February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the significant role of African Americans in U.S. history. Since the 1970s, every American president has given Black History month an annual theme, with the 2020 theme being “African Americans and the Vote”. Across the country, and in Lynchburg, we’ll spend this month reflecting on and celebrating the pivotal role African Americans have had in shaping our history and future.
Black History Month Celebration
An event hosted by the Legacy Museum and Lynchburg Parks and Recreation, this celebration will take place on Sunday, February 2, at the Miller Center, from 3 PM to 5 PM. There will be a free presentation, and for those interested in sticking around to eat with the community, there will be a “Sunday Supper”-style meal of soul food. Meal tickets for this dinner are available now, but must be purchased by January 31. Prices are $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 12 and under.
“Oh Freedom!” at Lynchburg Public Library
Come to the Lynchburg Public Library on February 6 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM to witness “Oh Freedom!” a musical journey through American Black History. This show, presented and performed by the Virginia Opera, will take the audience from the time of the slave trade through the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights Movements, up to the election of America’s first black President, Barack Obama. It is for people of all ages, and is free to the public! If you’re interested in history and its artistic presentation, this is a show you will not want to miss.
Visit the Legacy Museum
The Legacy Museum of African American History, located at 403 Monroe Street, is a hub of historical documents, memorabilia, artifacts and exhibits that focus on black history and culture. Some exhibits include “Trouble Don’t Las Always”, “Struggle, Sacrifice, and Scholarship” and “Herbs to Lasers, Cholera to AIDS”. The museum will also have special exhibits for Black History Month. The Legacy Museum is open Wednesday-Saturday 12 PM-4 PM and Sunday 2 PM-4 PM. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for students and youth and free for children under 6.
Visit the Anne Spencer Museum and Garden
Anne Spencer was an influential African-American poet and civil rights activist in the 20th century. Not only was she an accomplished writer, but she was also instrumental in the founding of the Lynchburg chapter of the NAACP, and some of her contemporaries included Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Weldon Johnson, Zora Neal Hurston and Countee Cullen. So influential was her life that she’s even being honored with her own postage stamp this year! Her home at 1313 Pierce Street has been restored in her memory and can be scheduled for tours two weeks in advance. Her gardens and her private writing retreat, Edankraal, are open to tourists.
This February, join us as we pay tribute to this important piece of American history and look forward to a better future!