When it comes to representing historically accurate narratives, the United States often struggles with battling institutions that surreptitiously warp facts. People may fear that reflecting on disgraceful practices of the past will teach our generation to resent our country the more we shed light on past transgressions.
Despite the nation’s flaws, it shouldn’t go unmentioned that indescribable efforts have been put into preserving pieces of history for the purpose of education, growth, and empowerment– Black History Month is not only for mourning a shameful past, but also for celebrating brilliance, resilience, and innovation throughout history and continuing into today. This Black History Month, there are so many events and celebrations to explore; check out these excellent options for enrichment.HSQ Pops Concert
Kehler Liddell Gallery, 873 Whalley Ave, New Haven
On Saturday, Feb. 11, The Haven String Quartet is bringing their stimulating sound to the Kehler Liddell Gallery to celebrate Black History Month. With a performance of pop hits by Black artists and composers, Westville is looking to have a fabulous evening of movin’ and groovin’. Come out to hear selections from Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, and other greats alongside folk and jazz classics. Tickets to the concert are pay-what-you-can. All proceeds benefit the educational programming at Music Haven. The New Haven-based non-profit creates an inclusive community for young people to learn, play, and express themselves through tuition-free classical music lessons and ongoing mentoring with world-class musicians. Those mentors include the members of The Haven String Quartet. To contribute to an incredible cause and enjoy some pops, head over to New Haven.Black History Month Paint Night
Faith Art Studio, 214 Main St, East Haven.
On Saturday, Feb. 25, Black History Month Paint Night comes to East Haven. As an homage to the prolific Black voices who have paved the way of American history, Faith Art Studio is hosting a step-by-step painting party. A ticket includes painting supplies and a take-home painting, soul food, desserts, music, and so much more. All attendees must be over 21 years of age and advanced registration by Feb. 21 is required. So grab some friends and snag your spot ASAP. Black In Poetry Black History Month Experience
The Hill Museum, 210 West Street New Haven.
For an immersive celebration of Black joy and creativity, head over to The Hill Museum. In honor and celebration of Black History Month, the museum will host a night of poetry and creative expression for all to enjoy. The museum is from the creative mind of Krikko Obbott, an artist who recently realized his vision of creating a museum to feature his signature giant pencil drawings. This hidden gem of a collection is truly a wonder in and of itself. Combined with soul-moving poetry from the community, Black In Poetry is looking to be an unforgettable experience. Make It Funky
Bijou Theatre, 275 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport.
If you’re looking to get funky this Black History Month, make your way down to Bridgeport on Feb. 4. Get groovin’ with Eugene Dobbs Nu Cullers and The Bernadettes, known for rocking audiences across the state with high energy classic Motown, soul, funk, rock and reggae with tinges of jazz and blues. The set includes music from Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind & Fire, James Brown, and many other Black icons. Produced by Mega Bass and WPKN 89.5 FM radio, the station celebrates Black History Month in depth throughout the month of February. The programming includes the work of Black musicians, poets, writers, and more. To recognize the work of Black innovators throughout history, check out WPKN’s content, and definitely make your way to Make It Funky.
However you choose to commemorate Black History Month, be sure to find satisfaction in all the contributions of Black artists, inventors, and thinkers of the past, and consider how you might support Black innovators of today.
Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden based journalist, educator, and creative. Email Francesca at eastsidevib firstname.lastname@example.org with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!