LifestyleCelebrate Black History Month in DMV with music and art

Celebrate Black History Month in DMV with music and art

This weekend, the DMV area is bustling with a range of events, as featured in the Washington Informer Calendar. 

Starting Thursday, “Welcome Black” kicks off Black History Month with Mayor Bowser at the Carlyle Room and trumpeter Brandon Woody performs with UPENDO. 

Friday offers Dr. Ivy’s “Sound Vibronics” and Jessica L. Hagan’s “Queens of Sheba.”

Saturday’s highlights include the DCBHCC Black History Month Kick-Off and “Onward and Upward” at the National Cathedral. 

Sunday features a virtual concert with Jordan Bak, Adam Sadberry and Ashley Jackson, and Clay Cane’s “The Grift” discussion at Busboys and Poets.

Thursday, Feb. 1

Welcome Black | African Americans and the Arts

Time: 5:30 p.m. | Free w/ RSVP

Carlyle Room, 1350 I St NW, Washington, D.C.

Mayor Bowser, along with MOAAA and OCTFME leaders, will start Black History Month celebrations with ‘Welcome Black,’ a showcase of local artists at the Carlyle Room. Aligning with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH’s) theme ‘African Americans and the Arts,’ the event features co-host Joe Clair, comedian, radio personality, and D.C. native. Joe will guide a talented lineup of local performers in a journey through the history of the African Diaspora.

Brandon Woody’s UPENDO

Time: 7 p.m. | Free w/ RSVP

Shanklin Hall, 2325 18th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Trumpeter Brandon Woody, Baltimore School for the Arts alumnus, performs with his band UPENDO. Two sets are planned: 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Attendees may join both.

Friday, Feb. 2

Queens of Sheba • Jessica L. Hagan

Time: 8 p.m. | $10+

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, 8270 Alumni Drive, College Park, Maryland, 20742

The four powerful Black women that form the beating heart of Jessica L. Hagan’s knowingly sharp and riotously funny choreopoem “Queens of Sheba,” demand respect and, with every story told, they earn it. A spiritual successor to Ntozake Shange’s “for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf,”  “Queens of Sheba” incisively calls out and lances the constellation of racist, sexist, and colorist micro- and macro-aggressions that its characters encounter: the music and the misogyny, the dancing and the drinking, the women and, of course, the (white) men. 

Turned away from a nightclub for being “too Black”, the Queens navigate the minefields of misogynoir, seeking power among the songs of Tina Turner and Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin, finding elevation in sisterhood, sweet relief in the riot of laughter and the shedding of tears. Playful, intellectually rigorous, packed with righteous fury and genuine soul, “Queens of Sheba” is a unique meditation on Black Women’s identity, suffering, and joy.

Saturday, Feb. 3

D.C. Black History Celebration Committee Presents The Black History Month Kick-Off

Time: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Free

Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St. SW, Washington, D.C., 20024

The D.C. Black History Celebration Committee, a model for cities nationwide, promotes and celebrates African American achievements and contributions to America. It also addresses current issues affecting African Americans. On Saturday, the event will host a Black History Month kickoff, featuring keynote speaker Tom Porter. Honorees include Karan Cornish-Adebiyi, Sharon Scott, the Rev. Tony Motley, Nana Malaya Rucker, Brenda Sayles, Susan Woodard, and Robert Vanzant.

Washington National Cathedral presents “Onward and Upward”

Time: 4 p.m. | Free w/ RSVP

Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 20016

Celebrate Black History Month at the Cathedral with an inspirational evening of spoken word, dance, and music. The event directed and produced by Michele Fowlin, features performances by Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel, Katherine Smith Contemporary Dance Ensemble, and SE Tennis and Learning Center’s “Blacks in Wax.”

Sunday, Feb. 4

Jordan Bak, Ashley Jackson, and Adam Sadberry

Time: 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | $10+


Young performers violist Jordan Bak, flutist Adam Sadberry, and harpist Ashley Jackson present a mix of 20th-century chamber works and new music, including Jeffrey Mumford’s world-premiere viola-harp piece. The program features Debussy’s “Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp,” an arrangement of Ravel’s Sonatine, and solo viola works by Elliot Carter, Mumford, and Tyson Davis. Live broadcast from the Music Room. Ticket registration is required for live stream access.

THE GRIFT with Clay Cane | A Busboys and Poets Books Presentation

Time: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Free w/ RSVP

Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St NW, Washington, D.C., 20009

Join journalist and radio host Clay Cane as he delves into the history and future of Black politics in the U.S., as he discusses his new work “The Grift.” Cane explores the evolution of Black Republicanism, from its post-Civil War roots to its present state. He examines figures like Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Justice Clarence Thomas, analyzing their impact on Black communities and politics. Sirius XM radio host Reecie Colbert joins Cane for this insightful conversation.

Source: Washington Informer

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