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2023 Black History Month events in Connecticut

From concerts, to lectures, to interactive workshops: Here's how you can celebrate Black History Month in Connecticut
Credit: artemon91 - stock.adobe.com

CONNECTICUT, USA — February 1 marks the beginning of Black History Month, honored across the country and in Connecticut. 

Below are events residents can take part in to understand Black history on a local level and its impacts in the United States, from films, concerts, plays, lectures, and events held across the state.

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The Lay Ministry of Phillips Hartford presents the Black History Month Downhome Soul Luncheon. There will be discussions surrounding church and community, with Bro. Fred Phillips as guest speaker. Funds raised at the event will support multiple scholarship opportunities. The luncheon will take place Saturday, Feb. 25 at noon at the Phillips Metropolitan CME Church on 2500 Main St. in Hartford. Tickets are $20.

Karsonya Wise Whitehead, PhD, will deliver the 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. convocation lecture on February 9 at Fairfield University. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The convocation is free and open to the public. The theme for the observance is "Social Justice Now." Learn more about the event here.

The East Hartford Public Library is holding two events in February. First, on February 16, people are invited to celebrate the traditions and rhythms of African Diasporic drumming in a percussion workshop. The event begins at 7 p.m. You can register for this event here. The second event is on February 23 and is a Living History program with Kevin Johnson portraying Private William Webb. The story is told from an emotional and exciting first-person perspective that illustrates the struggle of African-Americans in the Colored Infantry during the Civil War. The event begins at 4 p.m. You can register for a reminder here.

The Greater Refuge Church of Christ will hold its 2023 Black History program on February 24, beginning at 7 p.m. They are located at 370 Garden Street in Hartford. The pastor will be Apostle Arlonzo Boswell. The program will feature the University of Hartford Gospel Choir and an artist collective. The event is free to attend and the church welcomes donations.

The NAACP of Greater Waterbury and the Waterbury Black Democratic Club presents their annual 2023 Black History Kickoff Celebration on January 29. The event will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held at Veterans memorial hall at 235 Grad Street. 

The Urban League of Greater Hartford is presenting its annual Black History Month Celebration at the Mark Twain House & Museum on February 9. The event will run from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The theme for 2023 is "A Legacy Revealed | A Glimpse of Hope," which is an in-person experience showcasing the achievements and contributions of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Latino cultures in the Hartford area through an interactive exhibit, entertainment, and an awards ceremony. Learn more about the event here.

The Enfield Congregational, United Church of Christ is collaborating with Opera House Players in presenting A Black History Month Concert: Celebrating Music of the African-American Tradition. The event will take place on February 15, beginning at 7 p.m. The concert will showcase the talents of entertainers performing music that rose from the African-American tradition. Learn more about the event here.

The Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity will be hosting a New England Regional Forum, "Increasing and Diversifying the Educator Workforce." The keynote speaker is Alexis Holmes, Executive Director from the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans. The event will be held on Friday, February 17 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Legislative Office building, Room 1D. 

The commission will also be holding an event called "Celebrating Black Fatherhood," highlighting the importance, value, and contributions of fathers through their presence and involvement in their children's lives. That event will be held Friday, February 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the State Capitol, room 310. 

Western Connecticut State University will also hold two events for students, faculty, alumni and the public to learn more about the contributions and success of Black citizens in the work and sports worlds, in celebration of Black History Month. One of the events will be on February 21 staring at 5:00 p.m. for a panel discussion and networking event, “Career Viewpoints from Trailblazing African American Leaders” in WCSU’s Westside Campus Center North Ballroom at 43 Lake Ave. On February 27, beginning at 5:30 p.m., a free screening of “The Loyola Project,” in the university’s Midtown campus Student Center Theater on 181 White St. 

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

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