BLACK HISTORY MONTH | Calendar of events

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


Tuesday: 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.

Friday: 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.

Next Saturday: 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 black authors, artists and inventors with a family story time, songs and activities at 6:30 p.m. Snack provided. Children under 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 black 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 black 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.


Next Saturday: Storyteller Jocelyn Dabney will visit the Liberty library, 415 Church Hill-Hubbard Road, at 1 p.m. Dabney is a storyteller in the black 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 court 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.

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