Check out these 4 Black History Month events happening around Ann Arbor

Panels of the Black Lives Matter mural unveiled by the Ann Arbor District Library in 2021. (Sarah Parlette, WDIV)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – This year, Tree Town organizations are recognizing Black History Month throughout February with storytelling, art exhibits, performances and workshops.

Officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976, Black History Month runs from February 1 to March 1 annually. It honors the contributions and impact of African Americans on American history.

Several organizations including the Ann Arbor District Library and Ann Arbor YMCA have put together events in recognition of the month.

Check out these 4 events around Ann Arbor:

GETTING STARTED ON YOUR JOURNEY: FROM RACISM TO ANTI-RACISM

On Wednesday, Ann Arbor YMCA will host a free, online workshop from 11 a.m. to noon to introduce participants to antiracism and how to fight racism. Register here.

The Y is hosting additional virtual and in-person workshops through February about soul line dancing, financial literacy and textured haircare. Virtual workshops will be held through Zoom while in-person events will be at the down YMCA at 400 W. Washington St. Find all workshops here.

DRAG BINGO

On Friday, Ypsilanti-based Boylesque Drag will entertain audiences at Sticks with three rounds of bingo and a drag show benefiting the Trans Sistas of Color Project and April Austin.

“February is Black history month and these two causes speak to the heart of us. We have lost so many black trans women in our community it is devastating. Trans Sistas of Color Project aims to uplift, influence and impact the lives and well-being of trans women of color in Metro Detroit. April Austin is a single black mom that raises full time a nonverbal autistic son while suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, ” said a release from the troupe.

The $20 in-person will be at Sticks in Ypsilanti and is recommended for those age 18 and older. Get tickets here.

ROMANCE BEARDEN: ABSTRACTION

Hosted by the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the free exhibition contains around 55 works of art by visual artist Romare Bearden. Highly influential in the 1960s, Bearden is known for his collages and abstract watercolors. Two of the pieces on display have never been seen by the public, UMMA officials said.

The new exhibition runs until Sunday, May 15. Learn more here.

LA’RON WILLIAMS

Visit the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library between 3-4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27, to listen to tales from Washtenaw County storytellers La’Ron Williams and Laura Pershin Raynor.

Attendees will also be able to wish AADL Director Josie Parker a happy retirement as she prepares to leave the library system. Here are the details.

The library is also hosting a Quote of the Day video series during Black History Month highlighting powerful quotes from influential figures including Nelson Mandela, Amanda Gorman and Bessie Coleman. Watch all 28 videos on AADL.TV.


About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.