February 1, 2022

Black History Month: Where to Celebrate Black Excellence North of Boston and Beyond

by Felicia Cheney

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February is Black History Month and Black History is everyone’s history. Black history is also the history of Black Excellence and the celebration of all the incredible black voices in the North Shore Community and beyond, both past and present.

Editor’s Note: Celebrating Black History and Black Excellence extends beyond the month of February. Here is our roundup of organizations and thought leaders to follow all year round.

Where to Celebrate Black Excellence North of Boston this February

Here are some events and happenings that you don’t want to miss this month!

Celebrate with the The North Shore Juneteenth Association

Local Black Excellence Forum: February 8, 2022 6:30 pm – Join The North Shore Juneteenth Association as they celebrate Black History Month by highlighting Local Black Excellence. Panelists will be speaking about their lives, experiencing success, and lessons they learned through their unique experiences. Register Here.

Family Friendly Paint Event: Sat, February 19, 2022 from 1:30 PM – 3:00 – North Shore Juneteenth Association organizes this yearly event to educate our community about the Juneteenth holiday and highlight Black American Artists. Join us for lunch as we celebrate Black History Month through art!

Marla L. McLeod’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” at Essex Art Center

20 January – 17 March 2022 | Free Admission

In her first solo exhibition in the Merrimack Valley, artist Marla L. McLeod explores contemporary social issues and symbols of pride for BIPOC Americans through painting, textile, sculpture, and photography. www.essexartcenter.org

Taverns, Gardens and Parties: A Journey Through Essex County’s Black History

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 At 6pm – 7pm | Online, Free

A Free Online Lecture with The House of the Seven Gables

Join University of New Hampshire professor Kabria Baumgartner for a lecture on early black history in Essex County, Massachusetts.Kabria Baumgartner is the Dean’s Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies as well as Associate Director of Public History at Northeastern University. She is a historian of the nineteenth-century United States, specializing in the history of education and African American women’s and gender history.

Black History Month at Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts

More events to be added as they’re announced

Black History Month Craft Kit Pick Up: Weekly craft kits will be available for curbside pickup during the month of February. Call 781-581-6200 to reserve your craft kits ahead of time (optional). Limit three craft kits per household.

February Hours:
Thursday & Friday, 10am – 5pm
Saturday, February 12, 10am – 2pm

Black History Month at Salem State University


  • Eyes on the Prize Series with Professor Jamie Wilson: Monday, February 7 at 11:30 am-1 pm, Monday, February 14, and Monday, February 28 at 11:30 am-1 pm | Ellison Campus Center, MLK room
  • “The Photograph” – Center for Justice and Liberation Black Love Film Series: Wednesday, February 9 at 7 pm |
  • Microaggressions: What’s the harm? Examining the impact of microaggressions and racism on health: Thursday, February 10 at 2 pm | Virtual on Zoom
  • 32nd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation and Keynote: Thursday, February 10 at 6 pm | Virtual on Zoom
  • COVID Black: Wednesday, February 16 at 4 pm | Virtual on Zoom
  • Civic Game Night: Thursday, February 17 at 6-7:30 pm | Petrowski Room, Marsh Dining Hall
  • “Love and Basketball” – Center for Justice and Liberation Movie Night – Thursday, February 17 at 7 pm | Ellison Campus Center, Veterans Hall
  • MSA Annual Black History Dinner – Thursday, February 24 at 7 pm | Ellison Campus Center, Veterans Hall
  • “Moonlight” – Center for Justice and Liberation Black Love Film Series – Friday, February 25 at 7 pm | Petrowski Room, above Marsh Dining Hall
  • The Joel LaRue Smith Trio – Monday, February 28 at 7:30 pm | Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts

“Past and Present: Black Art & Black Artists” at Galleries at Lynn Arts

Opening Reception: Friday, February 11, 2022 from 5:30-7:30pm.

This show is a collaboration between GALA (Galleries At LynnArts) and the North Shore Juneteenth Association. The artists included in this exhibit include: Ellery Sanches, Wendy Ekole, Jah’Nyah Spencer and Ruben Dario Feliz.

What is Black Creativity? Concert at the Boston Center for the Arts

Sat, February 12, 2022 8:00 PM – 10:00 | Free

Over the past five months, students from the Longy School of Music, New England Conservatory, and Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Black Student Unions gathered for fellowship, mentorship, learning, and creation.

What Is Black Creativity? is a co-curated concert experience that seeks to answer just that by showcasing the breadth, depth, and ever expansive world of Black artistry. Co-Sponsored by Boston Center for the Arts where Castle of our Skins is a Launchpad Resident.

NEFO Black History Month Celebration

Sat, Feb 26 @ 7:30PM

Join us for a celebration of Black History Month, led by conductors Rachel Jayson and Marshunda Smith. Featuring the works of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Nkeiru Okoye, Duke Ellington, William Dawson, Michael Abels, Jessie Montgomery, George Walker, and more, with a medley from the film Black Panther.

Please note that proof of vaccination is required for entry, and masks must be worn inside the facility at all times.

Learn more at https://newenglandfilmorchestra.org/shows#upcoming-events

The Huntington Theatre Company Presents THE BLUEST EYE

Through February 27th | Get Tickets

Celebrate the legacy of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison and see her classic debut novel come to life. Boston favorite Lydia Diamond (Stick FlySmart People at The Huntington) adapts the book with grace and subtlety. The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pecola, a young Black girl who believes the world would be wonderful if she could have blue eyes. Enthralling, gorgeously written, and incredibly emotional, The Bluest Eye is an American touchstone.  

Lowell’s Black Coalition Celebrates Black History Month

Check out the full events calendar at https://www.blacklowellcoalition.com/events

Lowell’s Black Coalition is intended to be a central place to share information related to Lowell’s Black/African community. A place where we can share information about our non profit organizations, events, businesses, and politics, where we can volunteer, donate and create meet ups, where we can connect with one another in a city where we may not live next door.

Do you know of an event that you think you should be included in this list? Send our editor a message with the subject line “Black History Month” to joeyphoenix@creativecollectivema.com

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