Black History Month 2023

Black History Month is celebrated from Feb. 1 through March 1. The month commemorates the many contributions, cultural influences and achievements made by African Americans.

Celebrating Black history began with Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson. To raise awareness of African American contributions, Woodson announced Negro History Week within the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), in 1925, according to The week was celebrated in February to include the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Negro History Week received positive feedback, with many teachers expressing excitement to teach Black history to their students.

When Woodson died in 1950, Negro History Week had become a major part of African American life. Many mayors of major cities nationwide issued proclamations recognizing Negro History Week.

During the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, the contributions and achievements of African Americans became increasingly well known.

The celebration became a month in 1976, with President Gerald R. Ford telling Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected, accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

That year, the ASNLH commemorated the first Black History Month. Since then, every American president has issued Black History Month proclamations. The association, now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), promotes Black history all year!

Triton Events

Triton College is proudly celebrating Black History Month with some events around campus:

Roosevelt Middle School Band Performance
Wednesday, Feb. 1
Noon-1 p.m.
Student Center Cafeteria (B Building)

Triton College is kicking off Black History Month with a special performance from the Roosevelt Middle School band of Bellwood School District 88.

The performance will consist of selections from several African-American composers, with each selection being introduced with a history of the composer and the song. A visual representation of the composer will be in the background.

Musical instruments showcased will include drums, electric piano, tubas, horns, percussion and trumpets.

Light food will be served.

“Triton College is excited to commemorate the start of Black History Month while also highlighting students in the Triton community,” said Dr. Purva DeVol, Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

For more information, email

Food for the Soul
Wednesday, Feb. 15, Noon-2 p.m. (or while supplies last)
Student Center Cafeteria, B Building

Triton College’s Office of Student Life, TRIUMPH and SURGE are hosting Food for the Soul, a delicious journey into the flavors of traditional African-American cuisine.

Foods served will include baked chicken, fried chicken, greens with smoked turkey meat, green beans with potatoes, macaroni and cheese, dirty rice with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, mini corn bread, peach cobbler, banana pudding and pound cake. All items will be available while supplies last.

For more information, please contact

Movie Viewing of Red Tails
Thursday, Feb. 9, Noon-3 p.m.
Cernan Earth and Space Center

The Triton College community is invited to watch the film Red Tails, starring Terrance Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. Red Tails is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) servicemen, during World War II.

Sponsored by the Office of Student Life, TRIUMPH and SURGE.

Black History Leadership Symposium
Tuesday, Feb. 28
10 a.m.-NOON
Triton College Library, A Building

Dr. Jolynn McCray will be the symposium's keynote speaker. Dr. McCray, a Triton instructor, has completed her dissertation on leadership. Student Jarrett McClain, the Campus Ministry Leader, will be speaking as well.

This symposium is for those interested in gaining advice on leadership and expanding their professional network.

Coffee and cookies will be served.

The Triton College Library Will Be Showing Black History Films EVERY Thursday

Sarah Vaughan and Trio Play Jazz from Newport
Thursday, Feb. 2
2 p.m.
Triton College Library, A Building

Hoop Dreams
Thursday, Feb. 9
2 p.m.
Triton College Library, A Building

Thursday, Feb. 16
2 p.m.
Triton College Library, A Building

Making Black America: Through the Grapevine
Thursday, Feb. 23
2 p.m.
Triton College Library, A Building

There are three professional development offerings for Triton College employees. Employees need to sign up on the Professional Development Center (PDC) portal site to attend the events.
The PDC events are:

Urban Outlook: Critical Race Theory, Why it’s so Controversial
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1-2 p.m.
Room E-148

High Hopes and Higher Education; Video and Discussion
Friday, Feb. 10, 10-11 a.m.
Room E-141

Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL):
Advancing Equitable Student Outcomes; Video and Discussion

Thursday, Feb. 23, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Room E-141

Library Story Walk
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Very similar to an art exhibition, Library Story Walk will take the story The Undefeated and deconstruct it and strategically place it around the Library. Those in attendance can walk around, read the book and see the beautiful artwork.

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Chicagoland Events

Chicagoland Black History Month Events:

Black in STEM with Keynote Speaker Naomi Davis
Wednesday, Feb. 1, Noon-1 p.m.
Field Museum
1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive

Steppin’ Thru History
Thursday, Feb. 2, 6-8 p.m.
DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center
740 E. 56th Pl.

Black History Month Crafts
Thursday, Feb. 2, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Chicago Public Library
Gage Park
2807 W. 55th St.

Film Screening: The Princess and the Frog
Monday, Feb. 6, 4-5:45 p.m.
Chicago Public Library
6 S. Hoyne Ave.

Trial in the Delta: The Murder of Emmett Till
Thursday, Feb. 9-Saturday, Feb. 11;
Thursday, Feb. 16-Sunday, Feb. 19, times vary

The DuSable Black History Museum & Education Center
740 E. 56th Pl.
$55/General Admission, $50/Group Tickets, $30/Members and School Groups

Chicago Black Restaurant Week
Sunday, Feb. 12-Sunday, Feb.26
Check Website for Schedule, Events and Restaurants

A Jazzy Celebration of Black History Month
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 7-9 p.m.
Compassion Baptist Church
2650 E. 95th St.

Voices for Justice: When Blackness Was Golden by Pemon Rami
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6-7:30 p.m.
Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State St.

Black History Family Fun Night at Tuley Park
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Chicago Park District
Tuley (Murray) Park
501 E. 90th Pl.

Family Event - Black History Month
Saturday, Feb. 25, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.

Black History Month Celebration
Saturday, Feb. 25, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Roosevelt Middle School
2500 Oak St.

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Black-Owned Restaurants and Businesses

Support Black-Owned Restaurants:

  • Virtue (James Bread Foundation – 2022 Award Winner)
    1462 E 53rd St
    (773) 947-8831
  • 6978 Soul Food
    6978 W. North Ave.
    (773) 237-6090
  • Lexington Betty Smoke House
    756 E 111th St.
    (708) 927-5614
  • Flavor’s Southern Cooking
    5721 W. Division St.
    (773) 379-0909
  • Turkey Chop
    3506 W. Chicago Ave.
    (773) 384-2500

Support Black-Owned Businesses:

  • Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery
    Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery is a black-woman-owned bookstore.
    515 N. Halsted St.
    (312) 877-5170
  • The Silver Room
    The Silver Room sells a unique variety of candles, books, clothes and jewelry.
    1506 E. 53rd St.
    (773) 947-0024
  • Urban Growers Collective
    Urban Growers Collective strives to build a more just and equitable local food system.
    1200 W. 35th St., #118
    (773) 376-8882

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Additional Resources

Additional Resources:

At the Smithsonian Institution:

Illinois’ Black History

Black Artists

Black Art Works/Galleries

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