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Black History Month Events in Durham

Posted by The Durham Team on Jan 31, 2018 9:47:22 AM

Black History Month in Durham is always filled with a multitude of educational and fun activities celebrating the achievements of black Americans. Here’s a roundup of events and activities taking place throughout the month.


African American Photography Exhibit at Duke University

In 2016, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University awarded the twenty-fourth Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize to American artist, illustrator, and documentarian Steven M. Cozart for The Pass/Fail Series. The $10,000 prize supports documentary artists whose extended fieldwork projects rely on the interplay of words and images. As part of his Lange-Taylor Prize, selections from Cozart's work, which primarily explores colorism within the African American community, are now on view at CDS. A reception and artist's talk will be held at CDS on January 18, 2018, 6-8 p.m. (talk at 7 p.m.).

The Durham, North Carolina, native's ongoing body of work is meant to spark introspective dialogue about issues of "classism and stereotyping by African Americans toward other African Americans based on several factors, including skin tone, hair texture, gender roles, and other myths and fallacies prevalent in the community," says Cozart.


Hayti Heritage Film Festival

The Hayti Heritage Center celebrates Durham's African-American heritage and its historic Hayti community, which was a thriving enclave in the early 20th century. This annual film festival furthers that goal by showcasing diverse works by and about people of African descent. It includes both short and feature-length films from an international cast of directors, as well as classic feature films.

'Black Panther' Advanced Screening

Come travel to Wakanda with an advanced private screening of Marvel's Black Panther. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Movie starts at 7:00 p.m. Wear your best costume for the post-film contest. There will be prizes for the best costumes: one for the kids (12 and under) and one for adults! You can also get a discount for Black Panther gear from Quirktastic once you purchase your ticket. #BlackPantherDurhamScreening


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  • February 15, 2018 at 7 p.m.
  • AMC Southpoint 17
  • 8030 Renaissance Pkwy, Durham, NC 27713
  • Black Panther Tickets: $20


Stagville Under the Stars

To celebrate Black History Month, Historic Stagville and Morehead Planetarium will present a stellar program that focuses on the astronomy and night sky myths and legends told in African cultures, as well as the related stories told by scientists today. The program will begin with storytelling and after that, guests will peer through telescopes for a constellation tour looking at the same stars as our ancestors. In case of inclement weather, the program will take place entirely in the visitor center. This event is perfect for kids and families. Meet in the Visitor Center and then head outside to use telescopes on the grounds.


Durham Symphony Orchestra: Tribute to Langston Hughes and Ella Fitzgerald

Music director and conductor of the Durham Symphony Orchestra Maestro William Henry Curry has assembled an all-star cast of artists for this Langston Hughes and Ella Fitzgerald tribute event. Singer Yolanda Rabun has a national reputation for being one of this country's finest pop singers. She created a sensation last year at Hayti, during the DSO tribute to Nina Simone. Local jazz hero, Al Strong, will be the featured instrumental soloist for the occasion and he will, as always, "rock the house!" Gifted African-American writer and social activist, Dasan Ahanu, will be reading excerpts from the brilliant writings of Langston Hughes.


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Plus for this concert, Maestro Curry will debut a new jazz band comprised of some of the most talented jazz artists in the state of North Carolina. With Rabun and Strong, they will perform many extraordinary musical arrangements by the finest jazz orchestrators of the 20th century, including Nelson Riddle and Billy Strayhorn. These arrangements will include selections from The Great American Songbook featuring music by Gershwin and Porter and climax with Ella's break-out hit, "A Tisket a Tasket."

  • February 11, 2018 at 4 p.m.
  • St. Joseph's Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center
  • 804 Old Fayetteville St, Durham, NC 27701
  • Orchestra Tickets: $10 – $35 (Children 12 and under free)

Murs and 9th Wonder at MotorCo Music Hall

Since 2004, the bicoastal duo has delighted in one of hip-hop’s most productive and joyous rapper-producer collaborations ever, built in large part on that shared adaptability. On a series of six albums and mixtapes, Murs has shared tales of domestic bliss, youthful woe, and social criticism over the trademark soul samples of 9th Wonder.

The relationship has pushed them both, adding more dissonance to 9th’s jubilant musical vocabulary and more fun to the hardline rhymes of Murs. In Durham Murs closes a weeklong Duke residency with a duo set alongside 9th Wonder, built from the best of their dozen years of partnership. Murs & 9th Wonder are presented as part of Duke Performances’ Hip-Hop Initiative, made possible, in part, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Special Events

Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade & Block Party

Featuring marching bands, step teams, dance groups, school and church groups, cars, trucks, businesses, civic organization and more. New this year the block party (on four blocks along Fayetteville Street) will have a DJs, food trucks, vendors, exhibitors, bounce houses, face painters, and more! And NCCU Chancellor, Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye will be the grand marshal of the parade!


NCCU Black History Month 2018 Celebration

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will commemorate Black History Month with a series of events that are free and open to the public. The university will present film screenings, lectures, panel discussions and musical and theatrical performances throughout February, including appearances by nationally noted activists, authors, scholars and educators.


This is just a small sampling of events happening in Durham. For more amazing events see our Black History Month Events Calendar.

Topics: Events, Black History Month

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