Each February, Grand Rapids celebrates Black History Month with a series of special activities and events exploring the local African American experience. The Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Valley University, Grand Rapids Art Museum and other cultural institutions typically present special programming that spotlights the many ways African Americans have helped shape the past and present of Grand Rapids – and how African American culture is helping move the city forward in exciting new directions.
Come back to this page starting in January for the full rundown of events and activities commemorating Black History Month.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until February to delve into the Black history of Grand Rapids. Any time of year, you can visit the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, and pay respects at downtown’s memorial statues of civil rights icon Rosa Parks ,Grand Rapids Mayor Lyman Parks (the first African American to hold that position) and Helen Claytor (African American president of both the Grand Rapids YWCA and national YWCA). Download a smartphone app to take a self-guided Black History Tour of Downtown. Then treat yourself to some delicious food and drink at one of the area’s Black-owned restaurants.