Black History Month is an anticipated annual event that was started in 1915 in Chicago by Carter G, Woodson and it continues to be an important avenue for celebrating African American achievements across the country. Chicago’s extensive African American cultural history supplies a rich assortment of activities for this year’s events, which includes both virtual and in-person options. Check out our list of Chicago Black History Month events for 2023:
American Writers Museum
180 N. Michigan Ave.
Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice: Honoring the significant contributions of Black writers to American letters, the American Writers Museum exhibit explores racial injustice through the work of Black writers from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement. The online exhibit, Frederick Douglass: Agitator is also on view.
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave.
Forecast Form: Art in the Caribean Diaspora, 1990s-Today examines the impact of colonialism on Caribbean islands and the ways that its people connect to Blackness within the Diaspora as a result. This powerful group exhibit reflects on systemic oppression within the region and the ways that culture is still retained.
Museum of Science & Industry
5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr.
Attend one of the longest-running annual exhibits of African American artists with the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition. This year the show includes youth artists between the ages of 14 and 17, at the Museum of Science & Industry.
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 65th Place
Experience the virtual interactive exhibit The March, about the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the DuSable Museum of African American History. Learn about the unsolved cases that were re-examined under the Emmet Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act with the in-person installation Un(re)solved. Other exhibits to explore include Freedom, Resistance, and the Journey Toward Equality,and The Harold Washington Story.
Southside Community Art Center
3831 S. Michigan Ave.
The Promised Land: The Southside Community Art Center showcases artworks that explore the Great Migration and how migrations of African Diaspora people continue to be influenced by the historic movement.
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Concert is Power: Chicago’s First Free Black Generation: This online exhibit at the Chicago History Museum traces the lives of Chicago’s free Black generation during the 19th century. Don’t miss another Black History online offering, Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago musical legend and Civil Rights icon Mavis Staples presents a range of Black musical history from gospel to soul and r&B at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 4.
Compassion Baptist Church
2650 E. 95th St.
A Jazz Celebration of Black History Month: The South Side Jazz Coalition performs a free concert of jazz classics by the SSJC All-Stars on Feb 14.
The Promontory Chicago
5311 S. Lake Park Ave.
EVENTS & SHOWS
230 W. North Ave.
Dance Likes There’s Black People Watching: A Black Excellence Revue: Second City offers up a winning blend of sketches, songs and improv for lots of Black Joy, starting Feb.3
ETA Creative Arts Foundation
7558 S. South Chicago
1619: The Journey of a People: A musical tracing the journey of the enslaved Africans who landed in Virginia in 1619 and changed the course of history is performed with jazz, blues and hip hop will be showcased at ETA Creative Arts Foundation from Feb,5-26.
170 N. Dearborn St.
Harold Washington Cultural Center
4701 S. Martin Luther King Dr.
Queens of The Policy: A production about the enterprising women who ran policy, a male-dominated precursor to the lottery, during the 1940s in Chicago will be presented at the Harold Washington Cultural Center on Feb. 17-19.
Feeling Good: A M.A.D.D Rhythms Tribute to Nina Simone: A celebration of the “High Priestess of Soul” with tap, music and narration will be featured at the Harold Washington Cultural Center on Feb. 26.