February is Black History Month – an annual observance that is taking on additional meaning in 2021. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to participate in some meaningful way. The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, along with Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site and the Buffalo Presidential Center, is making that goal effortless for everyone, by launching a series of virtual events pertaining to the role that Western New York had throughout the civil rights movements, including being a final stopping point along the Underground Railroad – next stop, Canada and freedom.
“Participating in the Center’s Black History Month programming is a great way for the community to come together to discuss and recognize that Black history is American history,” said interim director of education for the Heritage Center, Christine Bacon, who looks forward to engaging the public through these meaningful discussions. “We are excited to bring the community virtual events for Black History Month that will address the continual movement for civil rights from the Underground Railroad to present-day college campuses.”
As for the Heritage Center, people are invited to attend a series of virtual discussions, which will be held each Friday at 7pm starting February 12 and ending February 26.
In addition to the Friday event trifecta, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site will be co-hosting a guest speaker on Tuesday, February 23. The virtual event, co-hosted by the Heritage Center and the Buffalo Presidential Center, starts at 6pm.
Black History Month Schedule
Campus Organizing: Discussion Panel
Friday, February 12 at 7pm
Matt McKenzie, Niagara University ’21, leads an inspiring discussion with other student activists.
Redeeming Uncle Tom Screening & Discussion
Friday, February 19 at 7pm
Watch the documentary, Redeeming Uncle Tom: The Josiah Henson Story. Then join Visitor Experience Specialist, and Henson descendant, Saladin Allah for a powerful discussion on legacy and memory.
Prejudential: Black America & the Presidents presented by Margaret Kimberley
Tuesday, February 23 from 6pm – 7:30pm
This Speaker Nite series event will examine issues that were important during Theodore Roosevelt’s lifetime and continue to be relevant today.
Co-hosted by the TR Site and the Buffalo Presidential Center
Pre-registration for the online version of Speaker Nite is required.
James Baldwin’s Talk To Teachers
Friday, February 26 at 7pm
James Ponzo, professor of African American Studies at the University at Buffalo, leads a book discussion featuring James Baldwin’s “Talk to Teachers.” Attendees are not required to read the book beforehand.
The Center’s virtual programming for Black History Month is $5 for non-members, and free for members. Those interested can register online at niagarafallsundergroundrailroad.org.