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Black History Month

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of the achievements by African Americans and a time to honor the central role of black Americans throughout history and in the present day.

Events, Displays and Activities

Madison Public Library Events:

History Through Art Exhibition by Desere Mayo at Meadowridge Library in Madison wi FEb-May 2024History Through Art Exhibition by Desere Mayo

February-May, on display during open hours | Meadowridge Library

Beginning in February, you can see the History Through Art exhibition on display at Meadowridge Library. Created by local artist Desere Mayo, the work consists of handmade drawings lovingly crafted without the use of filters of editing software. Her exhibition features images of Black icons throughout history including Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglas, Lewis Latimer, Jack Daniels Holsclaw and more.

Desere Mayo Exhibiting Artist at Meadowridge Library Feb-May 2024Mayo's artwork and clientele spreads across the nation and she has even done personal portrait work for recording and television stars David and Tamela Mann as well as for Super Bowl-winning quarterback Drew Brees. Her artwork is displayed in many schools including MATC in Madison and Malone University in Ohio. LEARN MORE

Goodman South Madison's Friday Family Films
Fridays in February, 5:30-7:45pm | Goodman South Madison Library

Each month, the Goodman South Madison Library hosts family movie nights on Friday nights. During Black History Month, these films are focused on sharing Black stories throughout history. Snacks are provided at each event - all ages are welcome. Check out the lineup:

Children's African Story Hour
African Story Hour at Madison public libraryMondays, 3-4:30pm | Pinney Library

  • February 5
  • February 19

The African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is proud to present the Children’s African Story Hour series. Join us each week in a fun and relaxing atmosphere as we share award-winning children’s literature that celebrates the diversity of art, culture, food, and language across the African continent. Participants will engage in hands-on creative activities and will have the opportunity to sample different African cuisines. Each week promises to be fun and enriching!  This program is free and for all ages of children & their families.

First Friday Films Presents Fresh Dressed: The Evolution of Rap Fashion
Lakeview Library, Friday, February 2, 6-8pm

A fascinating chronicle of hip-hop, urban fashion, and the hustle that brought oversized pants and graffiti-drenched jackets from Orchard Street to high fashion's catwalks and Middle America shopping malls. Director Sacha Jenkins' music-drenched history draws from a rich mix of archival materials and in-depth interviews with rappers, designers, and other industry insiders.

Monday Movies at Alicia Ashman Library featuring Denzel Washington for Black history month 2024Monday Movies Presents Denzel Washington in...
Mondays in February, 1-3pm | Alicia Ashman Library

Central Cinema Cinesthesia Presents Malcolm X
Central Library, Wednesday, February 21, 5-7pm

"One of the most electrifying heroes of the twentieth century receives an appropriately sweeping screen biopic, rich in both historical insight and propulsive cinematic style, courtesy of visionary director Spike Lee. Built around an extraordinary performance from Denzel Washington, Malcolm X draws on the iconic civil rights leader’s autobiography to trace his journey of empowerment, from a childhood riven by white-supremacist violence to a life of petty crime to his conversion to Islam and rebirth as a fearless fighter for Black liberation, whose courage and eloquence inspired oppressed communities the world over." (Criterion Collection)  Hosted by Jason Fuhrman, Cinesthesia is an adventurous, eclectic series of classic and contemporary films that focuses on the complex relationship between literature and cinema.

Black history month film screening and discussion of Love Jones at Lakeview LibraryBlack History Month Film Screening and Discussion of Love Jones

Tuesday, February 27, 5-8pm | Lakeview Library

Join us for a Black History Month film screening of Love Jones (1997), with a discussion to follow. Presented in partnership with Sherman Avenue United Methodist Church. 

The passion between a struggling photographer and an unemployed writer is undeniable, but will it last? In this sweet, comic romance set against the jazz rhythms of Chicago, two educated, upscale urban artists discover modern courtship as they both experience a Love Jones. 

Rating: R | Drama/Romance | 110 minutes


Black History Month or Related Events in the Greater Madison Community*

Black History Month Event: Stamp Presentation, Film, Conversation with Dr. Charles Taylor
Thursday, February 9, 6pm - Monona Terrace

*this is not a complete list.  Please also check event calendars for Madison365UMOJA, Madison Black Chamber of Commerce, and UW-Madison