Things to Do

Black History Month in DC: A Guide to Local Events

Book talks, live music, comedy, a gala and more.

DC's MLK Library is one of the many places hosting Black History Month events. Photograph courtesy of DC Public Library.

Black History month begins on February 1, and there’s a lot happening around DC to commemorate it. Here’s a look at some of the local events you can check out:

Ari Voxx at DC9
940 Ninth St., NW 
To celebrate the first day of Black History Month, DC native Ari Voxx will perform at DC9 nightclub, along with NXNES and Jaylin Conner. February 1 at 8 PM; purchase $5 tickets here.

Author Talk at MLK Library
901 G St., NW
In acknowledgement of Black History Month, Toluse Olorunnipa and Robert Samuels will discuss their 2022 book, His Name is George Floyd, at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The authors will be in conversation with journalist Jummy Olabanji. February 1 from 7 PM to 8 PM. Register for free here.

African American Heritage Trail Launch
201 S. Washington St., Alexandria
The Southern route of the African American Heritage Trail launches on February 4. The launch event will include remarks and a chance to speak with members of the African American Heritage Trail Committee. The self-guided walking tour features public markers, including a stop that discusses Alexandria’s role in the domestic slave trade and the story of Benjamin Banneker, a black astronomer, and the website offers more extensive information on each site. February 4, 10 AM to 12 PM; free. 

Black History Month Celebration Concert
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
At Howard Community College, the Howard County Center of African American Culture hosts a Black History Month celebration concert. The concert will feature gospel, jazz, spirituals, and contemporary choral performances. February 5 from 6 PM to 8 PM; purchase $50 tickets here.

Men of Distinction Step Showcase
15200 Annapolis Rd., Bowie 
At the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, Bowie High School’s Men of Distinction step team will perform a showcase in celebration of Black History Month. February 10 at 6 PM; purchase $5 tickets here.

Black History Month Black Business Expo
3535 University Blvd. West, Kensington
The Sebrof Forbes Cultural Arts Center in Kensington is hosting a Black business exposition on two Saturdays in the month of February. More than 30 businesses from around the region will be selling a variety of items. February 11 and February 25 from 12 PM to 5 PM; reserve free tickets here.

MOST Club’s 20th Annual Black History Month Film Festival
8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring
AFI Silver will host the Men of Strength’s 20th Annual Black History Month Film Festival. This year will feature three films that highlight hip-hop. February 18, 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM; reserve single screening, half day, or full day passes with suggested donations from $25-$50 here.

Black History Cooking Demonstration
5005 Duke St., Alexandria
At Charles E. Beatley Jr. Central Library, Chef Charles Robinson Jr., the creator of Black Folk Food, will prepare dishes and share cooking history. February 23, 5:30 to 7:30 PM; free. 

Seven Minutes Black Comedy Show
2004 Martin Luther King Jr Ave., SE
Busboys and Poets hosts “Seven Black Minutes: Black History Month.” Seven Black comedians from across the country will perform seven minutes of comedy, followed by a Black culture trivia contest and a best dressed contest, where the winner gets $100. February 24, 7 to 9 PM; $20 tickets available here.

Virginia Black History Month Association’s Gala 
5000 Seminary Rd., Alexandria
The Virginia Black History Month Association‘s annual gala will be at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel. This year’s keynote speaker is actor, singer, and producer Leon Robinson. February 25, 6 PM to 9 PM. Purchase general admission tickets for $95 here.

The Ivory and Cream Affair Literary and Jazz Brunch
9707 Rosensteel Ave., Silver Spring
The 7th annual Black History Month Literary Weekend presents a literary and jazz brunch featuring eight authors, live music, a silent auction, a three-course meal, and a mimosa bar. February 25, 11 AM; general admission tickets are $75 and virtual tickets are $25.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Black History Events
1400 Constitution Ave., NW
Throughout February, the National Museum of African American History and Culture offers in-person events, online events, and chef’s table events at the Sweet Home Cafe. Explore the calendar of events and programs here.

Library of Congress Black History Month Black Resistance
10 1st St. SE
Beginning on Wednesday, February 1, the great hall of the Thomas Jefferson building of the Library of Congress will feature an exhibit for Black History Month. “Black Resistance” will explore the theme of resistance through objects from the rare book and special collections, manuscript, and prints and photographs divisions. Open from 10 AM to 5 PM through the end of February. 

Alexandria’s Our Faces in Film Series
5005 Duke St., Alexandria 
Throughout February, Charles E. Beatley Jr. Central Library will showcase films with African American lead characters. February 3, 10, 14, 17, and 24; more details here.

Katie Kenny
Editorial Fellow