Your guide to Black History Month in Birmingham, including events and where to visit

The Aeolians of Oakwood University
The Aeolians of Oakwood University will perform at the Alys Stephens Center on Feb.9. Photo via The Aeolians’ Facebook.

In the middle of the 20th century, Birmingham rose to national and international fame as the center of the Civil Rights Movement. Through the efforts of Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Birmingham’s own Fred Shuttlesworth, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made all men equal in the eyes of the law. During Black History Month, we honor these leaders and more for their struggle toward equality. Here are must-see places and events you should check out in Birmingham during Black History Month. 

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Update: Extras needed for Birmingham film, “Garden of the Gods”

Day of the Dead, birmingham film
The scene is a Día de los Muertos (Day Of The Dead) party‚so come in costume.Photo via Día de los Muertos Alabama Facebook.

UPDATE 2/4: All roles for extras have currently been filled. If you’d like to reach out about another project, feel free to use the same contact information provided.

If you’ve never made it on the big screen, now is your chance!  A Birmingham film is on the hunt for extras to be in a party scene on February 8.  Find out more about “Garden of the Gods,” a movie produced by a local Birmingham production company.

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Sidewalk Film Center is screening every Oscar-nominated short before the award show on Feb. 9

Sidewalk Film Center
Grab your popcorn and your tissues, these films are incredible. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

The only time you should be in the dark when it comes to The Oscars is if you’re watching one of the nominated shorts at the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema. Lucky for you, the center is screening every short film this week leading up to The Academy Awards.

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Update: Birmingham resident, Sydney Hightower, a front-runner on “The Bachelor”

sydney hightower
Sydney deserves a trophy just for making it through the first rose ceremony, which starts at night and leads into the morning hours. Photo via Refinery29, courtesy of ABC.

By now, you’ve heard Syndey Hightower, Birmingham resident, is on ABC’s insanely popular reality TV show, “The Bachelor.” Now, take a look at how she’s doing after making it through three rose ceremonies.

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How do you get your name on The Atomic Lounge’s cocktail list? It’s all about the unexpected.

The atomic loungr
The funky decor is only half of The Atomic Lounge’s charm. Photo courtesy of Magic City Dentistry

Everything about The Atomic Lounge is a little different, and extra special—especially its cocktails. Have you ever wanted to know who gets their name on the leaderboard of cocktail lists? Once I saw my name on the menu, I had to find out how it got there.

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5 unique gifts for your Valentine’s sweetheart from the Gabriel & Co. showcase Feb.7-8 + GIVEAWAY

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Don’t miss gorgeous pieces such as this ring at the Diamonds Direct showcase February 7-8. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now.

While heart-shaped jewelry might top your list this Valentine’s Day, you don’t want to miss the Feb. 7-8 Diamonds Direct showcase in Birmingham featuring unique pieces from Gabriel & Co. Especially since items are brought in from their extended collection!

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5 Alabama fashion designers’ clothes you can find in Birmingham.

zkano socks
Did you know Zkano Socks makes all of its products in Alabama? Photo via Zkano Socks’ Facebook.

Alabama isn’t known as the fashion capital of the world—at least, not yet. So many of your favorite brands made right here in Alabama, and many are designed or constructed in Birmingham.

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BOCCA is the new Italian restaurant of your dreams. Don’t miss its opening on 2nd Ave. this February!

BOCCA
If you’ve headed down 2nd Ave. recently, you may have seen a sleek new upgrade to the space. Photo via Bham Now.

It’s time to break out your high school Italian. Beloved French restaurant Bistro 218 is opening a sister Italian ristorante, BOCCA. You don’t have to wait long, homemade pasta and fresh bread will be at your fingertips on 2nd Ave. downtown next month!

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Don’t miss the story of Porgy and Bess at Red Mountain Theatre Company Feb. 7-23. Use code: BhamNow6 to save $6.

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porgy and bess
RMTC Rehearsal of Porgy and Bess – Cecil Washington, Jr., as Porgy and Delores McKenzie as Bess. Photo via Bham Now.

On Catfish Row in 1930s Charleston, Porgy and Bess carries us through a poverty-stricken narrative sandwiched between murder, and a story of love. Porgy and Bess premieres at the Red Mountain Theatre Company February 7 through the 23. Make sure you get your tickets to the iconic musical and save $6 with the code BhamNow6 on price levels 1 or 2.

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How much do you know about Birmingham’s cosplay scene? Two experts give us the details—including a BSC counselor!

Birmingham cosplay
When she’s not helping students at BSC, Pamela Grubbs-Lowery spends her time creating amazing cosplay looks like this one. Photo via Cameron Carnes.

Have you ever wanted to be someone else—outside of Halloween? You might consider looking into cosplay. Two Birmingham residents well-versed in the activity share helpful tips for becoming involved.

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5 Alabama bakeries welcoming those with dietary restrictions

Alabama dietary friendly bakeries
Like those Little Debbie snack cakes, but upgraded. Photo via Joyful Food Co.’s Website.

A couple of my friends have been on the Whole 30 diet this month, and it’s really shown me how restrictive certain diets can be. Whether it’s a preference or you have a food allergy—here are a few Alabama dietary friendly bakeries that make it easier!

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The Anvil Pub & Grill is almost ready to open in Hoover! Check out what they’re serving.

The Anvil
Can anyone guess why it’s named “The Anvil?” Keep reading to find out! Photo via The Anvil Pub & Grill’s Twitter.

Good news—you don’t have to travel to the other Birmingham in England for authentic British cuisine. Another British-inspired culinary restaurant is hitting the food scene in Birmingham—the Anvil Pub. The modern pub plans to open sometime this February.

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Love shopping local in Birmingham? So does Carrie Rollwagen, author of “The Localist”

Carrie Rollwagen, author of "The Localist"
In addition to hosting a podcast and writing blogs, Carrie Rollwagen reviews books for Southern Living and BookPage. She is also Vice President of Strategic Planning for Infomedia. Photo via CarrieRollwagen.com.

If you’re reading this, hopefully, it’s because you love us, but also because you love Birmingham. You might love it so much you decided to exclusively support local businesses for an entire year as Carrie Rollwagen did.

In her book “The Localist”, along with her blog and podcast, Carries takes us through her journey with Birmingham small businesses and shows us what came out the other side.

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Cousins Maine Lobster—Shark Tank success—is bringing its food truck to Avondale THIS Sunday, Jan.19!

 Co-owners of Cousins Maine Lobster, Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis, smiling alongside their biggest supporter—business mogul Barbara Corcoran. Photo via Cousins Maine Lobster’s press kit.

*Que Shark Tank introduction music* Ever wanted to taste Cousins Maine Lobster for yourself after seeing them on Shark Tank? Now you can! Come out to Avondale Brewing Co. this Sunday from 2PM-7PM and try the food that led Barbara Corcoran to offer the business a $55,000 deal.

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It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Here’s what you can do in Birmingham.

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Junior League of Birmingham at city council meeting
January was officially declared Human Trafficking Awareness Month at a Birmingham City Council meeting. Photo via Junior League of Birmingham.

January is officially Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Birmingham. It’s not the only city to face this issue, but Birmingham does have some dedicated groups committed to stopping the crime in our city.

The Junior League of Birmingham Anti-Human Trafficking Committee is educating the public about this pressing issue, including the signs and best ways to respond if you see something suspicious. Plus, take a look at the free event JLB is hosting to help you prevent human trafficking.

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