Looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month in Ypsilanti this February? Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti Community Schools and other organizations are hosting community events to honor Black artists, entrepreneurs, and more.
"Just a Kid from Ypsi"
On Feb. 9, there will be a Black History Month event presented by Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) titled "Just a Kid from Ypsi” with a series of speakers who grew up in the area discussing where they are at now. The program is a free virtual event from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information on how to attend, visit the YCS Facebook event page.
"Black Excellence: Black Student Entrepreneurship Talk"
On Feb. 10, The Center of Race and Ethnicity, Vision, and Campus Life presents “Black Excellence: Black Student Entrepreneurship Talk.” Talia Edgar, an EMU alumna and entrepreneur, will host a discussion on the importance of entrepreneurship in the Black community. The event will take place virtually from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
"Beau Monde: An Anthology of Black Movement in America"
On Feb. 11 and Feb. 12, the Riverside Arts Center is presenting “Beau Monde: An Anthology of Black Movement in America”. This year's Beau’s Monde focuses on the movement of a woman and her body and will show us how the Black movement infuses itself in today's culture and society. Showings will be held Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are being sold for $10-$15. For more general information and to purchase tickets, visit the Eventbrite page.
"Art Walk at the Library"
On Feb. 19, the Ypsilanti District Library’s Whittaker branch will present “Art Walk at the Library.” Visitors will be able to take a walk around the first floor and discover the works of different African American artists. It will be held for free at the library from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For location and general information, visit ypsilibrary.org.
"It All Seemed so Far Away Then, or The Future is Black Women"
On Saturday, Feb. 19, YpsiWrites and Office of Campus and Community Writing presents “It All Seemed so Far Away Then, or The Future is Black Women.” The event will be a writing and discussion session led by Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon. The meeting will be held virtually from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and attendees must register beforehand. For more information, visit ypsilibrary.org.
Remembering feminist and author Bell Hooks
On Feb. 22, The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies will hold a discussion to remember feminist and author Bell Hooks. This will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Beth Currans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keynote Speaker Dr. Frank Leon Reynolds
On Feb. 24, the Center of Race and Ethnicity, Vision, and Campus Life presents “Keynote speaker Dr. Frank Leon Reynolds,” NYU professor of the nation’s first #BlackLivesMatter course and social activist. He will lead an interactive discussion with viewers from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. via Zoom and Facebook live stream.
Black History Month Celebration with the city of Ypsilanti
On Feb. 25, Mayor Richardson of Ypsilanti and the city council plan to have a Black History Month Celebration focusing on African American first responders from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. over Zoom. More details can be found on cityofypsilanti.com.
Ypsilanti District Library exhibits
Any day of the week, celebrate Black History Month at the Ypsilanti District Library. They have a diverse list of books written by and featuring African Americans from all walks of life. They also have virtual exhibits that have auditory and visual effects as the museum itself, focusing on America’s fight for racial equality from the 1940s to the 1970s. For more information, visit ypsilibrary.org.
A discussion about African American genealogy with Jean Winborn
On March 2, join Washtenaw Community College instructor, Jean Winborn, a renowned researcher in African-American genealogy, in a discussion about ancestry and learning about methods and different resources to help with the journey. This will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. via Zoom.
Black History Month is a time to honor African Americans and raise awareness of Black history. While this is something that should happen year round, February gives us the opportunity to emphasize the importance of Black excellence in our community. With so many special events happening at EMU and around Ypsilanti, there are a variety of awesome activities that you can take part in.