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Observe Black History Month in Philadelphia

The United States has celebrated Black History Month ever since its inauguration by President Gerald Ford during the country’s bicentennial celebration in 1976. In the words of President Ford, during the month of February all Americans are encouraged to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."

The City of Philadelphia places special importance on recognizing the role African Americans played in its history and culture. Events and exhibitions celebrating Black History Month will take place throughout the city. 

The African American Museum, as the first major museum dedicated to black history the United States, commemorates African American history and culture all year long. Through an extensive collection of permanent and temporary exhibits—featuring photographs, paintings, and artifacts—patrons will be reminded of the distinctive challenges and contributions of African Americans.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art  will host a painting party on Sunday, February 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring local artist Patricia Thomas, who leads a studio project inspired by the art of Horace Pippin. This opportunity will be offered in conjunction with the exhibition Horace Pippin: From War to Peace, which highlights the work of “one of the most original artists of his generation” through paintings addressing themes of race, war, and place.

The 2020 African American History & Culture Showcase will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia this year, located at 12th & Arch St. On April 11th and 12th, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., anyone can gain admittance to join in the celebration of African American history, literature, art, theater, and film.

The President's House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a Nation explores the complexities of a nation founded in freedom yet dependent on the institution of slavery through an examination of nine enslaved Africans at the nation's first executive mansion. This exhibit is located near the Liberty Bell Center and allows visitors to engage with the stories of these individuals through video dramatizations, timelines, and archeological fragments, and also provides a place for quiet reflection.

Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is the birthplace of the first black denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal order. The church is built on the oldest tract of land that is has been continuously held by African Americans. A museum beneath the church exhibits interesting artifacts detailing this stop in the Underground Railroad.

The 28th Annual African American Children's Book Fair, an event that attracts thousands of visitors annually, is one of the longest-running and largest events for African American children’s books. It will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020, from 1p.m. - 4 p.m., at Community College of Philadelphia (17th and Spring Garden streets). The event is free and open to the public.

Plan your stay at a nearby Bed and Breakfast.

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