February 1, 2022 -- Black History Month begins today, February 1, celebrating Black history, culture, and achievements across all sectors. This year, the 96th annual Black History Month theme is Black Health & Wellness, encouraging everyone to study and celebrate Black pioneers in the fields of medicine, fitness, mental health, and more, and to amplify Black voices in critical conversations around health, particularly as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History has prepared a resource guide to assist in finding books, movies, and other materials in support of the theme.
Black History Month is also an opportunity to engage with the contemporary consequences of racism. Reflective of the necessity to call out the legacies of injustice, this month's theme challenges us all to examine the ways in which systemic inequities continue to result in health disparities and discrimination that precipitate negative outcomes for Black communities and people of color.
Local and national organizations have planned educational activities and programming to celebrate Black History Month. For suggestions of local events to be added to the following list, please email us at email@example.com with the subject line, "Black History Month."
Highland Park Public Library
Attend one of the following programs via Zoom or browse the Black History Month book display at the Library. Register at hplibrary.org.
Equal Justice Initiative And The National Memorial For Peace and Justice
Monday, February 7 | 7:00 PM | Zoom
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), founded by Bryan Stevenson, acclaimed public interest lawyer and author of Just Mercy, provides legal representation to people who have been wrongly convicted and unfairly sentenced.
The organization’s cultural sites, the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, are dedicated to the legacy of enslaved Black people and the Black men, women, and children who were victims of racial terror lynching in America between 1865 and 1950.
EJI’s Gabrielle Daniels presents an overview of the organization’s legal work and its cultural sites, with an emphasis on the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
Did Black Lives Matter In Early Illinois? Voices From The Brink Of Slavery And Freedom
Monday, February 28 | 2:00 PM | Zoom
Illinois entered the United States with a Constitution declaring itself a free state. But slavery’s roots went back centuries in the region, and its hold on the young state was strong. Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Caroline Kisiel discusses the struggle over whether the new State of Illinois would remain a free state or become a slave state. An Illinois Humanities Road Scholar program sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
College of Lake County
4th Annual Lake County's History Makers: State of the Black Male: Changing the Narrative
Thursday, February 3 | 12:00 - 2:00 PM | Zoom
Lake County’s professional Black men from all walks of life will speak about their struggles and the man they are today.
Why Black History Matters
February 8 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM | Zoom
In this session, we will discuss how the history we have been taught plays a role in the issues we are still facing today.
Association for the Study of African-American Life and History
2022 Black History Month Virtual Festival
The annual festival kicks off on February 1 with an opening keynote. A variety of free and ticketed events are planned.
National Museum of African-American Heritage and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution
Activities for all ages are available from the National Museum of African-American Heritage and Culture. Online exhibitions are also available.