February is Black History Month, and several activities throughout the region offer the opportunity to celebrate and learn about African-American heritage.
Indiana University Northwest’s Department of Minority Studies invites the community to take a theatrical look at the Black American experience through the production, “Jitney,” a play by August Wilson.
Heading the play is Mark Spencer, an IU Northwest alumnus and visiting faculty member who is known for his directorial work at Gary’s West Side Theatre Guild.
The free play will take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 and 20 at Theatre Northwest, 3660 Grant St. For tickets, call (219) 980-6596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The school also will host several other free events in February, including a Black History Month Film Series, beginning with the showing of “Slavery By Another Name” on Wednesday. The film focuses on how forced labor kept thousands of African-Americans in bondage even after slavery ended in the south after the Civil War. It’s based on the 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same title.
IU Northwest will show the film - and all of its film series - at noon at Savannah Center 205/206.
“Freedom Riders,” a film about the Freedom Rides of 1961, will be shown Feb. 17. Other films includes “The Abolitionists,” “Slavery by Another Name,” and “Cracking the Codes.” For more information, go to iun.edu.
On Thursday, the university’s Department of Minority Studies, in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, invites the community to a presentation by Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, an American activist and writer who is also a former prisoner, Black Panther party leader and co-founder of the Black Liberation Army.
The event will take place at 6 p.m. at the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium in the Savannah Center.
Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry also will host programs highlighting technology and arts.
The Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition will feature more than 100 works from both professional and amateur African-American artists, including a dozen youth artists between ages 14 and 17.
Through the end of February, the Black Creativity Innovation Studio allows visitors to experiment and explore new ideas through making, while learning about the the contributions of African-American innovators to science, technology, engineering and medicine.
Just a few blocks away, the DuSable Museum of African American History offers several exhibits, including The Du Sable Masterworks Collection Series I: Paintings, which opens Feb. 9 and runs through the year. This exhibit is the first in a series that will allow visitors to engage with the DuSable Museum of African American History’s Fine Arts collection.