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There aren’t too many cities in the country that offer more opportunities to celebrate Black History Month than D.C. It may not always be easy to get out there given the February weather (Thundersnow? Really?), but if you make the effort you’ll be rewarded by a variety of events that represent the academic, the theatric, and the all-around fantastic.
Northwestern University professor Kate Masur discusses An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle Over Equality in Washington, D.C. at the National Archives and the National Portrait Gallery on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. In the book, Masur explores Reconstruction Era-D.C. and black Washingtonians’ fight for equal rights.
The National Archives is at 700 Constitution Ave. NW. The National Portrait Gallery is at 800 F St. NW. Both events are free and at noon.
George Washington University’s month-long Black Heritage Celebration includes more than a dozen events. This Wednesday, Marjuan Canady brings her satirical one-woman Girls! Girls? Girls. show to the Marvin Center Amphitheater. Award-winning poet and GW alum Elizabeth Acevedo will also be on hand.
800 21st St. NW. 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Free.
The Boys of Baraka documents three low-income 12- and 13-year-old African-American boys from Baltimore as they travel to Kenya and attend the Baraka School. A panel discussion afterwards will discuss the continuing educational struggles of D.C. The film screens at 1400 1st St. NW at 6 p.m.; doors open at 5 and close at 5:45. Free.
Even if Glee isn’t your thing, you still might enjoy the a cappella gospel group Reverb. With the support of the annual black history production Blacks in Wax, on Saturday Reverb will highlight various social issues through the educational musical Black History in Harmony.
6 p.m., Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free.
The Spirit of Washington features a Black History Month-themed cruise on Saturday, Feb 19. Live performers and a DJ will pay tribute to legendary African American musicians like Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, Michael Jackson, Prince, and more.
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; $40.90.
The story of World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen is worth visiting time and time again. Which is why on Sunday, Feb. 20, the College Park Aviation museum is screening the HBO movie Hollywood Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen, about the United States Army Air Force’s first black pilots.
1 p.m., 1985 Corporal Frank Scott Dr., College Park. $2-$4.
With its bevy of bars, restaurants, and entertainment options, you don’t really need an excuse to head down to U Street. But the inaugural Umoja on U Black History Celebration at the Lincoln Theater on Sunday, Feb. 20 is a great reason to hit up the area. Performers include the Black Notes, Farafina Kan, and Maimouna Youssef.
6 p.m., 1215 U St. NW. $10-$20.