Black History Month Events Feb. 15-21

Black History Month Logo

Many of this year’s Black History Month events are virtual, creating a unique opportunity for Arkansans to have increased access to a variety of programming. Every Monday in February we’ll publish a weekly list spotlighting several of these events. If you’d like your event included, please email the details to

February 16

2 p.m. — Envisioning Justice: The Current Faces of Social Justice in America

This virtual conference features a series of lectures from experts in racial, religious and institutional discrimination. The event is scheduled for Feb. 16-17 and includes a virtual lecture by outspoken political leader and renowned author Angela Davis. Participation is free, but registration is required.

3 p.m. — Film Review and Discussion of Talking Black in America

University of Arkansas associate professor Dr. Valandra will host a film review and discussion of Talking Black in America — The Story of African American English by the Language and Life Project at North Carolina State University. The event will be presented via Zoom and no registration is required.

6 p.m. — Virtual Tour of the Jonesboro African American Cultural Center

Roger McKinney from the center will walk guests through the museum and discuss the history behind each exhibit. The virtual tour will be streamed on KLEK 102.5FM’s Facebook page.

6:30 p.m. — Yass, Hogs: A Celebration of Black Queerness & Drag!

This virtual evening will be a chance to reflect on the legacy of Black LGBTQIA+ icons, heroes and divas who gave their passion and lives for the cause of intersectional Pride. Guests will meet and enjoy performances from JAX, a visual artist and drag performer living and working in New York City. This event will be presented via Zoom and registration is required.

7 p.m. — UA Distinguished Lecture: Angela Davis

Professor, activist and cultural icon, Davis’ voice has been and continues to be instrumental to social reform. She is also the author of 10 books. The lecture will be virtual and a link will be accessible on the Distinguished Lectures Committee’s website prior to the event. No registration is required.


February 17

11:30 a.m. — Now Let’s Talk

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas continues to address the issues of racism and how to talk about it in the spring of 2021 in a program called Now, Let’s Talk. Registration is required.

3:30 p.m. —  Wrightsville Schoolhouse Fire: Arkansas’s Dark Secret

Arkansas Tech University’s Department of Diversity and Inclusion will host a virtual roundtable discussion on the forgotten history of the Wrightsville School Fire in which 69 young Black boys were locked in the building when a fire mysteriously broke out at 4 a.m., burning 21 boys alive while the other 48 managed to fight their way to safety.

5 p.m. — HBCU Reflections

Guest speakers will first present their “experience” through a slideshow of pictures, videos, boomerangs, etc. from their HBCU. Then, they will give insight and experience from attending their HBCU. The audience will have a chance to ask questions about the speakers’ experiences.

6:30 p.m. — Making Black History: Ida Roberta Bell’s Dolls

Laurel Lamb, curator of education and engagement at the University of Arkansas Museum, will lead this virtual presentation. In the late 1960s, Bell, a Chicago school teacher, created a set of 26 dolls to help teach Black history to her students. Each doll was created in the likeness of individuals who made significant contributions to history. As few as 10 institutions across the country have a complete set, the U of A Museum being one of them. 

7 p.m. — A Conversation Worth Having: The Murder of Isadore Banks

Isadore Banks was a prominent and respected leader, a Freemason, and one of the wealthiest African American landowners in the Arkansas Delta. Banks was lynched in 1954, and little to no investigation was carried out by local law enforcement. This virtual program will consist of the first episode of Unfinished: Deep South (a 10-part podcast on the murder); a conversation with Isadore Banks’ son, Jim Banks; and an analysis of the Banks family history by BlackProGen, a group of professional genealogists who research and document African American families.


February 18

12 p.m. — Silas Hunt Documentary & Panel Discussion

The University of Arkansas will host this virtual event about the first African American student admitted to its law school. 

4 p.m. — Negro League Baseball Museum

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will host this virtual presentation by vice president Raymond Doswell who will discuss the mission and history of the museum. Registration is required. 

6 p.m. — Soulful Cooking with Momma T

In partnership with the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry, and a special guest appearance with a local Black-owned, Northwest Arkansas restaurant, this cooking show enables viewers to take a moment and enjoy some homemade cooking recipes with Momma T from the U of A’s Multicultural Center.  

6:30 p.m. — Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans

Historian Nell Irvin Painter offers a history written for a new generation of African Americans, stretching from life in Africa before slavery to today’s hip-hop culture. Registration is required for this free virtual event.

7 p.m. — Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Storytime Showcase

Join director Christina Shutt at 7 p.m. every Thursday on MTCC’s Facebook Live or YouTube channel for a virtual story time that features authors and main characters of color. During the reading, Shutt will reveal a secret code for one free, kid’s scoop of ice cream per family at Loblolly Creamery, located at 1423 Main St. in Little Rock. MTCC collaborated with Loblolly to create the “Maple Leaf Ragtime” flavor in honor of composer Scott Joplin. A portion of proceeds from each purchase of this flavor will benefit MTCC. 


February 19

4 p.m. — The New Era of Blackness

This virtual presentation will provide a historical and sociopolitical  description of Black politics and social change.


February 20

10 a.m. — Living Legends Breakfast 

This annual event highlights the accomplishments of former students, staff, faculty members and other loyal connections to the Arkansas State University community. With a focus centered on Black activism, the virtual awards ceremony will recognize the leadership, advocacy and community support of individuals who have courageously lifted our voice and increased our presence in the face of oppression, discrimination and inequality.

11 a.m. — Get Faded, Get Screen

The Black Action Collective will host this virtual event focused on men’s health screenings.

2 p.m. — Lift Every Voice

The Central Arkansas Library System is presenting a series of virtual poetry workshops to encourage teens and young adults to create and perform poetry. This week’s session will feature Agnolia B. Gay, an educator, actress, author of Thoughts From Within, actress and the SVP/Creative Director of Cultural Immersion Media. Participation is free, but registration is required.