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Ways to Honor Black History Month

An exploration and celebration of world-changing African-American men, both famous and not so, was designed for the gallery of the Anacostia Community Museum before health considerations caused it to be revamped for the outdoors. Now, the exhibition graces two blocks in the Deanwood neighborhood, between a recreational center and Ron Brown College Preparatory High School. “Men of Change” explores American history through the contributions of figures like James Baldwin, W.E.B. DuBois, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ryan Coogler. A virtual panel for the exhibition’s opening moderated by CNN’s Omar Jimenez will discuss how Black men embrace creativity amid systemic racism. Jimenez will be joined by Dr. Rob Gore, who started the youth empowerment movement Kings Against Violence Initiative (and who is also featured in the exhibition), the architect Jonathan Jackson and the artist Tariku Shiferaw. Feb. 1-May 31, 4800 Meade St., NE, Washington, D.C.; opening panel discussion, Feb. 6, 1 p.m., smithsonian.zoom.us/webinar/register

The author and journalist Clover Hope’s enthralling book gives female architects of hip-hop their long awaited dues. The stories of Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill and Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes are highlighted, alongside less-celebrated heroes like MC Lyte and Roxanne Shanté. Hope gives tremendous context to the contributions of the multitalented Black women who were all too often denied the credit they deserved. Greenlight Bookstore in New York will be holding a Feb. 3 book lopening featuring Hope, the illustrator Rachelle Baker and the music journalist Briana Younger. greenlightbookstore.com/event

Fully virtual this year for the first time, ASALH’s 95th annual Black History Month festival will examine the theme “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.” Events open to the public include an author talk with the former astronaut Mae Jemison, a discussion on “How African-American Families Have Been Portrayed in the Media” and music from H.B.C.U. choirs. The marquee event (which is ticketed) is a conversation between Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the group’s president, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, on the search for family roots within Black history. The organization was founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who instituted Negro History Week (a precursor to Black History Month), tied to the February birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. asalh.org/festival

Held on Martin Luther King’s Birthday and online for the first time this year, the annual Brooklyn Academy of Music event featured a keynote address from Alicia Garza, a founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network; musical performances from PJ Morton, Tarriona “Tank” Ball and the choir Sing Harlem; along with poetry from Ashley August and Timothy DuWhite. Political appearances included Letitia James, the New York attorney general; Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York; as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York. Available to stream through the month of February. bam.org/mlktribute

After the killing last year of George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis, Ibram X. Kendi’s 2019 book “How to Be an Antiracist,soared up the best-seller list. In February, Kendi, the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, and the historian Keisha N. Blain will release “Four Hundred Souls,” a historical retelling they assembled by 90 writers, each examining a five-year period in Black American history. On Feb. 1, the two editors will kick off the book release with a discussion of the work alongside the fellow writers Isabel Wilkerson, Clint Smith and Kiese Laymon. eventbrite.com

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