City of Akron Celebrates Black History Month
Akron, Ohio, Feb. 1, 2024 — Today, as the nation kicks off Black History Month, Mayor Malik has announced the City of Akron’s support and celebration of the month-long dedication.
“Black History Month is an opportunity for us to recognize and uplift the important contributions of our Black community throughout the history of our city,” said Mayor Malik. “All month long on our social media channels we will be sharing highlights of Black Akronites both past and present, showcasing important landmarks in our city, talking about important events from Akron’s past, sharing upcoming events taking place to celebrate, and much more. This month is also an excellent time to recommit to the important work of equity here in Akron. We must strive not only this month, but every month, to achieve equal opportunities for all Akronites.”
Black History Month Events
- Akron Art Museum
All month long, the Akron Art Museum is presenting RETOLD: African American Art & Folklore. This exhibit features art from the Wesley and Missy Cochran Collection and focuses on four themes: Remembering, Religion, Racialization, and Resistance. The Art Museum gallery is free every Thursday. For hours and ticket info visit org.
- Akron-Summit County Public Library
On Feb. 7 from 6-7pm, the Odom Boulevard and Maple Valley Branch Libraries are hosting the first part of a Black History Month Four-Part Music Series via Zoom. They will explore Blues, Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Disco, Hip-Hop, Rap, and the artists that changed the world through their music. Learn more and register here.
- University of Akron
The University's Office of Inclusion and Equity and Office of Multicultural Development are hosting a conversation with Akron's own Kofi Boakye. Kofi is a 24-year-old Emmy Nominated pianist, producer, and actor. The event is free and open to the public and takes place Thurs. Feb. 8 at 5pm at the Jean Hower Taber Student Union Gardner Theatre. Learn more here.
- Akron Soul Train
Akron Soul Train (191 S Main St.) artist-in-residence Gina Washington examines Black American identity in her exhibit “Universal Child.” Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public and runs through Feb. 10.
- John Brown House
On Feb. 10 from 1-3:30pm, the John Brown House is featuring "African American Firsts in Summit County." This is a new art display by Robert Greer of the Akron Black Artist Guild entitled "Resistance." There will also be a presentation by Society Education Specialist Dave Gates entitled "Understanding Ohio's Underground Railroad."
- Akron Symphony Orchestra: Gospel Meets Symphony
Gospel Meets Symphony is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The annual concert features local musicians and vocalists, including the GMS 2.0 Choir, the junior gospel choir. Tickets start at $15. The event is Sat. Feb. 10 at 7:30pm at the E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall.
- Youth Empowerment Summit at Shaw JCC
The Summit County Historical Society is throwing a youth empowerment event titled "We Have A Voice Too!" and will be held on Feb. 16 from 10am-2:30pm at the Shaw JCC Campus (750 White Pond Drive). The event begins with roundtable discussions among students and moderators, then transitions to panel sessions led by The Sojourner Truth Statue and Legacy Plaza education committee and core members. Event is free, but registration is required. You can register here and learn more about the event here.
- Summit Artspace Wellness Seminar
On Feb. 17 from 9am-3pm, the Black Diamonds Women's Initiative is hosting a collaborative event at Summit Artspace (140 East Market St.) titled "Too Strong for Too Long: Black Healing is Black History." The seminar includes interactive workshops that encourage physical, mental, and spiritual health. Tickets are $25. Purchase tickets or learn more about the event here.
- Elizabeth's Bookshop and Writing Center
Elizabeth's Bookshop (647 E Market St.) is hosting a Grown-Up Book Fair, Black History Month Edition on Feb. 24 from 11am-4pm. The event will feature a variety of novels, cookbooks, self-development books, and more. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more here.
- Movie Night at Christ Community Chapel
Christ Community Chapel is hosting a movie night on Feb. 24 from 6pm-8:30pm to celebrate Black History Month through the story of Ruby Bridges. There will be a faith-based discussion after the movie. Pizza and snacks are provided. Tickets are $5 and registration is required. Register and learn more here.
The city is also celebrating our Black-owned businesses this month with the Akronite app. Over 65 Black-owned businesses are now on the app and for the month of February, users can earn an additional 15% back in Blimps when shopping at these businesses. The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices. Learn more about the app at AkronOhio.gov/Akronite.
Mayor Malik is encouraging residents to follow the city’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and comment and tag their favorite local Black-owned business, Black artists and musicians to help amplify the voices of our community.
Stephanie Marsh, Director of Communications
email@example.com or 330-256-1191