Art. Dance. Food. Music. Inventors. Leaders. Inspirers.
February is dedicated to learning about, exploring, and celebrating Black History in America and the countless contributions Black Americans have made to our country.
Here we round up our favorite ways to celebrate Black History Month with your families, including things you can do right here in the Mile High City!
Coming out this month, A Ballerina’s Tale tells the story of American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American Principal Dancer, Misty Copeland and her climb to the top. If you have a kid like mine who only wants to hear Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” on repeat and sleeps in her tutu, this documentary is perfect for your family. You can also take a trip to the Black History Month Film Series at the historic Peoples Presbyterian Church, where classics such as Amistad and Remember the Titans will be shown.
From spirituals to blues to rock ‘n roll to R&B to hip hop, there are not many musical styles that Black Americans have not directly created or influenced. And lucky for us Denverites, we have one of the most infamous neighborhoods–Five Points–for some of Jazz’s greats, right here in the heart of the city. Take advantage of a date-night this month out to Denver’s oldest and most famous jazz joint, El Chapletepec, and enjoy a piece of Black History right here at home. And for the whole family to enjoy, while you’re driving in the car or hanging out around home, why not listen to some of the very best Black music in existence. From two of the top historically-Black record labels in the world, Stax Records hailing from Memphis and the classic Motown from Detroit, here are a couple playlists for you to enjoy. Make sure you turn it up, sing it loud, and dance.
There are countless books that celebrate Black History for the whole family to enjoy. For the kids: Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti, I am Rosa Parks, Follow the Drinking Gourd. For adults: Between the World and Me, Beloved, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Check out a couple more lists of Black History Month books for kids here and here.
Take a trip as a whole family to the The Black American West Museum located in the historically-Black Five Points Neighborhood. Housed in the home of Colorado’s first black woman doctor, Dr. Justina Ford, come learn about the “miners, soldiers, homesteaders, ranchers, blacksmiths, schoolteachers, lawmen, and every other profession needed to build up the West.”
One month is no where near sufficient enough to truly honor and celebrate the legacies of countless Black Americans who have made our world a much better one to live in. In the spirit of progress and appreciation, let’s make a point to celebrate as much as we can during this Black History Month!