The deep and abiding cultural contributions of Blacks to American life are on full display this month, with a wide roster of art, music, fashion, film, festivals and academic programs and events throughout Palm Beach County to enjoy. Here is a sampling:
'See What I Can Be'
Presented by Rohi's Readery and The Office of African and African American Studies, the second annual Black History Month kickoff event celebrates the multifaceted history and culture of African diasporic people and will include live music, workshops, storytime reading with three-time Emmy Award-winning anchor and journalist Hollani Davis, children's activity stations and more.
The event is 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. 700 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach. Free. Information: eventbrite.com
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Palm Beach Black Culture Fashion Show
The Salvation Army Northwest Community Center
In collaboration with Tabre Sharai Modeling and The Ryles Firm, this is Palm Beach’s only fashion show dedicated to Black culture and will showcase Afro-inspired designers and their collections.
The show is 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. 600 N. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach. Free. Information: allevents.in
Movies of Lake Worth
In celebration of Black History Month, this 45-minute, award-winning animated film will be shown at Movies of Lake Worth. Filmmaker JaFLEU, aka Jason Fleurant, is a Palm Beach Lakes High School graduate who is focused on sharing Black stories from the Haitian-American perspective and has made a name for himself internationally showing his works at film festivals and art shows. JaFLEU’s works are exhibited internationally, as well as in the homes of professor and author Michael Eric Dyson, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, recording artist singer Jill Scott and more.
The screening is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. 7380 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth Beach. Information: moviesoflakeworth.com
Boyz II Men
Alexander W. Dreyfoos Concert Hall, Kravis Center
One of the most iconic R&B groups in music history, this group first hit it big in the late 1980s and has a timeless sound that appeals to fans across all generations. They will perform from their roster of hits such as "I'll Make Love to You," "On Bended Knee" and "End of the Road."
The show is 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets start at $39. Information: kravis.org/events/boyz
Nurtured by Nature book discussion
Palm Beach County Library, Jupiter branch
The anthology book “We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy,” by Natalie Baszile, will be the subject of a discussion about Black people’s connections to American lands from Emancipation to today. Pick up a copy at the research desk.
The event is 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. 705 Military Trail, Jupiter. Free. Preregistration required. Information: pbclibrary.org/locations/jupiter
'Traveling While Black'
Palm Beach County Library, Wellington branch
This short, virtual-realit- immersive documentary depicts the long history of restricted movement for Black Americans and how they created safe spaces in their community.
The screening is 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6. 1951 Royal Fern Drive, Wellington. Free. Preregistration required. Information: pbclibrary.org/locations/wellington
'Multicolored Memories of a Black Southern Girl'
Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum
This program will be presented by oral historian and author, television and web radio producer, and recording artist Kitty Oliver. A native Floridian who came of age with desegregation in the South, she has lived through and chronicled decades of societal change as a veteran journalist, performer, and scholar. Oliver’s entertaining presentation includes video and music.
The event is 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. 300 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach. $20. Information: pbchistory.org
Rinker Playhouse, Kravis Center
This 1993 John Singleton film, featuring Janet Jackson in her film debut and the late Tupac Shakur, follows Justice (Jackson) and Lucky (Shakur) on a road trip from South Central L.A. to Oakland. The screening is part of the 17th annual African-American Film Festival (ArtSmart Series) and will feature a panel discussion with Eduardo Culmer, Jr., Breion Moses and Dwayne Taylor that will be moderated by Terri Francis.
The screening is 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. $12. Information: kravis.org
'The Spirit of Harriet Tubman'
This one-woman show is performed by actress and playwright Leslie McCurdy. On a barren stage with only a trunk of costumes, McCurdy gives a passionate portrayal of the famed anti-slavery activist. For a breathtaking hour, she embodies the “spirit” of Harriet Tubman from her early childhood to her elder years. Music will be performed by Bishop Moore & the Straghnettes of the Straghn & Sons Tri-City Funeral Home.
The show is at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Tickets are $30. 94 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach. Information: artsgarage.org; 561-450-6357
Academic Brain Bowl
Old School Square Fieldhouse
Elementary, middle, and high school students from across Palm Beach County will compete for prizes in the Black History Academic Brain Bowl, a Jeopardy-style competition that is sure to have audience members on the edge of their seats, with answers on the tip of their tongues.
The competition, sponsored by KOP Mentoring Network, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 11. 51 N Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Information: downtowndelraybeach.com/events/black-history-month-events.
'Examining the 1619 Project'
Third floor auditorium, Mandel Public Library
Join Palm Beach State College English professor Africa Fine as she expounds on “The 1619 Project.” This initiative was started in 2019 by The New York Times as a long-form journalism project in an effort to reexamine American history by “placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of our national narrative.”
The discussion is 11 a.m. to noon Sunday, Feb. 12. 411 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Free. Registration required. Information: .wpb.org/government/mandel-public-library-of-west-palm-beach/library-home
Jazz & Gospel in the Gardens
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
Singer, songwriter and lyricist Ritah Wilburn will be the featured performer for the fourth annual event. Llisten to jazz and gospel on the main lawn and discover the two-acre tropical gardens, monumental sculptures, artist studio and Norton House gallery including world-class exhibitions.
The event is 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12. Admission is $30 for adults, $25 for ANSG members and seniors; $12 for children. 253 Barcelona Road, West Palm Beach. Information: 561-832-5328;
'Reconstruction: America’s First Civil Rights Movement'
Palm Beach County Library, Lantana branch
Stephen Katz, professor emeritus of Excelsior College from Albany, New York, examines America’s first civil rights movement that came after the Civil War.
The discussion is 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. 4020 Lantana Road, Lantana. Free. Information: pbclibrary.org
Gospel Gala with Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Dreyfoos Concert Hall, Kravis Center
Revered as one of the most glorious voices in Christian music, this powerhouse gospel singer-songwriter first rose to fame with her Grammy Award-winning single "Break Every Chain." Her urban contemporary ballads earned her a 2020 Dove Award for Gospel Artist of the Year. Gospel recording artist and songwriter Terrion Nelson will open the show, which will also feature The Ebony Chorale of The Palm Beaches.
The performance is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15. 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets start at $15. Information: kravis.org
Whitfield Lovell: 'Passages'
Boca Raton Museum of Art
"Passages" is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the contemporary artist’s masterful conté crayon drawings, assemblages, and multi-sensory installations that focus on aspects of African-American history while raising universal questions about identity, memory, and America’s collective heritage. Lovell, a 2007 MacArthur Fellowship recipient and conceptual artist, creates drawings inspired by photographs of unidentified African Americans taken between the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Movement. This is the largest exhibition ever presented of Lovell’s work that focuses on lost African American history.
The exhibition will be on display from Feb. 15 to May 21. 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Adults $16, seniors $12, children and students free. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. Information: bocamuseum.org
'Passageways to Liberation: The Black Experience Through Music, Dance and Visual Arts'
Khoury Family Dance Rehearsal Hall, Kravis Center
Brian Knowles and Bianca Nightengale-Lee discuss the historical experience of African Americans through the lens of music, dance, and visual art. They will explore how artistic expression has not only been used to encapsulate these experiences, but also create passageways to mainstream American society.
The event is 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16. 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. $25. Information: kravis.org/events/passageways-to-liberation
Black History Youth Awareness Arts Festival
Spady Cultural Museum
This second annual event, hosted outdoors at the Spady Museum, seeks to engage Palm Beach County youths and community organizations through art, music and Black history.
The theme of the event, "Black resistance," will explore the many ways that African Americans have resisted oppression in all forms, including lynching, programs of discrimination, and police killings. Young artists, performers and entrepreneurs will be among the presenters during the event, scheduled for 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. 170 NW 5th Ave., Delray Beach. Information: bhyaaf.net.
Black Luxe Picnic and Music Festival
Boynton Beach, Boca Raton and Peanut Island
This event, formerly known as Blackniq, is expanding to three days — and three locations — after a massive success in its inaugural run in 2022
The festival kicks off on Friday, Feb. 17, with a day of inspiration from one of the top Black executives in television, Yvette Miley, senior vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at NBC Universal News Group. It all happens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Boynton Beach Arts and Cultural Center, 25 E. Ocean Ave.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, the second annual South Florida Blackluxe Picnic and Music Festival rocks from 2 to 9 p.m. at Sunset Cove Amphitheater, 20405 Amphitheater Circle in Boca Raton. Activities include live music, food, luxury picnic settings, and a special Keke Wyatt performance.
Then, enjoy fun in the sun on Peanut Island from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 with “Frenzy.” The day will be filled with opportunities for kayaking, snorkeling, picnicking and other activities.
For information and tickets, call 561-800-7636 or visit blackluxepicnic.com.
'Bone Hill: The Concert'
Rinker Playhouse, Kravis Center
Inspired by her life and the women she's descended from, Martha Redbone will tell the story of her family through Cherokee chants, lullabies, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, country, gospel, jazz and rock n' roll. This show will take you on an epic, unexpected American exploration of family, history and cultural identity.
The shows are 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets start at $35. Information: kravis.org
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Black History Month celebrated in music, films, lectures, festivals