To honor African American cultural and political leaders who have not only shaped Philadelphia's diverse and historic roots, but the country's history as well, here are five places to check out in Philadelphia.
Through the month of February, the Constitution Center will host various programs in tribute to African American heritage. Exhibitions will explore the histories of influential and iconic African Americans, including Thurgood Marshall, Bessie Coleman, and Jackie Robinson. The center will also feature self-guided tours, giving visitors the opportunity to view rare copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and important artifacts from former President Barack Obama's inauguration. 525 Arch St., 215-409-6600
Libraries throughout the City of Brotherly Love will be commemorating Black History Month to key historical figures and their contributions to the African American community. Events highlights this month will include everything from live performances and cooking classes to dance workshops, while kid-friendly activities include a scavenger hunt and Black History month bingo. Multiple locations
Though the African American Museum is a prime destination for fine art, photographs, literature, and general history, things will really get amped up during Black History month, when the museum will debut two photography-based exhibitions: Shawn Theodore: Church of Broken Pieces, which showcases the struggles and successes of black communities, and Dawoud Bey: HarlemU.S.A., a moving exhibit depicting the New York City neighborhood and its residents through black and white prints. 701 Arch St., 215-574-0380
Paying the ultimate tribute to Black History Month are incredible dance and jazz troupes who will be performing all throughout the month at the Kimmel Center. For moving performances to celebrate the special month, check out Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's group that will perform both dances of African heritage and modern styles at the Merriam Theater (Feb. 3-4); PHILADANCO will dance to jazz legends, including Prince and Earth Wind and Fire (Feb. 8); and finally, head over for Sittin' In: Live Sessions Fifth Anniversary Celebration, for a free, monthly jam session that will honor great performers and explore the history of jam sessions (Feb. 15). 300 S. Broad St., 215-670-2300
University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is rolling out a busy program for Black History Month. The center’s African Roots, American Voices series will host several events throughout February, including film screenings, live music, and more. However, be sure to mark you calendars on February 17 and 18, when civil rights champion, singer, and all-American athlete Paul Robeson will be honored through a multimedia show including a documentary and live concert. 3680 Walnut St., 215-898-3900