Black History Month is here and the folks at National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) have lots of events lined up for the month. Here’s what’s happening:
Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 9 p.m., NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will discuss his latest book, Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court in the Oprah Winfrey Theater. Written especially for young readers, Becoming Kareem explores Abdul-Jabbar’s effort to establish his life’s purpose and identity. Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. Tickets are free, but guests should register in advance through www.etix.com.
Thursday, Feb. 15, from 3 to 5 p.m., the museum will collaborate with the National Museum of the American Indian for the symposium Finding Common Ground. Moderated by Michel Martin, weekend host of NPR’s All Things Considered, this program will explore the complex, sometimes fraught, history of African Americans and Native Americans and how the two communities’ intertwined stories have become an essential part of the American identity. Speakers include Bunch and Gover with Tara Houska (Couchiching First Nation), Tiya Miles and Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche). The discussion will take place in the Rasmuson Theater of the National Museum of the American Indian. Seating is first come, first seated.
Saturday, Feb. 17, from 2 to 5 p.m., the museum will collaborate with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Discovery Theater for Taking the Stage—Cramton, 1961: A Staged Reading + Discussion. Cramton, 1961, a new original play written by Smithsonian scholar Christopher Wilson and directed by Smithsonian Associates’ Discovery Theater director Roberta Gasbarre, centers on the debate in Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium between Baynard Rustin and Malcolm X. Tickets are free, but guests should register in advance through www.etix.com.
Thursday, Feb. 22, 2–4 p.m. The museum commemorates the 150th birthday of William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois ., with Cinema + Conversation: W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography in Four. This special screening of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography in Four Voices in the Oprah Winfrey Theater includes a discussion with the film’s director Louis Massiah. Narrated by Wesley Brown, Thulani Davis, Toni Cade Bambara and Amiri Baraka, the film offers unique insight into Du Bois, who was born three years after the end of the Civil War, witnessed the imposition of Jim Crow and saw its defeat by the civil rights movement. Tickets are free, but guests should register in advance through www.etix.com.
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7–9 p.m Black History Month celebrations will conclude with Historically Speaking: A Lifetime in Photographs With Adger Cowans. Curators Aaron Bryant and Tuliza Fleming will join Adger Cowans for a conversation in the Oprah Winfrey Theater featuring visuals from Cowans’ extensive photography archives. A book signing of Cowans’ Personal Vision: Photographs will follow the presentation. Tickets are free, but guests should register in advance through www.etix.com.