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Black History Month in Grand Rapids

Each February, Grand Rapids celebrates Black History Month with a series of special activities and events exploring the local African American experience. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the 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 ways.

History Comes Alive

Visit the Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives to explore material honoring the lives, history, culture and art of local African Americans. February programs include the West Michigan Minstrel Show, which examines the “art” of using theatrical makeup to caricaturize and mock black people.

Stroll downtown to see bronze sculptures commemorating former Grand Rapids Mayor Lyman Parks, civil rights icon Rosa Parks and Helen Claytor, the first African American president of both the Grand Rapids YWCA and national YWCA.

Embark on a free, self-guided tour of significant local sites – download informational podcasts to accompany you on the Black History Tour of Downtown and the Grand Rapids Civil Rights Tour.

Take the Honoring Diversity 5K Running or Walking Tour of downtown Grand Rapids – you’ll learn about the city’s cultural influences while you burn calories.


Learn, Take Action, Celebrate

Check back for the lineup of Black History Month presentations.

Fantastic Food

Try the made-from-scratch soul food at Forty Acres Soul Kitchen and The Candied Yam.

Enjoy traditional African dishes at Little Africa Ethiopian Cuisine and GoJo Ethiopian Cuisine.

Get a taste of the Caribbean at The Chez Olga, Jamaican Dave’s and IRIE Kitchen.

Check Out These Black-Owned Restaurants in Grand Rapids

Celebrating history means celebrating the people, traditions, cultures, and of course, food! We are commemorating Black History Month by featuring Grand Rapids’ black food culture and by shining a…

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Explore our complete list of Black History Month Events

    Please note that while every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the events listed, we recommend contacting the event and/or location directly to confirm the details. Special events may require tickets that need to be purchased in advance. Please direct questions to event organizers.
    Did we miss an event? Please submit it to our Calendar of Events to be included!