How to celebrate Black History Month 2023 in Birmingham

Kelly Ingram Park
Kelly Ingram Park. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Since 1926, the US has been honoring Black History Week—fifty years after its founding, it became Black History Month. As a city with history rooted deep in the Civil Rights Movement, Birmingham has an abundance of places and events to visit throughout February to commemorate Black History Month.

Places to visit in Birmingham

The 2023 International Peace Conference
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Bham Now)

Learn all about The Magic City’s role in the Civil Rights Movement at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BRCI). This museum is dedicated to preserving history and encouraging cultural awareness and understanding. As you walk through the exhibits, you’ll learn about the hardships, oppression, victories and key leaders who made a difference for African Americans.

16th Street Baptist Church
16th Street Baptist Church. (Sabrina Palmer / Bham Now)

There are an array of museums, historical places and memorials to visit that tell the story of groundbreaking moments during the Civil Rights Movement. More places to visit in The Magic City include:

Events to celebrate Black History Month

1. Art in Conversation—Feb. 1

Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham Museum of Art. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Hear from Dr. Martha Bouyer, the educational coordinator for Bethel Baptist Church, as she explores the life and impact of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, an important leader in the Civil Rights Movement. During her talk at the Birmingham Museum of Art, she’ll discuss how music, poetry and art are historical artifacts.

2. Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful—Feb. 6-March 25

You don’t want to miss this opportunity to see photographer Kwame Brathwaite’s photos from the 50s and 60s. Impacting social change, his photos show how white conceptions of beauty and body image affected Black women during this time.

3. Lift Every Voice—Feb. 10-12

Lift Every Voice
(Birmingham Children’s Theatre)

Get ready for three days of theatre, dance, music, poetry, art, talkbacks and workshops to celebrate Black artists’ achievements. There will be plenty of Black artists, educators and organizations performing and talking at Lift Every Voice.

“I am elated to create and hold artistic space and celebrate Black History Month with our incredible community partners from Black-led cultural and arts organizations from across the city.”

Carlton V Bell II, Artistic Outreach Coordinator, Birmingham Black Repertory Theatre

4. Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly—Feb. 11 & 25

Birmingham Children's Theatre
(Birmingham Children’s Theatre)

Looking for a way for your kids to celebrate Black History Month? Head to this family-friendly play to see nine-year-old Tonia Bridge grow up. In Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly, you’ll be transported to 1964 as you watch Tonia find her way in an African-American home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

5. 43rd Annual Heritage Festival—Feb. 18

Shop African-inspired vendors, listen to a choir performance, tour the Anniston Museum of Natural History and Berman Museum and munch on delicious food at the 43rd Annual Heritage Festival. Plus, your kids can participate in the oration competition—a fantastic opportunity to practice public speaking and grow their love for reading, writing and poetry.

6. A.G. Gaston Conference—Feb. 21-22

The A.G. Gaston Conference is all about connecting business owners and community leaders who believe in African American empowerment. There’s an all-star lineup of speakers talking about empowerment, better business practices and how to inspire the next generation.

How are you celebrating Black History Month in Birmingham? Tag us @BhamNow on Instagram + Facebook to let us know!

Selah Vetter
Selah Vetter
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