News & Event
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of that tapestry are equal in value no matter their color.” – Maya Angelou
While learning about the considerable, impactful African American achievements throughout our history is an important year-round pursuit, Black History Month provides a much-needed spotlight on people, events and movements that are sometimes overlooked.
Here is a sampling of events celebrating and amplifying our shared history.
Thursday, Jan. 31:
John & Francie Pepper Freedom Lecture Series with David Blight: Yale University professor of American History and public historian David W. Blight is the director of Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. His latest book is the distinguished biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center program, 50 E. Freedom Way, is free and open to the public (requires an RSVP). It includes a reception at 6 p.m. and Blight’s lecture at 6:45 p.m. Information: 513-333-7739; www.freedomcenter.org.
Saturday, Feb. 2:
African Americans in Medicine: Longtime Walnut Hills resident and physician Dr. Charles Dillard will discuss African Americans in medicine, past and present, in Greater Cincinnati. This free program, open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
Black History Month Health Fair: Community health fair hosted by T1 Diabetes Journey with free health screenings, health and wellness exhibitors, healthy treats and activities will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Bond Hill Recreation Center, 1501 Elizabeth St. Information: 513-284-8651; www.t1diabetesjourney.org.
Friday, Feb. 8:
The Ubuntu Film Series/Music for Mandela: A Legacy with a Backbeat: This stirring tribute film explores the role that music played in the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, from his imprisonment to present day celebrations of his historic, multifaceted legacy. The screening, at 2 p.m., is free with general admission to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way. Information: 513-333-7739; www.freedomcenter.org.
Saturday, Feb. 9:
African American Read-In: A celebration of African American literature 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring an 11 a.m. reading by Derrick Barnes, author of the award-winning picture book, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut; 1 p.m. local author spotlight; 2 p.m. storytime; and 2-3 p.m. writing circle led by Women Writing for(a) Change. All activities are free at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
Saturday, Feb. 16:
African American Funeral Directors: Joyce Coleman and Thomas Jordan, from the African American Genealogy Group of the Miami Valley, will discuss the role of independent, black-owned funeral homes and their directors in giving the deceased respect that was not always shown to them in life. This free program, open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
Wednesday, Feb. 20:
On the Road Meetup: Influential African Americans: Celebration of influential African American leaders hosted by Walnut Hills Historical Society and The African-American Chamber of Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky. Free and open to the public, the program will be held 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Chamber office, 2945 Gilbert Ave. Information: 513-751-9900; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, Feb. 21:
Freedom 55: Remembering Emmett Till: Reception and discussion featuring award-winning filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, producer of the upcoming film, “Till,” and founder of Till Freedom Come Productions, a company devoted to socially significant projects that both educate and entertain. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center program, free and open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m., requires an RSVP. Information: 513-333-7739; www.freedomcenter.org.
Saturday, Feb. 23:
Law and Order: African Americans in Law Enforcement: This panel discussion about the role of African Americans in keeping law and order will include Judge John Andrews West, former Assistant Chief of Police Michael Cureton and others who will share their experiences of serving the Greater Cincinnati community. The program, free and open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
Saturday, March 2:
Rediscovering 19th Century African American Society: Library talk about the discovery of late 19th-century weekly newspaper columns reporting on the political, social and cultural events of the African American community. The program, free and open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Library, 800 Vine St. Information: 513-369-6905; www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
August is Black Philanthropy Month – a global celebration and dedicated campaign to lift up the transformative impact of Black generosity. At Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) we have long recognized the power of Black philanthropy. Our 2018 Giving Black: Cincinnati report amplified the rich heritage and giving priorities of Black residents in our region.
Also released in 2018: GCF’s All-In Cincinnati report, a roadmap built on the framework of PolicyLink’s All-In Cities initiative to identify essential investments, policies and opportunities needed to resolve persistent inequities in our community. Since then the All-In Cincinnati Coalition has been striving to educate, motivate and move the equity needle toward a region where everyone can thrive, by focusing housing, education, economic mobility, justice and health.
On Aug. 28, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., we will lift up All-In’s transformative work with “All or Nothing: Amplifying the Lives of Black Women,” a virtual celebration. By celebrating the spirit of Black women, we will highlight GCF’s focus for racial equity through investing in their prosperity. We invite you to join us in this celebration in support of the All-In Cincinnati Coalition. Register here.
Additional celebrations that highlight contributions of the Black community this month include:
Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s 55th year has been one of focused energy, purpose and forward movement. We are grateful for everyone who has joined us this year in the vital work of creating a Greater Cincinnati where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
As we reflect on 2018, we are pleased to share with you a recap of GCF major events for the year: