Black History Month Events in Okaloosa County

The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week." From the event's initial phase, primary emphasis was placed on encouraging the coordinated teaching of the history of American blacks in the nation's public schools.

Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. Seven years later, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers. When President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial, he urged all Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Below is some information that can help you follow President Ford’s advice.

Local Events

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center presents The Viola! Song Cycle. This is a new work about the Viola Edwards hospital which opened in 1922 as the first African American-owned hospital in Pensacola. Tuesday February 11, 7:30 PM, Niceville. Find more information here.

The Annual Panhandle Cultural Enrichment Tour featuring the FAMU Gospel Choir. Saturday February 22, Fort Walton Beach. Find more information here.

A Tribute to Black Composers by the JAVACYA Elite Chamber Orchestra featuring singer Darryl Tookes and cellist Patrice Jackson. Saturday February 22, 7:00 PM, Fort Walton Beach. Find more information here.

Alliance of Ebony Artists, Fourth Annual African American Art Festival. Saturday February 29, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Gregg Chapel Life Center, 15 Carson Dr. SE, Fort Walton Beach, 32548

Article Links

Bayard Rustin – Student of non-violence and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

35 Queens of Black History Who Deserve Much More Glory