NewsPositively Hampton Roads


List of Hampton Roads events celebrating Black History Month

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Posted at 1:21 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 11:21:19-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Black History Month, a month recognized federally to celebrate the contributions African Americans have made to the nation, is right around the corner and there are already events to celebrate throughout Hampton Roads.

Here's a look at the Black History Month events that are being held throughout our local cities:


  • Rooting for the Home Team: Portsmouth’s Black Baseball Players, Promoters, and Parks- Beginning on January 15, the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum will be opening a new exhibit to highlight the post-World War II era when “Baseball was king” in the sports world of Hampton Roads in the African American community. At the exhibit, you will learn about some of its best known players, teams, and ballparks among Portsmouth’s Black community from the mid-20th century.
  • Meet Negro Leagues Legend Sam Allen- Journey back in time to the era of segregated baseball with national treasure Sam Allen when he comes to at the Portsmouth Art & Culture Center Annex on January 15 at 1:30 p.m. to reminisce about his experiences with our national pastime both on and off the field. Sam Allen was a Norfolk resident that played left field with Negro League teams Kansas City Monarchs, Raleigh Tigers, and Memphis Red Sox before serving with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.
  • Celebrate Martin Luther King Day- The Porstmouth Main Library will be hosting an event where you can make a peace dove in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event will be held Saturday, January 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Ms. Martha Reads- Ms. Martha Razor presents “The Donkey Who Lost His Memory” a children’s story and puppet show written by a Portsmouth student. Guests will have the opportunity to hear and participate in the story and then create their own stick puppet to take home.

    The event will be held Saturday, January 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Children’s Museum of Virginia.

  • JAVA & DJEMBES: African Percussion Workshop Featuring Coffees & Chocolates from the African Continent- Saturday, January 29 | 1:30 – 3:00 pm Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Annex.

    This event features Participants enjoying coffees and fine chocolates from Africa while learning percussion rhythms from master musician Kamiruri Kelly of the Day Program. JAVA & DJEMBES will be held at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Annex on Saturday, January 29 at 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The price: is $10 per person and it’s for Ages 17 and up. You can register here or call 757 393-8543.

  • Celebrate Black History Month- February 1 – 28 Portsmouth Main Library.

    Go to the Portsmouth Main Library throughout the month of February to participate in a Black History Trivia Contest. Hint: answers are on the bulletin board. The event is kid-friendly.

  • Caribbean Dreaming- Wednesday, February 2 2022 | 10:30 am Portsmouth Main Library.

    Learn how the people of the Caribbean became independent and at the same time developed an art of their own at the Portsmouth Main Library on Wednesday, February 2 2022 at 10:30 a.m. Explore the world of Caribbean Steel Drums through a historical and musical demonstration and learn how drums were outlawed on many Caribbean islands and how they came to be made from steel. A unique sound and art form was created by these politics.

  • The Architecture of Democracy in a Landscape of Slavery: An Illustrated Presentation by Dr. Louis P. Nelson, University of Virginia - This event will be held on Saturday, February 5, 1:30 p.m. at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Annex.

    The University of Virginia is closely associated with Thomas Jefferson, and is an architectural testament to the enlightened visions at that time, while also being a location where slavery was practiced. Dr. Nelson of the University of Virginia will give a presentation on the uses of architecture and landscape within this national landmark, and the intersection of these two realities. He will also explore Thomas Jefferson’s architectural designs and how they may reflect Jefferson’s own views of slavery.


  • Norfolk Botanical Garden - Norfolk Botanical Garden (NBG) is celebrating Black History Month by offering Free Admission Thursdays in February. NBG is celebrating the 220 African-American Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers who cleared dense vegetation and planted the first azaleas at NBG in the late 1930s.

    To reserve a ticket, click here.

Newport News

  • African Maritime Collage - Saturday, February 5, 2022, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. In Person. Using African fabrics, found objects, embellishments and photographs from the Museum Collections, come learn how to create collages with personal meaning in celebration of Black History Month. This family-friendly program will allow Mariners of all ages the opportunity to create a collage as a powerful form of artistic expression. $1 admission and free for Mariners’ Museum Members. Advance registration is not required.

    Doris “Dorie” Miller: An American Hero - Tuesday, February 8, 2022 • 1 p.m. Virtual.

    The events of Pearl Harbor are one of our nation’s darkest moments in history. In the face of danger, Doris “Dorie” Miller, an African-American sailor who stepped up and defended his country in a way never before done by a person of color in the US Navy. His actions earned him honors and recognition, which we still remember today in film and ships which bear his name. Dorie Miller’s heroic story looks at the segregated Navy of the past, and represents how his actions helped spur the integration of the US Navy. It is a free virtual event. Advance registration is required.

    You can register for this event here.

  • Emphatically, the Black Man’s President: African Americans and Abraham Lincoln - Thursday, February 17, 2022 • 7 p.m. In person and live-streamed.

    Before the Civil War, African Americans were almost entirely excluded from the White House, other than as servants or slaves. Yet, the racial color line was broken down during the war as African Americans claimed the First Amendment right to petition the government. For the first time in the history of the United States, they saw the president as their president and the White House as their people’s house. Between 1862 and 1865, Lincoln welcomed hundreds of African American men and women into his White House office and at public receptions. This Evening Lecture will take place in person in the Museum’s Main Lobby and livestreamed simultaneously. Doors open at 6 p.m. Advance registration is required whether attending in person or online. Free for Mariners’ Museum Members; $10 per guest. This lecture can be viewed for free online.

    You can register for this event here.

  • The Honorable Robert Smalls - Friday, February 18, 2022 • 12 p.m. In person and live-streamed.

    Robert Smalls was born enslaved on February 23, 1839, in Beaufort, South Carolina. He was working as a harbor pilot when the Civil War erupted. Smalls became the helmsman of the Confederate gunboat CSS Planter. Disguised as the steamer’s captain, he was able to take the ship and most of the crew members and their families out past Fort Sumter guarding Charleston harbor. Smalls surrendered the steamer to USS Onward during the early morning of May 13, 1862. He continued as a pilot on several different Union warships until the war ended. Then he gained literacy and purchased his former enslaver’s home in Beaufort. He partnered in several successful business ventures and had an equally successful political career. He served five terms in the US House of Representatives, was the collector of the Port of Beaufort, and served as ambassador to Liberia. Smalls died on February 23, 1915, a recognized leader and strong proponent of African American rights and service in the military.

    You can register for this event here.

  • Africa’s Kingdoms and Maritime Cultures: The Nilotic People - Thursday, February 24, 2022 • 1 p.m. Virtual.

    Come learn about the indigenous people of the Nile Valley in Africa from Erika Cosme, the Museum’s content and interpretation developer. Regions around the Nile River are home to the indigenous Nilotic people. For thousands of years, they have migrated along the Nile’s tributaries, populating the landscape. Nilotic Peoples delves into the cultures, traditions, and practices of many of these tribal groups, and how they are viewed in our world today.
    This is a free virtual event. Advance registration is required.

    You can register for this event here.

  • Harriet Buss: Educator of Freed People - Friday, February 25, 2022 • 12 p.m. In person and live-streamed.

    In 1863, Harriet M. Buss, a schoolteacher from Sterling, Massachusetts, began teaching formerly enslaved persons in the South. For the next nine years, she moved between three states, at one point teaching in Norfolk, Virginia. Buss faithfully chronicled her experiences through letters to her parents, providing a personal glimpse into the complexity of post-Civil War Hampton Roads. A white, educated Baptist, Buss initially saw herself on a mission to serve freed people in the South. Yet, over time she developed a shared goal with her students, dedicating her life to training the next generation of Black educators. Join us to learn about Reconstruction-era Hampton Roads through the eyes of a teacher.

    You can register for this event here.

  • From the Motherland: The Legends and Tales of Africa - Saturday, February 26, 2022 • 12 p.m. In person: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Virtual: 1 p.m.

    Come hear Wisteria Perry and Erika Cosme from our Interpretation Department provide fascinating details of African cultures that continue to be told in today’s pop culture through movies and television as we wrap up our celebration of Black History Month!

    The continent of Africa is diverse with its own unique set of mythology, legends, and folktales that were inspired by the sea. Hear the stories and elements that are shared between the cultures and are still being told in today’s pop culture through movies and television. Join us immediately following the program for a short guided tour of Black Maritime artifacts and stories in our galleries!

    This Black History program will take place in person in the Museum’s Lower Lobby, and later online in the day. Advance registration is required to attend virtually.

    You can register for this event here.


  • Black and Super will be coming to you LIVE beginning Thursday, February 10th at 6 p.m. with a talk on Afrofuturism with Dr. Grace Gipson.

    Monday, February 14th we will be joined by Nix of the Do You Speak Geek? Podcast at 6 p.m. to talk about the African American influence on comic books, comic characters and more.

    Then Wednesday, February 16th we are joined by guest panelists Janine Coveny, Gerron Delvalle and Lilly Kunda to discuss Representation in the Media.

    All Black and Super LIVE talks are geared towards teens and adults.

    To wrap up our Black and Super series, beginning Tuesday, February 22nd and running until Monday, February 28th, families can pick up a Superhero Academy Kit for ages 3 to 8 with no registration require. While you are at it, don’t forget to grab an Our Story: Black History Month Celebration Kit for ages 5 to 10 which is also available until Monday, February 28th.

  • Ask an Athlete is a virtual event happening on Wednesday, February 16th at 6 p.m. where teens will have the opportunity to learn from local college students and sports superstars.
  • The Our Story Through Dance event will also be held virtually on Saturday, February 26th at 10 a.m. for all ages.
  • Adults will have the opportunity to join our LIVE talks on Thursday, February 17th at 6 p.m. to discuss local African American history with guest speakers V.M. Roberts, MBA and Jeanice B. Thomas, MBA.
  • On Monday, February 28th at 6 p.m., we will discuss Current Events with Delegate Clinton Jenkins, Domenick Epps, Tony Jones and Sylvia Bond.
    Registration is required for both events in order to receive the meeting links and join the live audience.

This list will be constantly updated with information about other events throughout Hampton Roads as they are shared.