Events to Help You Commemorate Black History Month
An exciting array of events are celebrating African-American culture and history in the month of February in honor of Black History Month.
By SARAH TELESCA & JULIE GARISTO | Feb. 8, 2019
African American Heritage Trail The St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department wants to take you on a blast through the past — a bipedal blast, that is. Join a group for one of two historical walking tours on the African American Heritage Trails in downtown St. Pete. The “Community, Culture, and Commerce” trail runs north/south on 22nd Street S. and focuses on the cultural heritage of the neighborhood, community leaders, landmark businesses, and the evolution from the Jim Crow era to the Civil Rights movement and desegregation. The Ninth Avenue S. trail, running east/west, is the “Faith, Family, and Education” trail, where you’ll find a focus on more personal aspects of historical community life, including schools, housing stock, churches, and community organizations. Both trails begin at the Carter G. Woodson Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S. Click here for more info.
Black Business Bus Tour Hop on the bus! Black Business Bus Tour aims to increase visibility and patronage to Black owned businesses in the Bay area. The BBBT emphasizes that they are looking to partner up with establishments and businesses outside of the black community in order to improve longevity for black-owned businesses. The next tour is Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m.-noon starting at Bounce Boy, 5008 E. 10th Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $25 in advance. To register and for more info, click here.
Visual Arts Events
Gallery Talk with Princess Smith Join painter and USF MFA graduate Princess Smith at the Morean Arts Center to hear her discuss her new show “The Evolution of Self.” Smith’s work explores themes of womanhood, racism, sexism, violence, and gender roles, with the hope that said themes in her work will move people to a place of hope, awareness, and change. Tuesday, Feb. 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. at 719 Central Ave.; free admission. Click here for full event details.
A Night With Ray Arsenault Acclaimed author and historian Raymond Arsenault will discuss his new book, Arthur Ashe: A Life at Mirror Lake Library in downtown St. Pete. As many already know, Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. (July 10, 1943 – Feb. 6, 1993) was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam titles. Biographer Arsenualt is one of the nation’s leading civil rights historians, primarily known for his award-winning account Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. The John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at USFSP also authored The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America. His latest on Ashe is available now at tombolobooks.com. Meet Arsenault on Monday, Feb. 11; opening remarks begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the author’s talk. A reception with book signing takes place immediately afterwards from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Seating is available starting at 5 p.m. 280 Fifth St. N., St. Petersburg. Click here for updates.
Beautiful Disaster Celebrates Black History Month Join the Studio@620 for a poetic tribute to black history with theme readings inspired by black poets such as Maya Angelo, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, Lucile Clifton, Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Malcom X, Zora Neale Hurston and others. Hosted by local poet and author of A Beautiful Disaster, Miesha Brundridge-Baker with a special appearance by the Studio’s artistic director, Bob Devin Jones. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m., The Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg. $5. studio620.org. Read more about Brundridge-Baker here.
Black on Black Rhyme Open Mic Started in writer and poet Keith Rodgers’ living room, Black on Black Rhyme has evolved over the last 21 years from an open poetry reading to one of the country’s most highly respected poetry organizations and an acclaimed forum for innovative poetry, music, hip hip, visual arts and more. This month’s installation will feature many talented Bay area poets on Friday the 15th at Hooch and Hive, 1001 W. Cass St. Tickets are $15.
Dust Tracks on a Road #YearOfMemoir Community Conversation Kitchen Table Literary Arts is back at it again. The Tampa-based reading series is starting off their #YearofMemoirs with Zora Neal Hurston’s “Dust Tracks on a Road.” This year’s conversation series will feature a different book each month by Black women artists, activists, writers, and entertainers, with a meet-up and community conversation. The meet-up for “Dust Tracks on a Road” will be Saturday, Feb. 16. It is free and open to the public regardless of if you’ve read the book or not. 6-8pm at Blue Sage Eco Boutique, 6206 N Central Ave., Tampa. Click here for full event details.
Festivals and Celebrations
Black Heritage Expo If you’re looking for a way to get kids involved in their local and global community, you’ll definitely want to check out the Black Heritage Expo. Hosted by ReDefiners World Languages, the expo is a celebration of culture through music, dance, dramatic reenactments, as well as a children’s corner with free activities. Saturday Feb. 23, 1-5 p.m. Entry is free, VIP seating is $15. University Mall 2200 E. Fowler Ave. Click here to register.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Office of Supplier Diversity Black History Month Master Class Hillsborough County’s Office of Supplier Diversity offers monthly masterclasses by providing communication, advice, and support to encourage fair and equal business opportunities to small, women and minority owned businesses. This month’s masterclass will be led by Danny Persaud, CEO at MidFlorida Armored. Feb. 21, 11:30am-1:30pm at the Aparicio-Levy Technical Center, 10119 E. Ellicott St., Tampa; free entry. Click here to register.
Pipeline Called “lyrical and timely” by Playbill, the drama by acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau urgently calls attention to the limitations of our education system and the legacy of violence confronting black youth in America. American Stage’s local premiere features four actors making their American Stage mainstage debut, Gillian Glasco, Andrew Montgomery Coleman, Aaron Morton and Cynthia Beckert plus the return of Kiara Hines (A Raisin in the Sun) and Cranstan Cumberbatch (A Raisin in the Sun, Two Trains Running and Rent). L. Peter Callender directs. Runs through Feb. 24. Americanstage.org. Read review here.
Ready, Steady, Yeti Go Dan Granke directs A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere in partnership with Howard W. Blake High School for the Performing Arts. The new play takes us to the aftermath of a hate crime, Goon befriends Carly Uhlenbeek, the only black girl in school. Things start to go south when bad parental advice, passive-aggressive acts, and ill-formed gestures of kindness create a “White Guilt Perfect Storm” that threatens to drown their relationship. The 2016 Relentless Award Semifinalist can be seen Feb. 8-24 at Stageworks Theatre, Tampa. stageworkstheatre.org.