2022 Black History Month Events

Organizations around Arkansas are celebrating Black History Month with a variety of virtual and in-person events. This year’s offerings include art exhibitions, film screenings, lectures and a fashion show. Below is a roundup of some of the events taking place throughout the state in February. If you’d like your event added to the list, please email the details to explore@argotsoul.com.

All Month

Anytime — Dr. William H. Townsend Exhibit (Virtual)

The Center for Arkansas History and Culture at UA Little Rock has launched on online exhibit exploring the life of Dr. William Townsend, a civil rights leaders in Arkansas who was the first African American licensed to practice optometry in the state.

Various times — SAHPS Black History Month Exhibit

A Black History Month Exhibit is on display at the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society’s Gallery of History in El Dorado. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon Friday and by appointment on Saturdays. Email steve@soarkhistory.com for details.


February 1

12 p.m. — Journey Through African American History (Virtual)

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission will present an encore presentation of the Arkansas African American History Makers Virtual experience moderated by hip hop announcer M.C. Lyte. The presentation will be available on the commission’s virtual platforms.

2 p.m. — Celebrating Black History Month 2022

Arkansas Tech University’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Contemporary Student Services will kick off its Black History Month celebration with an event at Hindsman Bell Tower. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Doc Bryan Rotunda.

6 p.m. — Judas and the Messiah Screening w/ Talk Back

Visionairi is hosting a screening of Judas and the Black Messiah on the University of Arkansas campus. It will be followed by a conversation with Akua Njeri, who survived the assassination of her fiancée Fred Hampton, and Mark Clark. Guest panelists include Fred Hampton Jr. and attorney Khaliyq Muhammad.

February 1-13

Time varies — The Mountaintop

TheatreSquared presents a play that reimagines events the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When a mysterious stranger arrive with some surprising news, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy. The Mountaintop won an Olivier Award for Best New Play.


February 2

12 p.m. — Free People of Color in the South (Virtual)

In 1859, Arkansas legislators passed a law called An Act to Remove Free Negroes and Mulattoes from this State. In his discussion, historian Warren Eugene Milteer Jr. will provide historical context for the effort to remove free people of color from Arkansas immediately before the U.S. Civil War. He’ll also explore the connections between the effort to expel free people of color from Arkansas and the broader movement to attack and diminish the status of those citizens across the pre–Civil War South.

6:30 p.m. — Reflecting on a Moment in History: Emmett Till (Virtual)

Join Fayetteville city council member D’Andre Jones and Rev. Wheeler Parker for Reflecting on a Moment in History: A Conversation on Racial Injustice and the Murder of Emmett Till. Rev. Parker, Till’s cousin, will discuss how the murder and publicity around the case affected his family. Register here.

February 3

Anytime — Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom (Virtual)

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, a new musical filled with traditional and original gospel and freedom songs, tells the inspiring true story of Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest person to walk from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama during the Voting Rights March in 1965. After purchasing a ticket, you’ll receive a link to stream the performance.

5 p.m. — Frame of Mind Critical Black Theory Reception

Art Ventures is hosting a First Thursday opening reception for Frame of Mind Critical Black Theory, curated by Eric Andre. The reception will include live music as well as free food, wine and beer.

6 p.m. — Black Families and Mental Health Panel (Virtual)

KLEK and Arkansas State University’s Multicultural Center is hosting a Black Mental Health Summit. The panel will include mental health professionals and community leaders, and will be hosted by KLEK General Manager LaGanzie Kale. The event will be livestreamed on Facebook.


February 3 — April 3

Time Varies — Yesterday Once More

Aaron R. Turner is a photographer and educator currently based in Arkansas. Yesterday Once More features portraits of the artist’s family and the Arkansas and Mississippi River Delta regions. The focus on the landscape in particular reflects Turner’s relationship and understanding of the transformative process to understand place. An artist reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 3. 


February 3 April 30

Time Varies — PAUSE, People, Places and Scenes by Carl E. Moore

This exhibition at The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas showcases the work of Memphis artist Carl E. Moore. Featuring more than 30 pieces from the artist’s most recent body of the work, the exhibit is on view through Apr. 30 and a reception is scheduled for Mar. 3.


February 4 — March 12

Time Varies  — Reflections of the Black Experience 

This art collection curated by Kinya Christian is an exhibit reflective of the African diaspora to the modern-day Black experience in America. The exhibit features artists showcasing a mixture of art, historical research, personal reflection and creative writing discussing the challenging narrative about our collective history. The exhibit is on view through Mar. 12 at INTO+VIEW Art Gallery and Studios in Rogers and an opening reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 4.

February 5

10 a.m. — African American Medicine in Arkansas

The Black History Commission of Arkansas is hosting this symposium from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock. Speakers include Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Cherisse Jones-Branch and Jesse Hargrove. The event is free, but registration is required by Jan. 31.

February 7

7 p.m. — NWA NAACP Founder’s Day Program (Virtual)

As we consider how far we have come, we must ask the question “ Are WE there YET?” Have we arrived at the markers of justice, equity, and equal rights? Or do we still have work to do? The NWA NAACP hopes to process this idea during this event which will include musical guests and keynote speaker Keke Rover, system director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Burrell Behavioral Health. 


February 7-25

Time Varies — Art for the Soul

UCA’s 4th annual Black History Month exhibition shares meaningful expressions of local Black artists as they tell stories of their community. On display at UCA Downtown, the exhibit is open from 12 to 5 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. It will also be on view from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 during the Conway Art Walk.

February 8

6 p.m. — The Black TikTok Event

TikTok has really made its place in the social media world. The purpose of this event is to give Black creatives a space to learn how to build TikToks, make high-engagement content and navigate the TikTok landscape as creators of color. 

6 p.m. — Black Entrepreneurship

This live podcast recording of Undisciplined at Into+View Gallery and Studio in Rogers will feature a group of panelists discussing their experiences building and growing a business in Northwest Arkansas.

6 p.m.  — UAFS Black History Month Keynote Speaker (Virtual)

Georgia Hale, University of Arkansas – Fort Smith provost, will speak about her experiences and how she achieved a successful professional career in this virtual event, which will be presented via Zoom. You can register here


February 9

5:30 p.m. — Black Voices: Writing on the Black Experience

Na’Tosha De’Von will host a writing workshop at the Fayetteville Public Library. This program is intended to center Black voices and create a space for Black writers to explore and practice their craft. The workshop will focus on explore the Black experience in America. Registration is required.

7 p.m. — Letter from Birmingham Jail Reading (Hybrid)

Organized by the Black Action Collective, the program will include a video premiere of Northwest Arkansas community leaders reading the iconic text followed by a panel discussion with community and faith leaders.  Registration is required. Following the screening, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will host a community discussion. The event will be livestreamed on their website.


February 10 

5 p.m. — Jonesboro Black History Museum Tour

KLEK along with Fisher St. Community in Action will host a tour of Jonesboro’s Black History Museum inside of the E. Boone Watson Community Center.

6 p.m. — Sankofa Film Screening

Sankofa is a 1993 Ethiopian-produced drama film directed by Haile Gerima centered on the Atlantic slave trade. The public is invited to watch the film at A-State’s Multicultural Center.

6 p.m. — Networking with a Pro:  Music Edition (Virtual)

The University of Central Arkansas is hosting a virtual conversation with Girl Gang Entertainment’s songwriting, production and artist duo Dazz & Brie. The discussion will be hosted on Zoom (Meeting ID: 897 1299 9850, Password: MUSIC).

6 p.m.  — Naturally Informed Celebration of Hair! (Virtual)

The Springdale Public Library is hosting a virtual presentation featuring Montinique Davis, a hair stylist, cosmetology instructor and Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week’s director of hair. She will share hair care tips for natural, curly, coily and wavy hair.

February 11

10 a.m. — Delta Days 2022: Voices From the Delta

The Delta Cultural Center is celebrating Black History Month with weekly performances by S. Juain Young & Artists United of Little Rock. This living history re-enactment will focus on agriculture, education, diversity, music and influential people from our past. 

4 p.m. — KLEK Open House and Ribbon Cutting

Jonesboro’s first and only Black-owned and operated radio station is inviting the community to a grand reopening and ribbon ceremony at 1411 Franklin St. Guests will get a tour of the newly redesigned studio and enjoy some delicious refreshments.

February 11-13

1 p.m. — The Fabric of Fort Smith Screening

The Malco Fort Smith Cinema on S. Waldron Road will show two matinees of the short documentary, The Fabric of Fort Smith. This film documents the rich history of the City of Fort Smith and the major roles Black people have played in the development of Fort Smith’s Black history. Multiple screening times are available between 1 and 4 p.m. each day.


February 12

1 p.m. — Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement (Virtual)

Master flautist Galen Abdur-Razzaq will lead a virtual presentation featuring jazz artists and the important role their music played in supporting the Civil Rights movement. Guests will also enjoy a flute prelude performed by Galen. You may join via Zoom or watch the live stream in the Friends of Rogers Public Library Community Room. Register here.

2 p.m. — Black American Genealogy (Virtual)

In this Zoom presentation, the Grace Keith Genealogical Department at the Fayetteville Public Library will help navigate the difficulties of researching Black American family histories, highlighting new additions to the collection, our online search engines and a host of possibilities for continued help. Registration is required.

6 p.m. — Doc McKenzie & the Hi-Lites

After a seven-year hiatus, the Delta Cultural Center is excited to announce gospel recording artists Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites are hitting the stage again in Helena. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.  

9 p.m. — Soul Nite: Chantae Cann

Music Moves presents Soul Nite, a monthly concert series featuring live music and the arts with a rocking afterparty. Join us at Meteor Guitar Gallery in Bentonville for an uplifting evening of neo-jazz, soul and world music featuring the ever-inspiring Chantae Cann.

February 14

8 p.m. — Dream Land: Little Rock’s West Ninth Street

Arkansas PBS will air this documentary that explores the history of this Little Rock neighborhood that was once a vibrant, African American business and entertainment district.


February 15

10 a.m. — Bridge Builders: U.S. Civil Rights Then and Now (Virtual)

The Clinton Foundation and Clinton School of Public Service will host a panel discussion with leaders of America’s preeminent Civil Rights museums and sites, including Quantia Fletcher, director of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. The program will be streamed live online and you can RSVP here.

5 p.m. — Religion and Liberation

This live recording of the podcast Undisciplined at St. James Baptist Church in Fayetteville will feature a discussion on the role religion can play in liberation, reparation and building anti-racist coalitions.

6 p.m. — Negunomics

This event will provide a community space for curated dialogue on Black economics and financial literacy. Conversations will be guided by entrepreneurs Airic Hughes and Demetrius Johnson, with a special presentation from Emma Willis of Venture Noire.

7 p.m. — The Dean Speaks (Virtual)

Cherisse Jones-Branch, author and dean of Arkansas State University’s graduate school will host a virtual presentation discussing the Baron of Blackville, Ark., Pickens Black, Sr. The free presentation will be on Zoom and can be accessed  with meeting ID 409 728 3938.


February 16

1 p.m. — ASU Newport Black History Month Virtual Forum

ASU-Newport is hosting a virtual forum celebrating Black History Month. Trisha Mays-Cummins will lead a discussion focused on the history of Jackson County and W.F. Branch High School.


February 17

2 p.m. — Building Racial Equity Training (Virtual)

The Black Action Collective will host this virtual training to build a clear understanding of key concepts such as racial equity and structural racism. The event is free, but registration is required.

6 p.m. — Living Witness to History Program

Presented by the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, this event celebrates historical figures and events in honor of African American History Month. Special guests included Sarah Collins Rudolph, survivor of the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham and actor Lou Gossett, Jr. Free soul will be provided following the program.

6 p.m. — NYIT Black History Month Panel (Virtual)

New York Institute of Technology’s Alumni Relations is hosting a virtual panel discussion with alumni in honor of Black History Month. Email kkwarwosk@nyit.edu for more information.

6:30 p.m.  — Black in Springdale (Virtual)

This virtual event will briefly overview the Black experience in Springdale from a historic and futuristic perspective. Dialogue will be led by Airic Hughes of Visionairi and Rachel Whitaker of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. Registration is required.

6:30 p.m. — Living in Today’s Truth (Virtual)

UAPB’s Office and Student Involvement and Leadership welcomes film producer and New York Times best-selling author DeVon Franklin for a virtual keynote address. The event is open to the public and will be presented via Zoom.


February 18

10 a.m. — Delta Days 2022: Voices From the Delta 

The Delta Cultural Center is celebrating Black History Month with weekly performances by S. Juain Young & Artists United of Little Rock. This living history re-enactment will focus on agriculture, education, diversity, music and influential people from our past. 

5 p.m. — African American Heritage Celebration

Akib’Art Gallery in Fort Smith is celebrating Black History Month with a cocktail party, fashion and an art expo. There will also be a live recording of the podcast Undisciplined.

7 p.m. — The Life of Josephine Baker: Virtual Film Screening and Talk Back

Join Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Phi Alpha Omega Chapter as they view a film documenting how a poor little Black girl born in 1906 in Missouri (with roots in Little Rock) became “Queen of Paris.” This is the fabulous story of the world’s first Black superstar, Josephine Baker!


February 19

11 a.m. — Black History Month Virtual Storytime (Virtual)

The Northwest Arkansas Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will host this virtual event featuring illustrator and animator J’Aaron Merchant. Register here.

11 a.m. — Living History

You have the chance to “meet” Mifflin Gibbs, Lean Jordan, Joseph Carter Corbin and Lottie Shackelford — actors from S. Juain Young & Artists United will perform as these iconic characters at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Guests are invited to stop by and step into history.

1 p.m. — The Collective Expo Community Empowerment Festival

Organized by the Black Action Collective, this event will feature Black-owned businesses showcasing their products and services at the Fayetteville Town Center. The expo will also offer health screenings, family resources, free food and entertainment.

1 p.m. — Arkansas Made Black Crafted X Rock It! Lab

As a part of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center’s ongoing commitment to strengthening the local economy and encouraging Black entrepreneurship, MTCC and Rock It! Lab will launch its first collaborative AR Made: Buy Black event which will celebrate the work of three featured Arkansas entrepreneurs from the Rock It! Lab program.

1 p.m. — Black History Month Town Hall

In recognition of Black History Month, The Reform Alliance is hosting a town hall event at the Southwest Community Center in Little Rock. Edmond Davis, Tim Campbell and Denisha Merriweather will speak at the event, and Rodney Block and his band will perform. Entry is free, but please reserve your spot here.

2 p.m. — Once Forgotten Screening

Once Forgotten is a short, historical documentary about three enslaved men – Anthony, Aaron and Randall – accused of killing a white slave owner. The documentary seeks to bring to light to the story from their point of view while exploring the legacy of racial violence in America. The film will be screened at the Fayetteville Public Library’s event center and registration is required.

2 p.m. — Jazz Concert with Crusade

The Springdale Public Library invites you to spend a mellow afternoon basking in the soulful sounds of the jazz with Northwest Arkansas musical group Crusade.

6 p.m. — Back to Black Launch Party

Her Set Her Sound is celebrating Black culture at TheatreSquared. The event will feature music from DJ Dribblz, DJ Girlfriend, DJ Soulfree and Amato; poets sharing their sounds and stories, and auction items. Black attire is preferred.

February 20 

5:30 p.m. — An Evening with a Freedom Rider: Charles Person

An author and Marine Corps veteran, Charles Person was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders who set out on May 4, 1961 to protest segregation and discrimination against Black Americans in the South.  He will discuss his experience as captured in his memoir at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The event will be held in-person with limited seating and via livestream.

9:30 p.m. — Dream Land: Little Rock’s West Ninth Street

Arkansas PBS will air this documentary that explores the history of this Little Rock neighborhood that was once a vibrant, African American business and entertainment district.


February 21

6:30 p.m. — Black Men Deserve to Grow Old (Virtual)

You’re invited to a virtual town hall discussing the trauma and tribulations experienced by Black men and how to triumph over adversity. Register for this virtual event on EventBrite.

February 22

5 p.m. — Black History Month Real Estate Mixer 

Go Forward Pine Bluff CEO Ryan Watley will serve as the keynote speaker for this event, which will convene housing and real estate professionals to facilitate opportunities to introduce resources and solutions that address affordable housing for Black and workforce households. Partners for Better Housing will host this event in person and on YouTube.

6 p.m. — *the Footnotes Book Club

Visionairi will provide a community space to discuss our favorite Black literature and this event will feature a special guest, historian Calvin White. In Rise to Respectability, White documents the history of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) and examines its cultural and religious impact on African Americans and on the history of the South.

6 p.m. — Black Excellence Showcase

A-State’s Black Student Association is hosting a talent show to give students an outlet to show off their many talents. Come out and support the talented contestants and enjoy the show, which is open to the public.

6 p.m. — UAFS Black History Month Guest Speaker

Fort Smith historian Sherry Toliver will speak about African American history in Fort Smith during her presentation, My Home Town, a Tale of Two Cities. The event will take place in the Campus Center Reynolds Room.

6 p.m. — Live Museum: Remember the Legacy

There are more Black history moguls than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. Visit UCA’s live museum to learn more about others who paved the way for men and women of color.

6 p.m.. — Just As I Am Virtual Book Discussion

The Springdale Public Library will read and discuss Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson, a trailblazing African American actress who shattered racial stereotypes on stage and screen.


February 24

10 a.m. — Delta Days 2022: Voices From the Delta

The Delta Cultural Center is celebrating Black History Month with weekly performances by S. Juain Young & Artists United of Little Rock. This living history re-enactment will focus on agriculture, education, diversity, music and influential people from our past. 

12 p.m. — Brown Bag Lunch Lecture: African American Legislators at the Old State House Museum (Virtual)

After Reconstruction, Arkansas had its largest body of African American legislators. They came from a variety of backgrounds, an array of professions and from different parts of the country. This presentation explores the factors that possibly drew these men to serve in the state’s legislative bodies and, more specifically, to Arkansas itself. It will also look at some of the more significant contributions made during their tenure and what possibly led to their departure.

5:30 p.m. — Leaning Into Legacy: Honoring Arkansas Native Daisy Bates

Learn more about the life and legacy of Daisy L. Gatson Bates during a panel discussion at The Nest in Little Rock. Reservations are required by emailing marketing@thenestlr.com.

6 p.m. — SAU Tech Black History Celebration

Join Southern Arkansas University for its annual Black History Celebration. Jeremy Owoh, Camden native and Jacksonville North Pulaski School District superintendent, is this year’s guest speaker. Tickets are required and can be purchased here.

6 p.m. — Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Distinguished Laureate Lecture (Virtual)

The 11th lecture in the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame’s Distinguished Laureate Series will feature screenwriter and producer John Donley. The Gould native will discuss his journey from the cotton fields to primetime television during this free, Zoom webinar.

February 25

10 a.m. — Delta Days 2022: Voices From the Delta 

The Delta Cultural Center is celebrating Black History Month with weekly performances by S. Juain Young & Artists United of Little Rock. This living history re-enactment will focus on agriculture, education, diversity, music and influential people from our past. 

12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. — The Fabric of Fort Smith Screening

There are two chances to view a short documentary highlighting African Americans who have contributed to and continue to make history in Fort Smith. Local NBC affiliate will air the short film at 12:30 p.m. and Temple Live will host a screening at 7 p.m. Tickets for the Temple Live event are $5.

6:30 p.m. — KLEK Black History Month Poetry Slam & Silent Auction

KLEK in Jonesboro is hosting a poetry slam that’s open to the public. Hear local poets or recite your favorite poem. There will also be a silent auction featuring authentic African attire and other items. Interested participants should sign up by 3 p.m. Feb. 24 to ensure your spot.


February 26

11 a.m. — Elaine Black History Month Celebration

This celebration at Elaine High School will include a Black History trivia contest, healthy lifestyle activities, mental health awareness information, refreshments and prizes.

11 a.m. — 3rd annual Black Owned Business Expo

This annual business expo will be hosted at The Apollo on Emma in Springdale this year and feature food, music and Black-owned businesses to support. The public can attend for free, but masks, social distance and registration is encouraged.

11 a.m. — Fabric of Fort Smith TV Airing

KNWA and Fox24 will host a special airing of “The Fabric of Fort Smith.” The documentary commissioned by the Fort Smith Mayor’s office tells the history of African Americans in the area from the formation of the city to its historic election of the city’s first Black mayor.

2 p.m. — Black History Month Movie Night

Bentonville Film Festival is partnering with Black-Owned NWA to host a movie night at 214 by CACHE in Springdale. They’ll be screening the BFF 2019 award-winning short Flight and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 Cinderella. Register for free on Eventbrite.

6 p.m. — EVOLVE Fashion Show & Talent Showcase

Evolve is a Black American focused fashion and talent showcase highlighting our culture throughout the ages. It is a celebration of art, music and dance. This year’s theme will look at love throughout the decades. The event, which is open to the public, will be hosted at A-State’s Centennial Hall.

7 p.m. — 3rd annual Leading with Excellence Awards Gala

The Black Action Collective’s Leading with Excellence Awards was established to recognize the power of individuals and groups demonstrating exceptional dedication, innovation, commitment and resilience to uplifting and building a better future for African American and underserved communities. Tickets to the black tie event can be purchased here.


February 27 

2 p.m. — Our Town Celebrates: An Inclusive Culinary and Soul Experience

64.6 Downtown will host this event which will feature music by Larry B 70’s Soul & Funk Experience and culinary arts by Chef Jasmine. Tickets to this celebration at The Majestic in Fort Smith are $25 per person.

4 p.m. — Parkview High School Performance (Virtual)

The Clinton Center will premiere a special Black History Month performance by Little Rock’s Parkview High School drama, choir and orchestra students. The production will highlight the voices of the women’s suffrage moment and those who continue to fight to protect and expand human rights around the world. RSPV for the livestream here.


February 28

6:30 p.m. — Black Geographies: Little Rock (Virtual)

Tanisha Joe-Conway, filmmaker and producer of the Dream Land documentary about Little Rock’s lost West Ninth Street community, and Angel Burt, executive director of the Dunbar Historic Neighborhood Association, will join Arkansas historian Airic Hughes for an engaging discussion on the development, displacement and determination of Black communities in Little Rock.