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Things to Do in Dallas

How to Celebrate Black History Month in Dallas This February

From cook-offs and film screenings to exhibits and plays, here are more than 30 ways to commemorate Black History in North Texas.
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An image from the "Seeing a World That Blind Lemon Jefferson Never Saw: Photographs by Alan Govenar" exhibit at the African American Museum. Courtesy of the African American Museum

The roots of Black History Month begin in 1926 when scholar Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week during the second week of February. The Harvard-trained historian was tired of White scholars ignoring the legacy of African Americans, and he spent much of his career working to fix that. Over the years, the week expanded into Black History Month, and President Gerald Ford officially recognized the celebration in 1976. 

The U.S. still marks Black History Month each February. Events are happening all over Dallas, from museum exhibitions and concerts to walking tours and crafts. Here are 34 ways to commemorate Black History Month in North Texas this February.

Ongoing Events:

The African American Museum features exhibitions on blues performer Blind Lemon Jefferson and Central Track, which explore the history of jazz and Deep Ellum. (You can read more about both exhibits here.) 3536 Grand Ave. 

Dallas Public Libraries will mark Black History Month across its various branches this February. There should be something for everyone, including jazz performances, a children’s Black Superhero Day, various crafts, a Black history trivia competition, a lesson on traditional African textiles, a Jean-Michel Basquiat-inspired self-portrait art class, and more. Various times and locations. Learn more here. 

In its lobby, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center will display artwork depicting “African Americans and the Arts” from students across North Texas throughout February for Black History Month. 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Dallas College is hosting nine events at its campuses this February to commemorate Black History Month. The events include a talk on the Black Angels, a group of Black nurses who treated tuberculosis in New York City; the “I AM Black History” summit; a panel called “Being Black and LGBTQ+ in Religion”; and more. Various times and locations. Learn more here

More Events:

Local company The Soul of Dallas Food & Black History Bus Tour has two North Texas tours this month. Founded by Deah Berry Mitchell and Dalila Thomas in 2017, the tour highlights Black-owned business and restaurants in North Texas. Dallas tour: 10 a.m. Feb. 3. $75. 3536 Grand Ave. Learn more here; Origins of Black Cowboys tour (Fort Worth): 10 a.m Feb. 10. $85. Learn more here. 

The Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra of Houston, which celebrates Black composers and musicians as well as Black representation in the industry, returns to Dallas for its seventh performance. The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Live concert will include classical, jazz, blues, gospel, and contemporary music. The event will also feature performances from the South Dallas Children’s Choir and the winners from the African American American Museum’s Youth Classical Artist Competition in January. 5 p.m. Feb. 3. From $15. Black Academy of Arts and Letters Live, 1309 Canton St. Learn more here.

To mark the closing of its “Afro-Atlantic Histories” special exhibition, the Dallas Museum of Art has a slew of late night events scheduled on Friday, February 9. The night includes a scavenger hunt and gallery tour. There are artist studios, plus opportunities to learn more about the heritage and practice of both quilting and salsa. Artist Jammie Holmes will give a talk on his painting “Black Sparrow” in the exhibition, local vocalist Albion Josiah will sing, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre will put on an encore performance of its ‘Echoes of Diaspora: A Ballet Inspired by “Afro-Atlantic Histories’ piece. 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Feb. 9. 1717 N. Harwood St. Learn more here.

The Dallas Black Dance Theatre is celebrating Black History Month and exploring global movement and expression through its “Cultural Awareness” show. The performance, which will also be livestreamed, will premiere dances by Hana Delong and Alysia Johnson. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 & 10. From $35, in-person; $25, livestream. Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Learn more here. 

Author and publisher Louie T. McClain is coming to Dallas to chat with students about the life and legacy of Booker T. Washington in a roundtable writer’s breakfast. At the event, which does include breakfast, McClain will talk about his children’s book, Brick By Brick: A Snippet of the Life of Booker T. Washington. 10 a.m. Feb. 10. $15. Black Academy of Arts & Letters, 1309 Canton St. Room T-204. Learn more here.

The Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center is hosting a Black History Month Expo on Saturday, February 10. During the event, visitors can learn more about the history of Black aviators through presentations, artifacts, activities, and more. The center will also play a film on the famed Tuskegee Airmen from World War II. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10. $15; kids under 17, free. Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center, 5657 Mariner Dr. Learn more here. 

The Oak Cliff Community Center is hosting City of Dallas Community Artist Program musician Kamica King for a screening of “For They Endured.” The short documentary recounts the history of Black women in music therapy. 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Oak Cliff Community Center, 223 Jefferson Blvd. Learn more here

Four years ago, Autumn Yarbrough founded NU Standard, a textured hair care and wellness company, inspired by her own hair dryness and hair loss challenges. This month, NU Standard will host a screening of Netflix’s docuseries Black Beauty Effect, which examines social and representation changes in the beauty industry through the lens and experiences of successful Black professionals. Episode Three features Yarbrough’s grandfather Comer Cottrell, whose company, Pro-Line Corp., helped make the Jheri curl more accessible. 7 p.m. Feb. 15. Violet Crown Cinema, 3699 McKinney Ave.

The African American Museum is hosting a free community day with arts and crafts, trivia, documentary screenings, a read-in with The Dock Bookshop (learn more about that event here), and more. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 17.  3536 Grand Ave.

Cara Mía Theatre is putting on the first-ever English-language performance of Yanga, by Mexican playwright and screenwriter Jaime Chabaud. The play recounts the life of Gaspar Yanga, an African slave who, in the late 1500s, led a rebellion and established the first freedman’s town in the Americas in what is now Veracruz, Mexico. Feb. 17–Mar. 3. From $12. Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. Learn more here. 

Don’t miss the African American Museum’s Music Under the Dome concert. This rendition of the winter jazz series features local saxophonist and singer Rob Holbert. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22. 3536 Grand Ave. Learn more here. 

Learn more about Dallas history on this free guided walking tour of West Village and Uptown’s Freedman’s Cemetery, which was established in 1861 and is now one of the largest freedman’s cemeteries in the country. The tour will begin at Sip Stir Coffee House. 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23. 3800 McKinney Ave. #180. Learn more here. 

The Central Market on Lovers Lane has several Black History Month-themed cooking classes available this month. On February 23, attendees will cook recipes from chef Marcus Samuelsson’s The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food: A Cookbook. The menu includes dishes from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Jamaica, and more. On February 25, attendees will whip up brunch recipes from Black chefs, including  Kwame Onwuachi and Edna Lewis. Marcus Samuelsson class: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 23. $85.; Brunch: 12 p.m to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 25. $80. Central Market, 5750 E. Lovers Ln. 

The Black Academy of Arts & Letters is hosting its Festival of Black Dance Rhythm and Soul of a People. The event, which honors African, modern, and contemporary dance, features performances from the Atlanta Dance Connection, the Unified Performing Arts Dance Company, and students from Booker T. Washington High School. Student performances: 10 a.m. Feb. 22 & 23. $5. Bruton Theater, 1309 Canton St.; Public performances: 8 p.m. Feb. 23 & 24. $10. Bruton Theater, 1309 Canton St. Learn more here

Love to cook? Enter the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center’s ‘Taste of Soul’ Cook-Off. Competition categories include meat, sides, vegan/vegetarian, and dessert. Category winners will receive $500, and the grand prize-winner will take home $750. For folks just wanting to taste and enjoy the food, admission is free. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 24. 2901 Pennsylvania Ave. Learn more here.

At its annual Hall of Fame Induction luncheon this February, the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame will celebrate its 2024 honorees, including Texas athletes Tamicha Jackson, Nate Newton, Richard Bonner, and more. 11:30 a.m. Feb. 24. $125. Dallas Renaissance Hotel, 2222 N. Stemmons Fwy. Learn more here.

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Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

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