Honoring Black History Month in Downtown Baltimore
Since the 1920s, the month of February has been a time to celebrate the history of African Americans in the United States – and here in Baltimore. This month, several Baltimore institutions have organized events and experiences designed to educate the public about – and honor – the contributions of black Marylanders and Americans.
Here’s a look at ways to celebrate the month around downtown Baltimore:
Reginald F. Lewis Museum events
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture hosts multiple events throughout the month.
On Sunday, Feb. 9, the museum will screen “Wax Prints,” a film about the history of African wax-printed fabrics. Following the film, the museum hosts a discussion of the topic and a pop-up with textiles from local makers.
Feb. 13, join others for a “Talk & Thoughts” discussion hosted by journalist and communication strategist Jeff Johnson. The talk will focus on the black male vote; it’s tied to the Feb. 3 anniversary of the ratification of the 15th amendment, which, in 1870, granted African American men the right to vote.
On Feb. 14, the museum does double-duty as a destination for Black History Month and Valentine’s Day. Museum visitors can attend a wine and chocolate pairing workshop featuring the terrific chocolates from Pure Chocolates by Jinji.
Later in the month, on Feb. 19, the museum will host the world premiere of “Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier,” a Smithsonian Channel documentary following efforts to get the first African American astronaut into space.
And all month long, visitors can check out the current exhibition: “Elizabeth Catlett: Artists As Activist EMPOWERED!: Black Action Figures, Superheroes & Collectibles.”
Historic Ships educational experience
Throughout the month, the USS Constellation will hold its “To Catch a Thief” tour every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. During the tour, visitors will learn about the Constellation’s role combatting the slave trade and the ship’s chase and capture of the slave ship Cora (and the subsequent rescue of 705 Africans held captive).
This presentation is open to all Constellation visitors during February; it is included with regular admission and no reservations are required. (The tour is given during other times of the year, too, but special arrangements must be made.)
Located at 55 Market Place right downtown, Harbor Park Garage is a convenient and centrally located spot to start and end your visit. It’s just a short walk to both the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and to the harbor, where the Constellation is docked.
Plus, the garage is close to many excellent restaurants and bars – a great addition to any trip downtown – and it is easily accessible from major routes in and out of the city, including I-83. It’s safe, well-lit and staffed 24/7 by a friendly and knowledgeable crew who will be happy to offer directions, advice and answer any questions you might have.