FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2022
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Concert, lectures headline Black History Month at the Freedom Center
Black history is American history at National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
CINCINNATI — The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is celebrating Black History Month with events honoring liberators from multiple eras, music and culture. Programming for February includes both paid and free, live and virtual events showcasing stories past and present while inspiring the future.
“Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate culture, stories of triumph and the persevering heritage of Black culture in America,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Among the lessons learned during February, the first and foremost must be that Black history is not just 28 days but should be incorporated daily into our lifelong learning. Black history is not a subset of history. Black history is American history.”
New Orleans Mardi Gras Concert, February 5
The Freedom Center kicks off its Black History Month programming with a celebration of music and culture as the boisterous notes of New Orleans’s opulent Mardi Gras fill the Harriet Tubman Theater. Internationally-acclaimed and Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Ashlin Parker joins the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music’s jazz orchestra, directed by Dr. Scott Belck, for an evening with all the revelry and flair of Mardi Gras.
The New Orleans Mardi Gras Concert starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 5. Tickets are $20 and available at freedomcenter.org/mardi-gras-concert-2022.
Shedding the Shame: How Social Issues Disproportionately Impact the Health and Wellness of African Americans, February 12
Black communities in the U.S. have lower life expectancies due to a higher risk of chronic kidney failure, diabetes and high blood pressure, conditions resulting from and exacerbated by historic and systemic inequities. In this virtual program, medical professionals and local youth discuss the health disparities that disproportionately impact Black communities. Doctors of internal medicine, pediatrics and clinical psychology share data and solutions to decrease the odds of tragic life outcomes Black families face as a result of inadequate access to healthcare and resources. Together, the panel will discuss how we can heal together, building stronger, healthier communities starting with our own bodies.
Shedding the Shame: How Social Issues Disproportionately Impact the Health and Wellness of African Americans is presented in partnership with the Cincinnati chapter of The Links, Incorporated and the Black K.A.R.E. Initiative. The program is free but registration is required. Register at freedomcenter.org/voice/event/shedding-shame.
U.S. Grant, the Civil Rights General & President, February 17
“Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, but it was Grant who actually freed the slaves.”
Born just upriver from Cincinnati in 1822, Ulysses S. Grant is best known for his military prowess and his victory over the Confederacy in the Civil War. Historian Christy S. Coleman, who has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 31 People Changing the South and one of Worth Magazine’s 29 Women Changing the World, offers a new perspective of Grant. Coleman looks beyond his battlefield accomplishments at the pivotal role he played as a liberator of America’s enslaved people, the legislation he championed to protect the rights of the new citizens and his battle to abate the terror of the Ku Klux Klan.
U.S. Grant, The Civil Rights General & President is presented in partnership with the US Grant Homestead Association, Ohio History Connection and Cincinnati Museum Center as part of Ohio’s U.S. Grant Bicentennial Birthday Celebration. The lecture will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, February 17 in the Harriet Tubman Theater. The lecture is free but registration is required. Register at freedomcenter.org/grant-the-civil-rights-general-president.
Food for Freedom, February 22
Oral historian Andre L. Taylor from the College of William & Mary explores the culinary history and culture of foodways within the Black experience and how recipes have been passed down within families and across families to preserve their cultural heritage. Taylor also addresses the widespread disparity in access to quality food borne out of chattel slavery and systemic racism that continues to have a negative impact on Black communities.
The Food for Freedom virtual discussion ties into 2022 Black History Month theme of Black Health and Wellness, celebrating the activities, rituals and initiatives Black communities have created to be well.
The Food for Freedom virtual program is free but registration is required. Register at freedomcenter.org/food-for-freedom.