By: Emely Ricci, CLCC Sandy Breslin Conservation Fellow
Every February we celebrate Black History Month, a time to reflect and uplift the stories of past and present African-Americans making new strides in our shared story. We honor the accomplishments and contributions our fellow African-Americans have made in advocacy, policy, the arts, culture, social movements, the environment, and beyond. While we are currently focusing on Black History, the opportunity to learn about it should go beyond these 28 days in learning, supporting, and speaking out against the injustice around us.
Throughout this month, events, lectures, and activities are being organized across Connecticut to commemorate and showcase the rich history and contributions of the African-American community. The Hartford Courant compiled a list of events where you can learn more about Black history. Some of the featured events are:
- Through February 12th, the West Hartford Art Lounge is showcasing its “Celebrating Diversity” art exhibit in honor of Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month. Featured in this amazing gallery are artists Michael Borders, Stanwyck Cromwell, Linda Martin, Joe Sam, and EdJohnetta Miller.
- February 9th, the Webb Deane Stevens Museum will be hosting a zoom program “Serving Up History: Prince Mortimer Revisited,” with Historian John Mills to discuss the life of a Guinea man who was kidnaped in 1730 at the age of 6 until his death at 110 years old while serving a life prison sentence in Wethersfield prison.
- February 9, 16, 23, Genealogist Sandra Taitt-Eaddy will lead a three-part Zoom series on African American and Caribbean genealogy, presented by Windsor Historical Society. Registration and fees are required to attend.
- February 9th, the Urban League of Greater Hartford will be hosting its annual Black History Month Celebration, which will showcase African American, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Latino cultures in the Capital Region, on Feb. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Ave in Hartford.
- February 15th, the Enfield United Church of Christ will be hosting a Black History Month concert “Celebrating Music of the African-American Tradition.” Spirituals, gospel, jazz, blues, and R&B, will be showcased at the concert from 7 to 9 p.m. Free admissions.
- February 16th, The Hartford Yard Goats, in collaboration with The Sto Black Marketplace, will host a Black Business Expo from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Black entrepreneurs are encouraged to go, show their wares, and network. Free admission. Register here.
- February 25th, The Mattatuck Museum will be hosting a “Family Fun Dayz: Black History Month Celebration,” from 1 PM to 5 PM in Waterbury. A scavenger hunt featuring art pieces from Black artists, collages inspired by Alma Thomas, and a meet-and-greet with The Masters of the Bee, an all-Black Ultimate Frisbee Team. Free with museum admission.
More events are organized throughout the month. Check out your local newspaper or community centers and share them with friends and family. Take a friend with you to one of these many events happening right now and see where you might expand your knowledge and learn.
Part of CLCC’s work is to connect and uplift our conservation network while making meaningful partnerships with the communities they serve – it’s at the core of everything we do. Conservation, now more than ever, is becoming an important part of discussion and work for many, especially those who’ve been historically overlooked and underserved.
In order to address systemic issues of racism, prejudices, and injustices faced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities, the Connecticut Land Conservation Council embraces and espouses a commitment to take action and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice.