youngstown Foundation Community History Gallery at the Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St., Youngstown. It features a collection of sports-related images, trophies and equipment that highlight the sports contributions of the African-American and Latino communities in the Mahoning Valley and was created by the Ebony Lifeline Support Group in 1996 as part of the celebration of Youngstown’s bicentennial. The center is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For information, visit or call 330-743-2589.


Feb. 20: Storyteller Jocelyn Dabney will visit the Liberty library, 415 Church Hill-Hubbard Road, at 1 p.m. Dabney is a storyteller in the African-American oral tradition that will incorporate music, call and response and participatory stories. Free.

Feb. 21: The Harambee Youth Group of Youngstown will visit the Warren library, 444 Mahoning Ave. NW, at 3 p.m. to present traditional African music and dances in a performance for all ages. Free.

Feb. 23: A guest presentation on the Dred Scott decision will take place 10:30 a.m. at the Warren library, 444 Mahoning Ave. NW. Paul Goebbel will recount the story of Scott, a slave who struggled to gain his freedom through the courts and eventually took his case to the Supreme Court. The SCOTUS decision on his case sparked enormous political reaction at the coming of the Civil War and destroyed any chance of agreement between the North and the South over slavery in the territories. Free.

Feb. 24: A book discussion on “President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman” by William Lee Miller is set for 7 p.m at the Howland library, 9095 E. Market St. The work is a biography of Lincoln and the moral dilemmas he faced with a nation divided by slavery and war. The book is available to borrow from the library in paper and audiobook format.

Feb. 25: The Warren library, 444 Mahoning Ave. NW, will be the setting for a 6:30 p.m. family storytime, “Learning About John Coltrane.” Families with children preschool age and older will hear stories about the legendary jazz saxophonist. An activity will follow.


Wednesday: Retired educator S. Jean Speight will be the featured speaker at a Black History Month program at 7 p.m. in the Joseph A. Clavelli History Center of the Lawrence County Historical Society, 408 N. Jefferson St., New Castle, Pa. Speight share her knowledge of African-American women such as Fannie Lou Hamer, an American voting-rights activist and civil-rights leader; journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, one of the first two African-Americans accepted at the University of Georgia; and representative Barbara Jordan, the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate and first black female elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The event is open to the public. For information, call 724-658-4022.

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