Black History Month Events for Chicago Families

Celebrate Black History Month with these kid-friendly events.

February is Black History Month. But did you know that the precursor to Black History Month, Negro History Week, was created in 1926 here in Chicago by Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History? He selected the month of February to overlap with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.

In 1976, it became Black History Month. Decades later, there are now several family-friendly events taking place in the city where you can learn more about and celebrate Black history. You can also find more Black History Month events listed in our calendar.

Hanif Abdurraqib & Ashley Evans: “Sing, Aretha, Sing!”

Feb. 2, 2022

  • Hosted by: American Writers Museum
  • Cost: Free

This virtual event features writer, Hanif Abdurraqib and illustrator, Ashley Evans as they read from and discuss their new children’s book “Sing, Aretha, Sing! It talks about Aretha’s hit song, “Respect” and her impact on the Civil Rights Movement. Registration required.

Film Screening: Harriet (2019)

Feb. 5, 2022

Join the library for a screening of Harriet (2019). It’s the true story of one of America’s greatest heroes, Harriet Tubman. From her escape from slavery to the dangerous missions she led, setting free hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad. Rated PG-13.

Funday Crafts

Feb. 7-28, 2022

Join the Children’s Department at Woodson Regional to celebrate African American Heritage Month. Each week, they will feature a different craft related to African American culture. For children ages 5-12 years old.

‘Radiant Black Boy Joy’: Free Black Children’s Library Pop-up

Feb. 9-28, 2022

The event offers free Black children’s books from Brown Books & Paintbrushes with their pop-up at Afro Joe’s, a Black-owned coffee shop and cafe. You can find more Black History Month events from Brown Books & Paintbrushes on their Instagram.

African American Heroes Book

Feb. 15, 2022

With the help of Ms. Anna at Pullman Branch, you will be able to make and bind your own African American Heroes mini scrapbook to take home with you. For all ages.

Virtual Test Your Knowledge: African American History Edition

Feb. 15, 2022

  • Hosted by: Chicago Public Libraries
  • Cost: Free

Get your friends together to go up against other teams to see who has the most knowledge of African American history. Registration required. Must register by noon on Feb. 15, 2022 to get the Zoom link.

Film Screening: The Help (2011) at West Chicago Avenue Branch

Feb. 19, 2022

Based on the book, The Help takes you back to Mississippi in the 1960s. An upper-class, white woman sends her community into an uproar by conducting a series of probing interviews with the black female servants of the area’s most-prominent families. Rated PG-13. 

African American Flag Placemat at Pullman Branch

Feb. 15, 2022

You’ll be making an African American flag designed by African American artist David Hammons on a canvas placemat. Great for all ages.

Virtual Black History Trivia

Feb. 24, 2022

  • Hosted by: Chicago Public Libraries
  • Cost: Free

Teens will engage in a fun trivia game via Zoom while learning fun African American History Facts. Registration required.

Black Creativity Career Showcase

Feb. 26, 2022

Kids and families can talk with African-American artists, scientists and engineers about innovative work happening right here in our city. This is an opportunity to learn from experts during dynamic demonstrations, hands-on activities and one-on-one conversations. You can also visit the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition while you’re there.

Black History Month: Underground Railroad Walks

Feb. 26, 2022

Take a self-guided journey that follows the Underground Railroad route connected to the Calumet Region during the mid-1800s.

Chicago Children’s Choir Black History Month Virtual Concert: Remembering, Reclaiming, Reconnecting

Feb. 26, 2022

  • Hosted by: Chicago Children’s Choir
  • Cost: Free

The annual show features music from Nigeria, Peru, Jamaica, and the United States. It’s curated by resident Africana Studies Director, Lonnie Norwood. Recommended for ages 9 and up.


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