Black History Month Events in DowntownDC


Howard Gospel Choir Performance

Wednesday, February 1 | 12:15 to 1:00 p.m.

St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street Northwest

Midweek Music at St. John’s, Lafayette Square presents a free performance by the Howard Gospel Choir to kick off Black History Month. For nearly five decades, the Howard Gospel Choir has set a high standard as a premier performing arts ensemble, singing at a wide variety of venues in and around D.C. Most recently, the choir was one of the featured artists to perform for both the 2016 and the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors and was also a part of the Emmy Award-winning special Taking the Stage, which celebrated the grand opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Film Screening: Go-Go City: Displacement & Protest in Washington, DC

Thursday, February 2 | 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

740 15th Street NW, third floor

For decades, the District has been a beacon for Black culture and community. Now, however, a wave of economic and cultural gentrification threatens to erase this history. Go-Go City: Displacement & Protest in Washington, DC, a documentary film by Samuel George of the Bertelsmann Foundation, dives into a rich tapestry of D.C. culture and the forces behind the gentrification that stand to mute it. The film interweaves scenes of protest as displaced communities take to the streets to rally around the city’s beloved Go-Go music. The screening is hosted by National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s Just Economy Club in partnership with the Bertelsmann Foundation.


Black Wines Matter

Thursday, February 2 | 7:00 p.m.

National Union Building, 918 F Street NW

In this class, Drink the District will examine groundbreaking Black-owned and -produced wines that push the envelope of quality and innovation. The passion for expressive and powerful wines shines through in every sip. There will be six premium wines to taste and a chance to purchase limited wines to take home. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Veraison Project, which works “to create a more equitable wine industry through greater access to wine education, wine certifications, mentoring, and networking for BIPOC.”


Weekly yoga is happening at Eaton DC / CREDIT: Eaton DC

Mindful Mondays With Great Energy Group: Black History Month Yoga

Mondays in February | 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Eaton DC, 1201 K Street NW

Join the crew from Great Energy Group and Eaton’s Wellness Director Tara Aura for a unique mindfulness series that celebrates Black History Month through movement and music of the African diaspora. This will be a rhythmic, restorative, yoga flow that links movement to the breath. This class is fun for inflexible people and yogis of all levels, thanks to detailed verbal instructions, modifications for beginners, use of props, and more challenging pose extensions for advanced students. Participants will stretch muscles, build strength, find balance, and create internal space, setting intentions for the week. And of course, the vibe is heightened by the healing power of music from the Black diaspora, from reggae and Afrobeat to house, hip-hop, and R&B.

Donation-based registration

A Black AF Experience

Sunday, February 5 | 7:00 p.m. to midnight

The Park at 14th, 920 14th Street NW

This event celebrates the power of Blackness with an evening of art, music, and specialty D’ussé cocktails. Exhibits will honor both homegrown successes and those abroad.


34th Annual Black Film Festival

Tuesdays in February

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Auditorium, 901 G Street NW

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will present a selection of great films with short documentaries before each, celebrating and showcasing Black art and life in America. Documentaries will start at 3:00 p.m., feature films will start at 5:00 p.m., and double features will play back-to-back.

  • Tuesday, February 7: James Baldwin: The Price of a Ticket / Emancipation
  • Tuesday, February 14: Strange Fruit / Lemonade / The Woman King
  • Tuesday, February 21: Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle: The First African American Trade Union / I Am Not Your Negro / 13th
  • Tuesday, February 28: Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property / Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


BaA2B: Chris Jenkins on Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet

Thursday, February 9 | 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Eaton DC, 1201 K Street NW

Eaton DC’s vinyl listening and storytelling series, A2B, returns to the library with an experience that recalls the time when people sat down and dropped the needle on both sides of a vinyl record. The hosts for this series have all chosen albums that soundscaped a special time in their lives and will share their stories. February 9 features Chris Jenkins on Public Enemy’s iconic Fear of a Black Planet.


“I Dream a World: Selections From Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women”

Friday, February 10, through Sunday, September 10

National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G streets NW

The National Portrait Gallery will present a second group of portraits from Brian Lanker’s 1989 book project, I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America. The gallery recently acquired all 75 portraits from the Pulitzer-Prize-winning photographer’s series and is celebrating the acquisition with a two-part exhibition. Like the first installation, the second features portraits of women who have made significant contributions to the arts, activism, literature, politics, and sports, among other disciplines. Subjects include portraits of Althea Gibson, Odetta, Cicely Tyson, and Oprah Winfrey.


Left to right: Imar Lyman [Hutchins], Banna-Ka (Benjamin Banneker), 2019, Acrylic, serigraph and collage on canvas, 72 x 54 in.; Helen Zughaib, Out of the Box, 2018, Gouache on archival pigment print, 60 x 45 in. / CREDIT: DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

MLK’s Beloved Community and the Art Bank

Saturday, February 11 | 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. extolled the promise of the “beloved community.” As the result of a world committed to nonviolence, the beloved community would be an integrated global society in which all people would share in prosperity; where justice and peace would reign; and where bigotry and prejudice would fall away. This panel explores how the Art Bank pieces on the walls at the MLK Library, from the DC Public Library’s inaugural Art Bank Collection Loan program, might bring Dr. King’s teachings to life.


Opening: “Black Like Me”

Wednesday, February 15 | 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Zenith Gallery, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue

Zenith Gallery has a new exhibit, “Black Like Me,” featuring the work of 12 artists. The opening reception will celebrate the work and offer guests an opportunity to meet the creatives. The exhibit runs through Saturday, April 15.


Investing in Ideas: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Thursday, February 16 | 6:30 p.m.

Ernst & Young, 1101 New York Avenue, #300

Join Ernst & Young and the National Black MBA Association’s D.C. chapter to celebrate Black History Month by honoring innovations of the past and future. The event will highlight a few inventions by African Americans that have made a significant impact on our everyday lives (led by E&Y), and the second part of the event will be a discussion on entrepreneurship (led by the NBMBAA).


The State of the Legal Profession and Its Impact on Black America

Tuesday, February 21 | 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Reed Smith LLP, 1301 K Street NW, #1100E

The Bar Association of the District of Columbia (BADC) and the Washington Bar Association’s (WBA) Young Lawyers Section are honoring Black history with a panel discussion. Speakers include American Bar Association President Deborah Enix-Ross as keynote, BADC President Rawle Andrews as moderator, and WBA President Dionna Maria Lewis and BADC Young Lawyers Section Chair E. Paige White as panelists.

Registration is requested by Friday, February 10

Uncle Nearest Whiskey Dinner

Thursday, February 23 | 7:00 p.m.

Figleaf Bar & Lounge, 1155 14th Street (Hotel Zena)

As part of Hotel Zena’s celebration of Black History Month, Figleaf Bar & Lounge is hosting a whiskey dinner featuring Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey to honor the world’s first-known African American master distiller, Nathan “Nearest” Green. Chef William Ham has curated a six-course tasting menu inspired by the godfather of Tennessee whiskey.

21+ | $190

Book Launch: District Postcard Views with Shedrick Pelt

Friday, February 24 | 5:00 p.m.

DC History Center, 801 K Street NW

Through his photography, Shedrick Pelt captures the District of today with an eye for the city’s history. His new photo book, District Postcard Views, features vintage-inspired images of landmark locations throughout all eight wards, printed on removable, 5×7 postcards. The book launch will be an evening of conversation, music, and light food and drink among a community of creatives, historians, and storytellers.


A Family Reunion: Community Celebration of Resistance in the District

Saturday, February 25 | 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Eaton DC, 1201 K Street NW

Join Black Lives Matter DC as the group celebrates the release of its impact report, reestablishes community bonds, and focuses efforts to accelerate local progress for Black people in D.C. Supporters and extended families, community members and organizers, and advocates and activists are invited to enjoy:

  • A panel discussion exploring the powerful legacy of Black people resisting state violence, engaging in community defense, and self-determination in D.C.
  • Local food and beverage vendors
  • DJ and a special live performance
  • BLM DC Impact Exhibit
  • Kid-friendly activities
  • Complimentary lite bites


Black History Day at the Washington Capitals

Saturday, February 25 | 1:00 p.m.

Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW

The Washington Capitals will host Black History Day presented by Capital One on Saturday, February 25, featuring a ceremonial puck drop by Capitals alumnus Devante Smith-Pelly.