Celebrate Black History Month Locally


Black History Month (also called African American History Month), celebrated in February because it coincides with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, honors African American contributions to our nation’s history. Learn more about the African American experience throughout history with the book lists created by Library Staff or dates on the Monroe County Timeline—and celebrate in person this month at these local events: 

All Month

Thursday, February 1

  • Black History Month Kickoff
  • Eric Love, Director of Staff Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Notre Dame, speaks on the theme "From Protest to Progress: Unmasking the Movement."
  • 5:30PM Bloomington City Hall, Council Chambers

Sunday, February 4

  • Black History Celebration: Children’s Literature
  • We read aloud from award winning picture books like Snowy Day and Firebird, then create a community collage with volunteers from the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library. For ages 3–8.
  • 2–4PM Main Library, Auditorium
  • Books Plus: Homegoing
  • “Leaves the reader with a visceral understanding of both the savage realities of slavery and the emotional damage that is handed down, over the centuries.” —New York Times
  • A book discussion of Yaa Gyasi's novel. All are welcome to join the conversation—or just listen.
  • 2–3PM Main Library, Program Room 2B

Monday, February 5

  • IU 16th Annual African American Read-In
  • Share poems or passages from your favorite African American author or original works about the Black experience with our local high school guests. Following the Read-In IUB SoE will host an IU student panel for our high school guests
  • 11AM Grand Hall, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, IU Campus

Thurs, February 8

  • 2018 Black History Month Essay Contest Awards Reception
  • This year’s Essay Contest theme From Protest to Progress hopes to inspire students to take an interest in Black History and understand how Black people's responses to social and political injustice have changed our society. Join parents, teachers, siblings, and friends as the community’s young scholars and authors are honored.
  • 6PM Fairview Elementary School, Bloomington

Friday, February 9

Sunday, February 11

  • Black Faculty and Staff Appreciation Brunch
  • For Indiana University Faculty, Staff, and their families.
  • 1PM Grand Hall, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, IU Campus

Tues, February 13

  • State of the Black Community
  • An important discussion featuring a coalition of organizations discussing the education system, economics, and the criminal justice system, as they relate to the Black community.
  • 5:30PM Bloomington City Hall, Council Chambers
  • Black/Brown Coalitions: A Failed Promise or a Possibility?
  • 7–8:30PM 
La Casa Latino Cultural Center, IU Campus

Wednesday, February 14

  • African American Choral Ensemble Concert
  • The legacy of African American choral music, preserved through transformative interpretations of this unique American art form.
  • 12PM School of Education, Atrium, IU Campus

Thursday, February 15

  • A Night in Wakanda
  • Neal-Marshall Black Panther advance screening and post-film Discussion. (Admission charge)
  • 7PM AMC 12 Theaters, Bloomington

Sunday, February 18

  • Soul Revue at Soup Bowl
  • The IU Soul Revue performs at the Soup Bowl Benefit for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. (Admission charge)
  • 5PM 
Monroe County Convention Center, Bloomington

Wednesday, February 21

  • The Black Forum Label: Motown Joins the Revolution
  • A Lecture by Charles E. Sykes

  • 7PM Grand Hall, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, IU Campus

Thursday, February 22

  • Hair Politics: Ode to the Black Barber/ Beauty Shops and the Dialogue They Foster
  • 5:30 pm at the Grand Hall, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Saturday, February 24

  • 14th Annual Black History Month Gala & Silent Auction
  • An elegant evening of dining and dancing, a silent auction, and the 2018 Living Legend Recognition and Black Male Leader of Tomorrow Award. (Admission charge)
  • 6pm at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomington. Tickets: Buskirk-Chumley Box Office, (812) 323-3020 

Monday, February 25

  • IU African American Dance Company Performance
  • The keen vigorous expression, eloquence and class of the dance styles of the African Diaspora. The Company's repertoire includes original choreography in a fusion of modern, jazz, African, and Latin American styles.
  • 4–5PM Main Library, Auditorium

Monday, February 26

  • Black in Blue
  • 6PM Grand Hall, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, IU Campus