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Black History Month events continue | Richmond Free Press

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African-Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in US history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historians Dr. Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African-Americans.

Black History Month was first proposed by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. Their first celebration took place in 1970, with the monthlong event then being celebrated throughout America in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers .

Some of the month’s local events include:

Friday, Feb. 18, at 8 am, Chesterfield County’s Black History Month Annual Scholarship Recognition Program, a virtual event. Dr. Lauren R. Powell, former director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity, will deliver the keynote address.

The “Leadership for the 21st Century Scholarship” winners will be announced. A high school senior is selected from each of the county’s five magisterial districts, along with a sixth chosen from one of the regional governor schools. Each will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship.

The program will be live streamed on Chesterfield County’s main Facebook page, on the county’s YouTube channel and WCCT’s television page as well as broadcast locally on Comcast Channel 98 and Verizon Channel 28.

No pre-registration is required to view the program.

Details: www.chesterfield.gov/4226/Black-History-Month-Celebration

Saturday, Feb. 19 at 1 pm, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site will host “Matinee with Miss Maggie,” a free event to commemorate Black History Month. During a virtual film program at 1 pm, “Imitation of Life,” will be shown. The film addresses one of the questions often asked by visitors to the site upon seeing photographs of Mrs. Walker’s light complexion: “Did Maggie L. Walker ever pass for white?” While historical evidence suggests she never did so on purpose, “passing” was something many Black people with light skin tones did in Jim Crow America and beyond. The 1934 film “Imitation of Life” was the story of racial passing during Mrs. Walker’s time. The public is invited to join a park historian in viewing “Imitation of Life” and discussing the significance of discrimination passing, both in Mrs. Walker’s time and now. Registration: Contact Park Ranger Ben Anderson at Benjamin_Anderson@nps.gov.

Sunday, Feb. 20, 1 to 6 pm, Main Street Station, 1500 E. Main St., “UNTOLD”— Black Food and Spirits. “UNTOLD” will highlight Black history relating to the American food and spirits industry and bring today’s tastemakers under one roof. Enjoy Main Stage presentations from historians and industry tastemakers.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-food-and-spirits-untold-virginia- tickets-189993334177

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 7 to 8 pm, “How the Lee Monument Came Down,” a virtual presentation by Michael Spence, managing general partner with Team Henry Enterprises, who led the team that disassembled the Monument Avenue statue and pedestal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The program will be facilitated by J. Dontrese Brown, Richmond Public Library Foundation board member and co-creator of the Hidden in Plain Sight Virtual History Project.

Registration for the virtual event: https://rvalibrary.libcal.com/event/8812206

Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 7 pm, AARP Virginia’s “Wind Down Wednesdays” series of virtual events and short film screenings. Brian Bullock, a local filmmaker and history enthusiast, will share some of his short films and will lead interviews with local historians.

Registration: https://aarp.cventevents.com/event/ea2d90c2-7c1e-4a06-9ef3-1d8794323643/summary

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