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Nine Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Massachusetts

February is Black History Month, where we honor the incredible contributions the Black community has made throughout U.S. history — from civil rights leaders to artists, politicians to entrepreneurs — and we celebrate the Black history that’s being made today and every day.

The celebration of Black life extends past the holiday, but the Boston area is rich with opportunities to appreciate and learn about Black history and culture this month. Dive into these ways to observe local and national Black history and culture throughout Massachusetts. 



The Embrace Memorial 
Permanent Installation 
Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts

Unveiled this year over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, “The Embrace” is an impactful new piece of public art transforming Boston Common. This eye-catching bronze sculpture, inspired by a 1964 photo of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King embracing after he learned he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, is set in the 1965 Freedom Plaza, which commemorates the legacies of local civil rights leaders. A self-guided digital experience is available for those looking to learn more about Boston’s civil rights history.

Click here to learn more about “The Embrace.”

Black Art Celebration & Community Cultural Day 
New Art Center, Newton, Massachusetts
Sunday, February 12

The New Art Center and Newton Community Pride are celebrating Black History Month with the opening of “He Changed The World,”  an exhibition created by New Art’s Martin Luther King vacation program students in collaboration with artist Jamaal Eversley. The exhibition opens on Sunday, February 12 with a celebration including art making and refreshments, and will remain on view until February 28. 

Click here for tickets and more information.

The Grimkes -- A Legacy of Slavery in an American Family
North Andover Historical Society, North Andover, Massachusetts
Wednesday, February 15

Dr. Kerri Greenidge, a Mellon Assistant Professor in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University, will give a talk at the North Andover Historical Society on her critically acclaimed book, “The Grimkes.” The book delves into the story of the abolitionist Grimke Sisters, and the forgotten black members of their family. 

Visit this link for more on Dr. Greenidge, “The Grimkes,” and this event. 

James Baldwin Abroad Screening & Panel 
Wednesday, February 15
Cape Cinema, Dennis, Massachusetts


Harlem-born writer and activist James Baldwin spoke out against racism through his novels and essays throughout his career. In a new series of recently restored films, Baldwin is captured exploring London, Paris, and Istanbul, revealing much about his life and accomplishments. All three films will be screened at the Cape Cinema followed by an instructive panel discussion featuring local activists and community leaders. 

Click here for tickets and more information.


Black History Month Celebration: From My Mother’s Hands 
Saturday, February 25 
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts

Brockton’s Fuller Craft Museum and the Harambee Learning & Cultural Center have teamed up to celebrate black women and mothers at this free public event. Highlights include a talk with famed storyteller Len Cabral, a soul food lunch, a tour featuring black artists with the Museum’s educators, and a performance from Ready Set Step!, Southeastern High School’s step team.

Click here to register and learn more about this event.

Black History Month Oratory and Art Competition
Saturday, February 25
Randolph Intergenerational Community Center, Randolph, Massachusetts

The Norfolk-Plymouth County Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has invited students from Norfolk and Plymouth counties to submit a speech or an art piece that represents a social justice issue that impacts the Black community. The works will be presented and judged on Saturday, February 25 at the Randolph Intergenerational Community Center, and three winners will be awarded a cash prize. 

Click here for tickets and more information. 

Celebrating Black Horticultural Heroes
All Month Long
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, Boylston, Massachusetts

Throughout the month of February, the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill celebrates the achievements of Black horticulturalists in their Horticultural Heroes exhibit. The Garden’s Lobby Gallery will feature portraits of Black Americans who have contributed to agriculture, farming, and organic science, including George Washington Carver and Michelle Obama.

Click here to learn more about the Horticultural Heroes exhibit. 

Boston Black Restaurant Challenge
All Month Long
Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Black Restaurant Challenge is back this year, encouraging diners to order takeout or delivery from at least one Black-owned restaurant per week throughout February. And with a variety of tasty and inspired options, this is the best challenge of the year. The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition has compiled a guide to Black-owned restaurants in each Boston neighborhood, from casual French dining at Cafe Sauvage to jazz and cocktails at the iconic Wally’s Cafe

Click here to learn more and explore restaurants by neighborhood.  

"Frank Bowling’s Americas" Exhibition 
On view through Apr 9, 2023
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts is the ideal place to draw inspiration from the works of Black artists. One current exhibition celebrates the work of Frank Bowling, a contemporary painter born in British Guinea. Bowling’s paintings are a shining example of the rise of Black abstract artists in the 1960s and 1970s, and reflect the cultural shifts and social changes that defined the period. 

Visit this link for more on "Frank Bowling’s Americas."


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