HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - February 1 marks the first day of Black History Month, a month recognized federally to celebrate the contributions African Americans have made to the nation.
To celebrate African Americans' history and recognize the racial injustices faced throughout the years, several Hampton Roads cities are holding celebrations or virtual events during February. This year is different than past years due to COVID-19 regulations, resulting in many events to be virtual.
The Northam Administration also is hosting events and community organizations online and throughout the Commonwealth. A list of such events can be found here.
Here's a look at our local cities Black History Month events:
Suffolk Public Library will offer virtual programs and contests for all ages. Children and families will enjoy a weekly family story time celebrating Black history and programs about Black comic creators and scientists.
Teens will have the opportunity to learn about activism, blerd (Black nerd) culture, and how to make their own comics and action figures.
For adults, there will be programs exploring Black Musicality, Hip-Hop, African-American genealogy, Black business ownership, current events, and more. Participants can also complete a genealogy BINGO card for a chance to win a DNA testing kit and also enter to win gift cards from locally owned Black businesses.
For more information, click here.
Norfolk Botanical Gardens:
Norfolk Botanical Garden is celebrating Black History Month this year by offering free admission on Thursdays throughout the month of February.
Norfolk Public Library:
Events are centered on the 2021 theme, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” Events are being added to the program lineup throughout the month. Visit the online calendar here, for a full list of virtual events.
While the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum remains closed due to COVID-19 precautions, there is now a complete virtual video tour of the museum.
The museum, located within the Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ Renaissance Academy, is a tribute to the first high school for African Americans in Virginia Beach. The virtual tour covers the history of this school as well as the history of African American education and achievements, both locally and nationally, across several centuries.
Princess Anne County Training School, opened in 1938, and was the first high school for African Americans in Princess Anne County, which is now the City of Virginia Beach.
In 1962, the Princess Anne County Training School changed its name to Union Kempsville High School. The school graduated its last class in 1969 due to the citywide integration of schools.
More than half of 18th-century Williamsburg residents were African American. Join Colonial Williamsburg to "discover the untold stories of those who lived, loved, and strove to create a better future."
Colonial Williamsburg holds special programs such as, "African American Contributions at the Governor's Palace," during the month of February.
On February 27, Jamestown Settlement will present "After Angelo," a celebration of the first African woman mentioned by name in the historical record at Jamestown.
2021 admission to Jamestown Settlement is $18.00 for adults, $9.00 for ages 6-12, and to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, $16.00 for adults, $8.00 for ages 6-12. Save with a value-priced combination ticket to both museums: $28.90 adults, $14.45 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Free parking.
This month, the museum will honor and pay tribute to the history of African Americans and the key roles in the maritime trade and global expansion. To register for their virtual events, click here. All programs are free and pre-registration is required.
This list will be updated as events are announced. If you are organizing an event email the information to TakingAction@wtkr.com.