Celebrate Black History Month at Richmond Museums

By Boomer Staff | January 26th, 2017

In recognition of Black History Month, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site are holding special events to celebrate African-American culture and educate the public on important topics.

The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

The museum at 122 W. Leigh St. in Richmond is featuring a special exhibition and diverse events as part of “Life, Love & Liberty: Virginia’s Impact on a Nation.”

From Feb. 3 to June 3, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia hosts an exhibition of 37 works by an accomplished artist and dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts from 1976-1995: “Murry DePillars: Double Vision.” DePillars (1938-2008) was known for iconic paintings covering history from ancestral Africa, the period of American slavery and more recent historical events, including the Civil Rights Movement, as well as for contemporary cultural traditions. His paintings have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the National

Dr. Christine Darden

Civil Rights Museum. He was a member of Chicago’s African-American Arts Movement in the 1960s and a member of AfriCobra, an organization of black artists. The exhibition kicks off with a member preview and VIP reception on Feb. 2, from 6-8 p.m.Other events planned include recognition of the black LGBTQ experience, jazz, poetry, a discussion of Loving V. Virginia and a talk by Dr. Christine Darden, one of the female mathematicians in “Hidden Figures,” the book and movie about the black female mathematicians at NASA during the late 1950s and early 1960s. For more details, visit http://blackhistorymuseum.org/.

Feb. 7 – United Voices: Raising Awareness through Song & Word: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. United Voices will add a voice and face to those living with HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. In their own words, persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS will share stories of triumph and overcoming adversity. Free. Co-organized with Diversity Richmond.

Feb. 10 – The Exclusive Blacklist. Wine from African-American wineries, hors d’oeuvres and jazz. 7 p.m. $75.

Feb. 15 – The Black LGBTQ Experience: Lecture and dialogue with Dr. Ravi Perry. Discussion on the experiences of Black LGBTQ communities in the 21st century. 7 p.m. Free. Co-organized with Diversity Richmond.

Date TBA – A Floetic February Night. Art, soul and poetry. 7 p.m.

Feb. 23 – Dr. Paul Wallenstein Discussing Loving v. Virginia. A history professor at Virginia Tech and the author of “Tell the Court I Love My Wife: Race, Marriage, and Law—An American History,” Wallenstein will discuss the landmark civil rights decision Loving v. Virginia. 6 p.m. Free.

Feb. 26 – Hidden No More: Pioneering Black Women Mathematicians Tell Their Stories. Featured in the New York Times bestselling book “Hidden Figures” about the black female mathematicians at NASA during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Dr. Christine Darden did groundbreaking sonic boom research that is still used today. She worked at NASA for nearly 40 years. Darden will be joined by Estelle Amy Smith in a discussion with journalist Michael Paul Williams. 3 p.m. Free.

The Black History Museum and Cultural Center is located at 122 W. Leigh St., Richmond. The museum encourages people to RSVP for events at http://blackhistorymuseum.org/.

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site

This National Park Service museum is hosting a film series titled “Matinees with Miss Maggie” each Saturday in February at 1 p.m. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Independent Order of St. Luke, an organization Maggie Walker used to empower black women during the Jim Crow era, the four films will highlight some of the courageous African-American women who challenged the status quo before, during and after Mrs. Walker’s lifetime. From a woman who escaped slavery to one who ran for president of the United States, these films document how courageous black women have always been an integral part of American history. All film showings are free to the public and run approximately one hour. Seating is limited.

Feb. 4: “The Life and Legend of Sojourner Truth”

Feb. 11: “Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice”

Feb. 18: “Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker”

Feb. 25: “Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed”

The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information is available at 804-771-2017, NPS.gov/mawa or on Facebook.

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