photo of Gaithersburg Community Museum

Celebrating Black History Month in the County: An Event Guide

Intended to recognize blacks’ prominent role in U.S. history, Black History Month has been nationally observed every February for over 40 years. Several Montgomery County organizations have events planned to celebrate and to educate residents.

Here are some of the many Black History events that will take place throughout the county this month:

 “Family Day – Black History Month” at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park (Saturday, Feb. 9, noon-2 p.m.)

This family-friendly event will include presentations and activities that emphasize the cultures of both free and enslaved black communities, as well as their ties to modern-day society.

Tickets cost $3. Click here to register.

 

“Museum After Hours: The World War I Experience for African American Soldiers” at the Gaithersburg Community Museum (Sunday, Feb. 10, 3:30 p.m.)

Military historian Lt. Col. Roger Cunningham will discuss African American soldier’s experiences during World War I. Many of them saw serving in the military as an opportunity to gain respect, but segregation determined where and how they served.

Click here for more information.

 

“Thurgood Marshall: A Trailblazing Civil Rights Victory in Montgomery County” at Silver Spring Library, 3rd Floor Meeting Room (Wednesday, Feb. 13, 6-8:30 p.m.)

Supreme Court Justice and civil rights leader Thurgood Marshall fought for – and won – equal pay for Montgomery County’s African American teachers in 1937. This illustrated talk will share details about the little-known case, which is often seen as Marshall’s first step toward pushing for national school integration. The event, presented by Ralph Buglass from the Montgomery County Historical Society, will detail the local story and its national significance.

Click here for more information.

 

“Montgomery County Delta Alumnae Foundation Night at Adventure Theatre – A Journey Down the Mississippi” at Adventure Theatre (Friday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m.)

The Montgomery County Delta Alumnae Foundation is hosting a night of theatre for young ages. “Huckleberry Finn’s Big River” is a family-friendly adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical that focuses on the friendship of Huckleberry Finn and Jim, a young slave who Huck helps to freedom. The show will be followed by a panel discussion about Montgomery County’s Underground Railroad, as well as the history of slavery and the arts, led by Natalie and Suzan Jenkins of the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

Tickets cost $13 with the code MCDAF. Click here to register.

 

Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Montgomery Parks

 

“Celebrating Black History Month – Ken-Gar Then and Now” at the Kensington Park Library (Saturday, Feb. 16, 1-2 p.m.)

Former slaves founded the local neighborhood Ken-Gar in 1892. It has become a home for African Americans, as well as people from other countries and backgrounds. Resident Karen Jackson will share the history of this over-125-year-old community. Lee’s Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church, Ken-Gar’s oldest church, will also perform.

Click here for more information.

 

“Lecture: Stories of the Underground Railroad” at Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery (Saturday, Feb. 16, 5 p.m.)

Sandy Spring resident Natalie Thomas Williams will discuss the complexity of the Underground Railroad network, as well as share stories about local stations and those who escaped to freedom from Montgomery County.

Click here for more information.

 

“Black History Month Winter Walking Tour” at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park (Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-noon)

This guided tour will allow participants to discover the role slave labor played on the manor’s 19th-century farm. While exploring the park’s grounds and buildings, guests will see how nature provided an escape for the enslaved as they longed for freedom.

This event is intended for ages 8 and up. Tickets cost $8. Click here to resister. Participants are recommended to dress to be in the elements.

photo of Gaithersburg Community Museum

Gaithersburg Community Museum | City of Gaithersburg

 

“The Living Museum – Civil Rights Era” at Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery (Saturday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 p.m.)

The museum will come alive and allow attendees to time travel to meet men and women who fought for equal rights.

Tickets cost $15. Click here to register.

 

“My Martin Luther King Story: Inspired to be an Inspiration with Freddie A. Brown, Sr.” at the Benjamin Gaither Center (Tuesday, Feb. 26, 12:45 p.m.)

Freddie A. Brown, Sr. will share his experiences as a driver for Martin Luther King, Jr., a mentor for local youth and a scientist at the National Institutes of Health, where he was a key figure in the Minority Student-Faculty Partnership Program.

Click here for more information.

 

“Black History Month Talk: Rockville’s Role in the Education of African Americans” at the Rockville Memorial Library, Meeting Room No. 1 (Sunday, Feb. 24, 2-3:30 p.m.)

This discussion, led by historian Ralph Buglass, will detail the educational history of Rockville’s black students. Schools in the city, and Montgomery County overall, were segregated up until the mid-20th century, but Rockville played a major role in increasing educational opportunities for black students.

This event is free, but space is limited and registration is required. Click here to register.

Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery | Sandy Spring Museum

Update (2/5): This post has been updated to include “Montgomery County Delta Alumnae Foundation Night at Adventure Theatre – A Journey Down the Mississippi.” If you would like to see any additional Black History Month events listed, contact bgallion@mymcmedia.org.

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Bryan Gallion

About Bryan Gallion

Bryan Gallion is a Spring 2019 intern for Montgomery Community Media. He is a senior multiplatform journalism major with a professional writing minor at the University of Maryland. Bryan can be reached at bgallion@mymcmedia.org.

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