Take a Journey For Black History Month
Museums, historic sites and festivals offer travelers entertaining and enlightening ways to celebrate Black History Month. If you’re planning a February vacation, here are some places and events to consider.
Boston’s Black Heritage Trail explores the history of the city’s 19th-century African American community. The trail begins at the monument to the black soldiers who formed the Massachusetts 54th Regiment during the Civil War, made famous by the movie “Glory.” Other stops include the Abiel Smith School and the African Meeting House, built in 1806 and the oldest surviving black church building in the United States.
The Museum of the City of New York opens an exhibit on Jackie Robinson on Jan. 31, the centennial of his birth. It will include photos of Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers, many of which have never been displayed before, as well as memorabilia and rare home movies of the Robinson family. Together, they offer new insight into how the media portrayed the athlete who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947.
Cincinnati is home to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, just a few steps from the Ohio River, the barrier that separated the South from the North. Since its opening in 2004, the center’s mission has been to tell the stories of freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to today. An exhibit commemorating the life and legacy of the late South African president Nelson Mandela is on display through March 1, featuring photographs and personal artifacts.
Georgia's coastal city of Savannah is known for its beautiful parks and historic houses. Each February, it’s also home to the Savannah Black Heritage Festival. The 30th annual event, a celebration of history, art and culture, takes place Feb. 1-21. You’ll find activities for all ages, including art exhibits, performances of dance, music, theater and storytelling, opportunities to sample local cuisine and tours and talks centered around the history of the city’s African-American community.
As you’d expect in the film capital of the United States, movies play a role in Black History Month celebrations in Los Angeles. The 27th annual Pan-African Film & Arts Festival will be held Feb. 7-18. In addition to films, there are children’s programs, comedy, and spoken-word performances and an art festival. Also in Los Angeles, the California African American Museum has a large collection of works by black artists from the western United States as well as the African diaspora, including paintings, photographs and sculptures.
The U.S. Civil Rights Trail includes more than 100 locations across 14 states where key events occurred in the struggle for equal rights for African-Americans. In Montgomery, Alabama, travelers can visit the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where mass meetings were held to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott; the Dexter Parsonage Museum, once home to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; and the Civil Rights Memorial Center, which includes a granite memorial as well as exhibits and educational activities.
For help planning a trip during Black History Month, contact your travel agent.