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Black History Month in University Circle

Celebrate Black History Month in University Circle! Enjoy special programs and activities throughout the month to honor Black History. Learning about and being inspired by influential Black figures, both historical and modern, is an excellent way to honor the legacy and impact of their accomplishments all year round. 

Please contact the individual museums and institutions for more information on these events.


University Circle Inc.

Cozad-Bates House Interpretive Center

The Cozad-Bates House is the only pre-Civil War home remaining in University Circle. A new interpretive center highlights this area’s history as a center of anti-slavery activism and honors those seeking freedom through indoor exhibits and outdoor installations.

Saturdays, Noon - 4:00 p.m. | FREE

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The Cleveland Museum of Art

Chamber Music in the Galleries: Linking Legacies

This evening’s Black History Month program features Linking Legacies, an ensemble comprising multiple generations of African American classical artists that honors classical works by African American composers with deep ties to Northeast Ohio. The group is performing in front of Amy Sherald’s He was meant for all things to meet.

Wednesday, February 7 | 6:00-7:00 p.m. | FREE

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Black History Month Tours

Celebrate Black History Month with guided tours highlighting Black artists in the museum’s collection. 

Saturdays in February | 2:30-3:30 p.m. | FREE

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Haiti Fights Back: Revolutions and Visual Commemoration

Join Dr. Yveline Alexis as she discusses the struggle for freedom and emancipation in the Americas. She references Jacob Lawrence’s artistic rendering of the famous revolutionaries Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who overthrew slavery. Alexis focuses on how the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) became lodged in the imagination, rhetoric, and action of Black freedom fighters in the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, February 6 | 12:00-12:30 p.m. | FREE

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Cleveland Cultural Gardens

African American Garden

The pavilion depicts stages of the slave passage to the new world with its polished black granite sculptural walls which create a sensation of compression, tension, and apprehension. The Door of No Return is the sandstone portal addressing the notion of unknown transition. The Infinity Fountain echoes the illusion of the tranquility of the Atlantic Ocean as seen through the actual Doorway of No Return.

Open Daily | Dawn to Dusk | FREE

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Cleveland History Center

History on Tap: Celebrating Black Culture Through Music

Let’s turn up the heat as we dive into the soulful sounds that define Cleveland’s Black music scene. Unleash your inner music maestro with interactive activities and discussions on the beats that shaped our city. We’re not just celebrating – we’re igniting the dance floor with the most electrifying tunes in Cleveland’s history! Soak in the contagious rhythms, and snag some swag with our giveaways. This event is sure to be a cultural crescendo that’s cooler than cool.

Thursday, February 15 | 5:00-8:00 p.m. | $

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African American Archives

The African American Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society was established in 1970. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and make accessible historic documents, photographs, memorabilia, art, and artifacts pertaining to African American life, history, and culture in Northeast Ohio. The collection includes manuscripts, photographs, microfilm, and newspaper collections. Museum artifacts are specific to the African American experience and cover a wide range of topics and categories of primary importance to the body of Black history.

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Carl & Louis Stokes Making History

This exhibit honors Mayor Carl B. Stokes and his brother, Congressman Louis Stokes, and is built as a continuation of their legacy of leadership, advocacy, and action.

The stories of the political careers of Carl & Louis Stokes illuminate and define broader issues in African-American and American urban history. While the exhibit celebrates the achievements of Carl and Louis Stokes, it also uses their experiences to reflect on and explore topics such as the Civil Rights Movement, social and economic disparity, and the rise and importance of heroes and exemplars.

Dates & Times Vary | Included in Admission

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Cleveland Institute of Art

Is It Because I’m Me BLACK!!? 

Is It Because I’m Me BLACK!!? will be the second annual Black History Month exhibition organized by the Cleveland Institute of Art's Black Scholars and Artists students. The exhibition will examine themes related to Black identity, voice and presence.

Through Thursday, February 29 | Times Vary | FREE

Case Western Reserve University

Black Choral Music: An Overview of Black Choral Artwork throughout the 20th-21st Centuries

Black choral composers, arrangers, conductors, and ensembles have contributed impactful music – some of which is well-known, and others which deserve further exploration. This presentation will feature an overview of representative spirituals, anthems, gospel, and major works from 1900 to the present to encourage attendees to explore the variety of choral music written by black choral artists, and notable choral ensembles who have deeply impacted the choral industry. 

Remote | Tuesday, February 27 | 7:00-8:30 p.m. | $

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Standing Strong: The Life and Legacy of Oberlin's Black Abolitionist Wilson Bruce Evans

This lecture, celebrating Black History Month, brings to life an abolitionist hero, and follows his story into subsequent generations who carried on the struggle for racial justice.

Friday, February 2 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. | $

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