Philadelphia is a city with a rich history, plenty of museums and famous historic landmarks, and during Black History Month, it becomes even more rich with culture. Every February, the City of Brotherly Love allows Philadelphians a chance to learn about and celebrate African American artists, authors, leaders and, most notably, those who have struggled against all odds to have the freedoms all Americans enjoy today.
The American Theater Arts For Youth Presents Black Journey
The Perelman Theater At The Kimmel Center For Performing Arts
300 South Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 790-5800

Hours: Feb. 13 to 15 – 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

For three days in February, Philadelphians can visit The Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts to catch “Black Journey,” a musical being put on by The American Theater Arts For Youth. This moving production celebrates black heritage and tradition and features some amazingly talented artists. “Black Journey” has toured in Philadelphia in previous years and has been touted as an exhilarating musical for all.

The President’s House: Freedom And Slavery In The Making Of A New Nation
600 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305

For its 10 years as our country’s capitol, Philadelphia was home to the President’s House, and our nation’s first two presidents, George Washington and John Adams, resided just a block from Independence Hall. “The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation,” is a new addition to Independence Mall and showcases the fragmented structures of the President’s House, including the living quarters in which Washington kept nine enslaved Africans who lived and worked on the property. The story highlights the historical contradiction of a nation whose leaders fought for freedom while enslaving others. This is a National Park Service Ranger Tour and is part of the three-block historic park of Independence Mall.

Related: 2013 Museum Exhibitions To Look Forward To

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

The Constitution Center is full of American history. During the month of February, it holds additional tours featuring the successes of African American leaders, the history of the Emancipation Proclamation and race relations in the 1920s.

Robert Smalls And The Taking Of The CSS Planter: A Descendants Panel
The African American Museum of Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 574-0380

Hours: Feb. 16 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This is the story of Robert Smalls, an enslaved man who went on to take over a Confederate vessel alongside his fellow slaves and turned it into the Union Navy. Smalls became the first African American Captain of a U.S. vessel who went on to become a five-year congressman. The African American Museum is full of stories of hope and overcoming adversity all year long, and is committed to showcasing the work and achievements of African Americans, specifically from the Philadelphia area. In the month of February, there are a few more special tours and workshops available.

Introduction To Black Genealogy: A Beginner’s Workshop
The African American Museum of Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 574-0380

Hours: Feb. 19 – 11:30 to 1 p.m

What better way to celebrate tradition and heritage than to learn about it first hand? Introduction to Black Genealogy allows you to learn how to trace your family tree and history. This workshop, by the African American Genealogy Group, will teach you forms and what resources to use to begin your quest. This is part one of two part series.

Related: Philadelphia Named Top Destination By Guidebook Publisher

Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here