Baltimore is a city rich with African American history. This February,  discover a city shaped by the contributions of African American visionaries like world famous jazz singer Billie Holiday, great orator Frederick Douglass, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and the most well known female abolitionist, Harriet Tubman.

Here are some ‘don’t miss’ family-friendly Black History Month Celebrations in Baltimore…

African American History/Cultural Exhibits

The Kinsey Collection at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American Culture
The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard & Shirley Kinsey – Where Art & History Intersect is a world-class collection of art and artifacts chronicling over 400 years of African American history and culture from the 1600s to the present. Highlights include an early copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, a signed copy of Brown vs. Board of Education and rare works from early 19th century artists. On display now through March 2, 2014. MORE INFO

Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum
Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond showcases the vast talent and wonderful innovation that came from or was influenced by African Americans, including the important contributions of publishing executives at companies such as Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics and Marvel Comics. This special exhibit will embrace the totality of black comics. With a significant focus on black creators and their art, the exhibit will pull together experts, essayists, filmmakers and creators from inside and outside the world of comic books to fully explore the successes, triumphs, failures and expectations for the future of this vital component of our national fabric. MORE INFO

Envisioning History  at The Creative Alliance
(image featured above)
In collaboration with Johns Hopkins, the Creative Alliance hosts a Black History Month Competition featuring works by East Baltimore public school students.  Students from kindergarten through twelfth grades create mixed-media works to depict the history of African Americans specific to Baltimore City.  MORE INFO

Celebrate Black History at the B & O Railroad Museum
The B&O Railroad Museum opens a new African American exhibit that celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the railroad industry. Learn about the men and women who filled vital jobs along the B&O Railroad’s line and understand how significant social issues, such as segregation, affected railroading. New exhibits focus on African American passenger travel during segregation and chefs and waiters who worked on B&O dining cars. MORE INFO

Legends and Legacies Pass
During the month of February, purchase a Legends & Legacies Heritage Pass from Visit Baltimore and experience three distinctive museums that tell a uniquely American story — at discounted admission. Museums involved in the promotion include:  ­the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, th­e Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. A great way to learn more about and celebrate the city’s rich African American history. Pass prices range from $14.95 – $19.95. MORE INFO

Black History Month Events

Chesapeake Bay Dreaming at the National Aquarium
February 7, 2014 | 5 PM – 9 PM
National Aquarium’s Cultural Series celebrates Black History Month! The evening will focus on Black History around the Chesapeake Bay region and will feature “Chesapeake Bay Dreaming”, an original play by the award-winning Aquarium on Wheels program. Join us as we recreate one of Baltimore’s legendary jazz clubs, with a cash bar available for those 21 and over. Guests can also participate in an oyster tonging demonstration, enjoy a photo exhibit of Black Watermen by Glen McClure and a display by the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation, dance to live R&B/jazz by Eugene Chapman, and enjoy dance performances by Dance Baltimore. All activities are included with Aquarium admission. MORE INFO

Black History LIVE with Culture Queen
February 15, 2014 | 12 PM
Teaching artist Culture Queen leads children in an interactive workshop with drama, movement, art and music as they use future hero powers to envision the future of America 20 years from now. This workshop is inspired by The Kinsey Collection. Program included with museum admission. MORE INFO

Reginald F. Lewis Museum Open House
February 22, 2014 | 10 PM – 4 PM
Celebrate Black History Month with an open house at the museum. Join friends, neighbors, community innovators and business leaders for a day full of interactive tours, activities and entertainment. MORE INFO

Free African American Family Festival at The Walters Art Museum
February 22, 2014 | 10 PM – 4 PM
Join The Walters Art Museum in honoring important African American women who have made our world a beautiful place through song, story, and art! Sway to the songs of Baltimore’s own Billie Holiday and explore personal histories with local Baltimore slam poets. Create art inspired by local women artists and collaborate on a large-scale community project! Join us for the Walters’ annual African American Family Festival and enjoy amazing performances, innovative art activities, and much more!  MORE INFO

To Catch a Thief: Constellation Fights the Slave Trade
Saturday & Sundays in February | 3 PM
Constellation’s proudest service may have occurred during the three years immediately before the Civil War when, as flagship of the navy’s African Squadron, she led this nation’s fight against the trans-Atlantic trafficking of slaves. Tour and hands-on activities combine to bring into view Constellation’s active career combating the slave trade and her exciting pursuit and capture of the slave ship Cora from which she rescued 705 captive Africans. Open to all visitors and included with regular admission; no reservations are required. MORE INFO