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Celebrate Black History Month Around DC With Events, Museums, Movies, More

History talks, movies, performances and more throughout this important month

February is Black History Month, a time to highlight the stories, history and culture of the African diaspora. Whether you want to catch an innovative performance, visit a historic site or dive in deep to a historic talk, we've got you covered.

Here are ways you can partake throughout the D.C. area.

Take in music, theater or dance

Urban Bush Women
Dance Place
3225 8th St. NE
Feb. 16 and 17

Urban Bush Women explore perceptions of beauty, identity and race at this performance featuring music, history and dance. You can enjoy the opening night party on Feb. 16 at 6:30 ahead of the 8 p.m. performance ($25 to $100). There will be an encore performance on Sunday, Feb.  17.

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Celebrate black artists through film

Brentwood Arts Exchange
3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, Maryland
Wednesdays through Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.

Enjoy fiction and non-fiction films celebrating black artists, including "Slam" and "Bronx Gothic."

Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market
550 Penn St. NE
Wednesdays in February

This Northeast movie theatre is highlighting black artists' films. Head to Angelika on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. to catch films in the series Black is the New Black.

Feb. 13 — "Do the Right Thing"

Feb. 20 — "Poetic Justice"

Feb. 27 —"The Color Purple"

DC Public Library Black Film Festival

Screenings of a number of new releases and classics go on this month. The Woodbridge Public Library will host a family-friendly film each Friday at 4 p.m.

Here are just a few more options, but you can find a full list on the library website.

Feb. 12, 6 p.m. — "BlacKkKlansman" at Georgetown Public Library

Feb. 19, 6 p.m. — "Chi-Raq" at the Tenley-Friendship Library

Feb. 28, 6 p.m. — "Their Eyes Were Watching God" at West End Library

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Dive into a history or culture talk

The History of the NAACP: The Baltimore Connection
The Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland
Feb. 16, noon

Buy a ticket to the museum to attend.

African American Passages: Black Lives in 19th Century America
Library of Congress' Kluge Center
10 1st St. SE
Feb. 21, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Georgetown history professor Adam Rothman discusses what he's learned from an archive of personal stories from African-Americans during slavery, emancipation and reconstruction. Rothman will cover both well-known figures like Federick Douglass and lesser-known writers.

Genealogy, Art, Science and History with the DC Public Library

Libraries throughout the city will host a number of events, ranging from talks on genealogy to book discussions to a film festival. 

A few highlights include a meet-and-greet with Simba Sana, the local author behind "Never Stop," "Getting Started: African American Genealogy and DNA Testing," a party at Deanwood Library, Black History Jeopardy and more.

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Visit a museum or historic site

Frederick Douglass Home
1411 W St. SE

Abolitionist and freed slave Frederick Douglass lived his last 17 years in Washington, D.C. and the National Park Service preserves his legacy at this historic site. You can go inside the home on a free guided tour — Reservations are recommended

On Feb. 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the site will celebrate Douglass' birthday with a commemorative ceremony, oratory contest and neighborhood walking tour.

Prince George's African American Museum & Cultural Center
4519 Rhode Island Ave., North Brentwood, Maryland

This month, the museum opens a retrospective into the work of D.C.-based artist Quest Skinner.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture
1400 Constitution Ave. NW

Walk through the most momentous eras of black history in America, where you can learn about the heartbreak of slavery, segregation and movements since the 1960s. Passes are no longer required for weekday visits in February.

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How to get around

Lyft

Thoughout February, Lyft is offering free rides worth up to $10 to or from three D.C.-area museums that celebrate black history: the Alexandria Black History Museum, the Anacostia Community Museum and National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

There's a limit of one ride per customer. More details and the full list of participating cities, including Richmond and Baltimore, are available here

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