Honor Black History Month in St. Louis

Thursday January 14, 2016

griotmuseumbaker

In honor of Black History Month, learn more about the history of African American culture and celebrate the achievements of African Americans in St. Louis with the following events and attractions.

The Old Courthouse was the site of the notable Dred Scott v. Sanford court case which ultimately led to the Civil War and would forever change America’s destiny. The Griot Museum of Black History provides another opportunity for you and your family to learn about African American history. The museum features wax figures, artifacts and memorabilia with an emphasis on regional stories in relation to American history.  “Griot” (pronounced “GREE-OH”) is a community historian who maintains cultural traditions through poetry, storytelling and music in some countries in West Africa. The Scott Joplin House State Historic Site is a National Historic Landmark. Step into the King of Ragtime’s home where he composed what would become legendary music.

Various St. Louis County Library and St. Louis Public Library locations will host a variety of topics all month long such as: Discovery Club: African American Scientists and Inventors (Indian Trails), Central Cinema Presents: Black History Month (Central Library), the African American Inventions exhibit (Thornhill Branch), and Pilot Pruitt and Soaring with other Sumner Alums (Carpenter Branch). All events are free and open to the public, visit www.slcl.org/black-history-celebration for details.

Continuing the Legacy” by Coca on February 5 and 6 will use dance, music and photography to take audience members on a powerful journey representing black history from slavery to the jazz era, through the civil rights movement, to modern times.

The “Lift Every Voice: Black History Month Celebration” on Friday February 12 at Powell Symphony Hall celebrates African-American culture and traditions that have shaped St. Louis, the U.S. and the world. Conductor Kevin McBeth, special guest artist Larnelle Harris, and the STL Symphony IN UNISON Chorus will commemorate the legacy of African-American art, music, culture and community.

Close out the month of February with the “PNC Arts Alive New Dance Horizons IV: A Celebration Inspired by St. Louis’ Legendary Black Artists” on Friday February 26 or Saturday 27 at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at University of Missouri- St. Louis. In celebration of Black History Month, three nationally-renowned African-American choreographers create new works for unique world premieres. Each choreographer will be paired with a local professional dance company, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre principal dancers.

Black history is alive all year long in St. Louis. In the spring experience the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration on the riverfront of north St. Louis, the African Arts Festival occurs in Forest Park on Memorial Day Weekend. Don’t forget to look out for performances at The Black Rep and eat soul food at Sweetie Pie’s. St. Louis has ties to Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Arthur Ashe, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and many more legendary names. Our newest attraction for celebrating musicians will be the National Blues Museum opening April 2. The interactive museum will educate visitors about the importance of the blues genre and its powerful influence on American music. Take your family on an African American history tour, there’s a full itinerary here.

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