Celebrate Black History Month with these on- and off-campus events

February 24, 2023

Throughout February, you can honor Black History Month with a variety of events and activities.  

Members of the La Salle community can immerse themselves in Black history, past and present, through on-campus discussions and performances, along with off-campus exhibitions, live theater, and more.  

Check out what’s happening this month to celebrate Black History Month: 

On campus  

AASL programming  

La Salle’s African American Student League (AASL) will host a variety of events this month. 

  • Wednesday, Feb. 1, Monday, Feb. 6, and Monday, Feb. 13: Stop by the Union lobby at 1 p.m. for a tabling and raffle fundraiser. Two baskets of Valentine’s Day goodies will be gifted on Tuesday, Feb. 14.  
  • Friday, Feb. 10: The second annual “Red Table Talk” gives students a chance to dissect and discuss challenges facing the Black community. Some of the topics include cultural differences, relationships in college, how the campus community can come together, and divides within the Black community. Students will rotate throughout breakout tables and will be given 15 minutes per table to discuss. Those interested in attending can go to the Union’s Dunleavy Room at 7 p.m.  
  • Wednesday, Feb. 22: The BHM Town Hall will be an open forum event with Vice President of Student Development & Campus Life Gabrielle St. Léger, Ed.D. and Dean of Students TiRease Holmes, MBA ’16, in attendance. Students will share the Black perspective of attending La Salle. The Student Government Association will also participate. Light refreshments will be served. The event will be held in the Union’s Dunleavy Room with a time to be determined.   
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28: A Black Showcase will be held in the Union’s Dan Rodden Theater beginning at 5:30 p.m. Celebrating Black culture, students are welcome to perform spoken word, singing, dancing, and more.  

Connelly Library  

On the library’s first floor, the La Salle community can view a display honoring Black History Month. The exhibit will highlight notable African American graduates who went on to become doctors, activists, professional athletes, and politicians, with photographs, newspapers, and yearbooks sourced from the University Archives, as well as Black actors represented in the Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War Collection from the University’s Special Collections.   

Community Discussion 

The History, Global Languages, Literatures, and Perspectives, Black Studies Departments, and The Multicultural & International Center host will host a discussion in Founders Hall auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. Walter Greason, Ph.D., chair of Macalester College’s Department of History will be in attendance to discuss “Philadelphia, Afrofuturism and, The Future of Wakanda.”

Register for the event as an in-person or virtual attendee.

Documentary screening  

In collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia, the Department of Education is co-hosting a documentary screening and talkback. Held on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 6–8:30 p.m. in Founders’ Hall, guests will watch The Sun Rises in the East documentary. Discussion will follow. This free event is open to all La Salle students, faculty, and staff.  

Movie screening 

The La Salle community is invited to Founders’ Hall on Thursday, Feb. 23, for a screening of Till. Popcorn and refreshments will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the movie and discussion to follow.

In Philadelphia  

The African American Museum in Philadelphia    

The AAMP hosts An Evening Conversation with Dr. Bernice A. King on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 4 p.m. The speaking engagement, held at The Beloved Community at Mother Bethel AME Church, will focus on community. Dr. King is the CEO of The King Center, where she is focused on ensuring a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love. 

Tickets can be purchased on the AAMP website. 

The Betsy Ross House   

Similar to last year, the Besty Ross House is hosting special programming on February weekends to spotlight Black Americans’ contributions to the nation’s history. Events include the retelling of James Forten’s life, an African American abolitionist, and Once Upon a Nation Storytelling, little-known stories of Black Americans. (This programming is free.) 

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion  

Visit the Victorian House Museum and Garden for a guided tour. Deep Rivers: How African Americans Waded through the Waters of Oppression to Achieve Greatness showcases the lives, stories, and achievements of 19th-century Black entrepreneurs, intellectuals, and artisans. (By appointment only. Tickets are $10. Tickets for residents in the 19144 ZIP code are $5.) 

Free Library of Philadelphia   

The Free Library is putting on a variety of programming at various locations or virtually during the month of February. Events include panel conversations, hands-on activities, and book discussions. (Most programming is free. Check the library’s website for full details.) 

Kimmel Cultural Campus  

The Kimmel Cultural Campus and the Philadelphia Orchestra commemorate Black History Month with orchestral and theatrical performances, along with performances from the Philadelphia Ballet and Opera Philadelphia. Other programming includes Wanda Sykes entertaining audiences on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, and Drumline Live on Friday, Feb. 17. For a full listing of events, visit kimmelculturalcampus.org/events-and-tickets. (Ticket prices vary. Student discounts are available.) 

Museum of the American Revolution  

Opening on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia special exhibition tells the story of James Forten, a businessman, philanthropist, and abolitionist, and his descendants. Visitors will be guided through the Forten story through the American Revolution and racial relations in Philadelphia. The family would become leaders in the abolition movement leading to the Civil War and the women’s suffrage movement. (Student discounts are available.)  

National Constitution Center   

The Center is offering a variety of programming during the month of February. Visitors can participate in exhibits like The Road to Freedom: The Story of Slavery in America, The Four Harriets of History, and the Self-Guided African American Artifact Tour. Virtual discussions and online resources are also available. A full listing of events is available at NCC’s website. (Student discounts are available.) 

—Meg Ryan