By Christina Dagnelli

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Black History Month in Philly, including numerous museums, and places to shop and dine. Black History Month was set up about 40 years ago and for the month of February Philadelphia showcases an even larger emphasis on African American artists, authors, and leaders. But most notably the history of people who had to struggle against all odds to have the freedoms all people should just have. Here are the top 5 places to learn about Black History in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Free Library
5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215) 685-1973
www.freelibrary.org

The Philadelphia Free library has numerous activities for Black History month at all of its branches. The Cobbs Creek branch will hold  an Inventor’s showcase on the 19th. Other branches will also present activities for people of all ages, including many educational opportunities. At the South Philly branch, there will be a hands on Cooking program on the 27th at 4:30 with Chef Chris Paul. The class is appropriate for people of all ages. For fun a senior dance party  is scheduled at the end of the month. (February 28th at 11 a.m.) the Parkway Central Library branch will hold a Motown dance party.

Independence Mall
520 Chestnut Street.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(800) 537-7676
www.nps.gov

Independence Mall is a very historical section of Philly, and is where the visitor’s center is located. So its a good place to visit and get started on a historical day in Philly. Now open in Independence Mall is the exhibit “The President’s Home: Freedom and Slavery in the making of a new nation”. This holds the fragmented structures of President Washington and Adams’ homes and the slave quarters. For a full day of learning and  fun, Independence Mall also operates fun and educational carriage rides in the evening.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 409-6600
www.constitutioncenter.org

The National Constitution Center is a popular stop for getting some American history. During the month of February there are additional tours featuring the successes of African American leaders as well as the background of race relations in the 1920’s.  You can also see the emancipation proclamation document and learn about its history.  One of the key themes at the Constitution Center is the pursuit of freedom so you can also  enjoy the film Freedom Rising. The Constitution Center also brings out items from Barack Obama’s inauguration, plus you can test your knowledge of African American History on the Giant Game Board. Admission to the Constitution Center from now through the end of March is discounted at $10 for adults, and children 6-18 are $7.50.  This is for the Winter Warm up Promotion and has to be purchased on line. Military and children under 5 are free, as is everyone on Sundays.

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The African American Museum of Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA. 19106
(215) 574-0380
www.aampmuseum.org

The African American Museum  of course is a place to visit to celebrate Black History Month. This museum is full of stories of hope and overcoming adversity all year long. This museum is committed to showcasing the work and achievements of African Americans, specifically from the Philadelphia area. One  exhibit to visit this year is the display Audacious Freedom 1776-1876.  Its an interactive timeline of over 100 years including historical documents and 10 full sized displays of “trail blazers” including Richard Allen, Octavius Catto  and others.

Black and Noble
1409 W. Erie Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19140
(215) 965-1559
www.blackandnobel.com

Part of spending a fun day out, typically includes some shopping. (or even can be the entire reason out). Black and Noble is a family friendly and community minded shop that features art, movies, books and other items  dedicated to African American artists and creators.  They even make their own soaps and hair care products. They aren’t just a store, but rather a cultural center. People typical spend an hour or more in this establishment. Black Noble is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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