Black History Month Programs, Events And Resources

ideastream is committed to using our multimedia platforms to share diverse and inclusive stories all year long. This February, join us in celebrating Black History Month. Throughout the month, ideastream is sharing enlightening programs, community events, performances and educational resources that strengthen understanding of racial history in America and explore the experiences of Black Americans.

This page will be updated weekly.

On ideastream

News, Stories, Virtual Events & More

Making It: Perfect Pineapple
Her Passion for Fashion Fulfills A Granddaughter's Promise

Warren County Building Was Ohio's First Free School For Black People
The Harveysburg Free Black School gave Black children in Ohio a rare opportunity to receive an education.

Renowned West Chester Quilter Named US Artist Fellow
She'll donate the prize money to the Women of Color Quilters Network

Harrison Dillard Is More Than An Olympic Legend
Seventy years ago, a young man from Cleveland stood atop a podium in London as the national anthem played



Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 10 pm
Claudine Rankine’s “Citizen”

The poet Claudia Rankine has been a lyric teller of our deepest hurt. Her book, Citizen: An American Lyric, was a best-seller and something of a lifeline, mapping America’s racial traumas — from the Katrina travesty (2005) to the death of Trayvon Martin (2012) and the now-and-then travails of Serena Williams. Rankine says that American life is made of these moments when race gets us “by the throat.” Only some are nationally noted tragedies. The rest: millions of episodes between friends and loved ones, errors of human interaction, when “citizens” of different races trip up, and damage each other, typically without realizing it.

Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 7am
The Reckoning - Facing the Legacy of Slavery in America
Episode 4: Facing the Past.

There are clear lines that connect the legacy of slavery to many of our present-day issues, including the racial inequities of COVID-19 infection and deaths, wealth  inequality, and ongoing police brutality. A true and deep understanding of our history allows us to navigate the present moment and stop running away from the past.

Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 1pm
Throughline Black History Month Special: Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. She described herself as a pessimist, “if I’m not careful.” As an award-winning science fiction writer and ‘mother of Afrofuturism’, her visionary works of alternate realities reveal striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. Butler was fascinated by the cyclical nature of history and often looked to the past when writing about the future. She broke on to the science fiction scene at a time when she knew of no other Black women in the field, saying she simply had to 'write herself in.’


View the full WVIZ schedule here.

Feb 22 @ 10PM -  Mr. Soul

Ellis Haizlip creates the public television series "SOUL!" in 1968, one of the first platforms to promote the Black Arts Movement.

Feb 25 @ 9PM -  American Masters Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's life, her works, and the themes she confronted throughout her literary career.

Feb 28 @ 2pm - The Black Church: This Is Our Story: This Is Our Song pt. 1 & pt. 2

Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. presents a four-hour series exploring the roots of Black religion, from the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the ways enslaved Africans preserved and adapted faith practices from slavery to emancipation.

Feb 28 @ 10PM - The 2020 Anisfield Wolf Book Awards

Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. hosts a look at the only juried American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity. Presented by ideastream and The Cleveland Foundation host Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.

On ideastream Passport

ideastream members can watch these amazing titles, and more, on-demand.


Throughout the month, WCLV will spotlight music by Black composers and performers, and each featured Recording of the Week has been specifically selected to celebrate contributions to classical music made by people of African heritage.  

Community Events, Forums and Engagements

The Rise of Black Glenville
Virtual Exhibit
This virtual exhibit looks at The Glenville Neighborhood in Cleveland, a historical landmark in the Civil Rights movement.

Karamu House: The Impact of “Shuffle Along”
Virtual Presentation - Monday, February 1 - Friday, February 28
Karamu House, America’s oldest Black producing theatre, is offering a virtual, on-demand and free musical documentary about Shuffle Along. "The Impact of Shuffle Along," available throughout all of Black History Month. This special program, co-hosted with The Musical Theatre Project, presents nearly 20 songs from the original 1921 musical, and also tells the story and history of this musical, the first of its kind to be written and performed entirely by Black Americans.

Playhouse Square: Rhapsody in Black
On Demand Streaming Event - February 22-28
Cleveland residents can enjoy the virtual one-man show, written and performed by LeLand Gantt, which details his personal journey to understanding racism in America. In addition to the on-demand show, Playhouse Square will host Mr. Gantt for a live Q&A on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment
In every generation, musicians have responded in song and action to promote social justice and equality. What the world is seeing today, as injustices are called out and protesters are finding their voices, is not new. And neither are the musical responses - words and music and passion converging to create something much bigger that cuts deep into the rage, gives hope and radiates empowerment. 

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