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Black History Month at the Wisconsin Historical Society | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Black History Month Events

Join the Society as it celebrates African American history in Wisconsin

Black History Month at the Wisconsin Historical Society | Wisconsin Historical Society

Black History Month banner

Join the Society around the state for events that celebrate Black History Month and feature archival collections, exhibits, presentations, open mics, and more.

40th annual "Tribute and Ceremony" honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Jan. 20 | Noon - 2 p.m. | Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda
An africasong.org event
Celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at this special program located in the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda. The program in words and music centers on how we might rise together to foster a more inclusive, celebratory, and welcoming world view of others who are different as a pathway to reducing human hatred here at home and around the world. Museum and archival items from the Society will be on display. The new exhibit on Womens' Suffrage, "We Stand on their Shoulders: A History of Wisconsin Women & Voting" will also be highlighted. The program also includes the presentation of the Wisconsin State Proclamation honoring Dr. King and the announcement of Wisconsin’s 2020 MLK Heritage Awards. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Just Bust! First Wave Open Mic

Feb. 7 | 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. | Wisconsin Historical Society HQ
In partnership with UW-Madison's Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives

Madison’s longest-running all-ages open mic returns to the Wisconsin Historical Society HQ with a special Black History Month theme. S
hare space, enjoy art, and perform in a welcoming and supportive community atmosphere. This open mic is a space to share all mediums of art: music, poetry, dance, comedy, etc. All are welcome. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

African Heritage, Inc. Black History Month Open House

Feb. 15 | 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. | Fox Valley Technical College
In partnership with African Heritage Inc.

The Society will host a variety of programs and exhibits highlighting the history of African Americans. The traveling exhibit "A Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities" will be featured, along with other museum and archival collections,  
food, and live entertainment. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Open House

Feb. 21 | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Wisconsin Historical Museum
In partnership with the Black History Education Conference
The Society will host a variety of programs and exhibits that highlight the history of African Americans. On display will be several African American quilts that tell the stories of African Americans in Wisconsin. Folklorist Janet Gilmore will talk about the traditions of African American quilting in the state. The new exhibit on Womens' Suffrage, "We Stand on their Shoulders: A History of Wisconsin Women & Voting" will also be highlighted. From noon - 1 p.m., Society Reference Librarian Lori Bessler will provide guidance on how to research your family history with a focus on records that help to tell the stories of African American families in the feature presentation, “Researching African American Family History." This event is free of charge and open to the public.

For more information on these events, please contact Tanika Apaloo, Coordinator of Multicultural Outreach at 608-264-6500 or Tanika.apaloo@wisconsinhistory.org.