COLUMBIA — Various events will take place throughout Columbia in February to celebrate Black History Month.
The celebration started in 1926 when Carter G. Woodson, a famous African American historian, arranged Negro History Week. Woodson chose the second week in February because it was when Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln celebrated their birthdays. Over time, the Negro History Week developed into Black History Month.
The celebration this year marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, D.C.
Here are some of the events taking place around Columbia. Please let us know if anything is missing and we will add it to the calendar; firstname.lastname@example.org
African American Film and Discussion, 7 p.m.: "Setting the Record Straight" presents stories from African American political history. The film will be shown at the Armory Sports Center.
Book Signing and Discussion with Salamishah Tillet, 7 to 9 p.m.: Tillet, an associate professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, will be in Chambers Auditorium to discuss her book, "Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination."
Damien Escobar Performance, 7:30 p.m.: After being classically trained on the violin, Escobar merged those skills with more contemporary hip hop music, such as his cover of Alicia Keys' song 'Unthinkable (I'm Ready).' He also competed on "America's Got Talent." His performance will be at Whitmore Recital Hall.
Black History Month Valentine's Day Talent Show, 6:30 p.m.: Local acts will take place in the Douglass High School Gym.
Reading and Discussion by Quincy Troupe, 7:30 p.m.: Troupe helped co-write Chris Gardner's autobiography the "Pursuit of Happyness" that was later turned into a movie. The reading will be held in 215 Tate Hall.
Where Do We Go From Here?, 7 p.m.: A panel will discuss the results of November's election and their implications on the future of the nation. Comments from the audience will be taken. The panel will be held in the Armory Sports Center.
"Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes," 7 p.m.: Byron Hurt's first documentary will be shown at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. The film delves into the gender and race issues found in hip hop music. A panel of MU faculty members will be held after the film.
Gospel Explosion and Soul Food Dinner Musical Celebration, 3 p.m.: Local and regional gospel acts take place at St. Luke United Methodist Church. Dinner will follow.
Taste of History, 6 to 8 p.m.: Lange Middle School will host a dinner and program celebrating African American culture. The dinner starts at 5 p.m., and is $4 per plate. A silent auction will be held from 5 to7 p.m. The program, which includes poetry, singing, stepping and dramatic interpretations will begin at 6:30 p.m.
"Soul Food Junkies," 7 p.m.: The latest documentary made by Byron Hurt will be shown at Jesse Wrench Auditorium. The film focuses on the importance of soul food in African American culture. Hurt will also be on hand for a question-and-answer session after the film.