8 Events to Honor and Celebrate Black History Month in Austin
Dive into vibrant events lifting up formative Black changemakers, past and present
You don’t need to look hard to find Black joy, creativity, and impact in Austin — it’s in the very fabric of our city and always has been. This month, explore a myriad of events celebrating Black history, experience, art, culture, and so much more everywhere from art galleries to museums to libraries. Get ready to learn, dance, and gather with community members to celebrate the soul of Austin.
“Black Canvas: Beyond Boundaries”
OFC Creative Gallery
Opens Feb 2
Attend events celebrating Black art all month long at this downtown gallery dedicated to BIPOC artists. Explore your relationship to the physical body, pleasure, and liberation through artist Jeremy A. Teel’s “I, Too, Am Kink,” a photography collection reimagining the portrayal of Black bodies and blending art and activism. Attend the opening exhibit party on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. with drinks, music, and a conversation with the artist; experience Allen Porterie‘s one-man-show using comedy and spoken word exploring the Black queer experience on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.; and gather with QPOC community members at the Beyond Brotha Wine-Down at Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
Solar Saturday: Black History Kick-Off Block Party
George Washington Carver Museum
Feb. 3, 2 – 6 p.m.
The Carver Museum boasts a month packed with joyful Black History Month events for all ages and interests. First, head to the second annual Black History Kick-Off Block Party to start the month on the right foot. Get into interactive crafts, movement in the dance studio, artist wares at the vendor market, and vinyl records spinning.
There’s also an interactive art experience and African dance workshop on Feb. 1; HBCU Day on Feb 17 where 8th to 12th graders can hear directly about education opportunities from institutional representatives; and the family-friendly Kids’ Day on Feb. 18.
“American History: Elevate”
Feb. 3, 5 – 8 p.m.
Step into the art-covered halls of RichesArt Gallery to delight in the diverse works of six artists including Cliff Bunn, Steve Hatchett, Stephanie Ivelisse, Hailey Gearo, Dadrophet, and Heike Blakley. Yes, there will be dancing, drinks, and socializing, but also a focus on social responsibility and positively impacting the community, culminating in a scholarship grant initiative.
HEB Free First Sunday: Black History Month
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Feb. 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The first Sunday of the month is always free at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, and this one’s extra fun and informative. Bring the whole family to get crafty and create a quilt-inspired paper collage, learn about important Black Americans through historical artifacts and dolls, and delve into African culture, languages, and geography with storytelling and songs.
The Rosa Parks Birthday Ride with Black History Bike Ride
Beginning at the Moody Amphitheater
Feb. 4, 11 a.m.
Pay your respects to the myriad contributions of Black women in Austin by taking the streets on wheels. Ride safely with the group to stop and learn about important local landmarks that celebrate Black women’s accomplishments past and present and shine a special light on Rosa Parks‘ birthday.
CapMetro and Mas Cultura’s Black History Month Bus Unveiling
CapMetro, 2910 E. 5th St. in the Rosa Parks Board Room
Feb. 7 at 12 p.m.
Celebrate the unveiling of local artist Sadé Lawson’s bus mural, which features local Black cultural leaders and will soon be displayed on buses near you. RSVP to grab a bite and hear Lawson speak about her work as a visual artist who addresses themes including mental health, identity, and inspiration, and celebrate her partnership with the nonprofit Mas Cultura, CapMetro, and the For Us, By Us 2024 DEI bus program.
Black History tours with Black Austin Tours
Various dates and locations
Join your guide Javier Wallace, a native Austinite, on foot for a tour of the spots around Austin exemplifying Black history since the city’s founding in 1839. Book a two-hour tour with a friend and stroll downtown (Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.) to learn more about the history of slavery in Texas and the path to escape to freedom in Mexico as well as the Black leaders who helped shape this city. Or journey through the East Side (Feb. 3 at 10 a.m.) to uncover the history of redlining in Austin and the creation of the “Negro District” in 1928 in what is now the area east of the I-35, and open a dialogue about how this still impacts the city today.
Black History Month Central Library Celebration
Austin Public Library Central Library
Feb. 24, 10:15 a.m.
Head to Austin’s main library branch downtown for a free daylong celebration. The day begins with “Art Smart: Echoes of Africa,” a storytelling show with shadow puppets and Djembe drumming (ages 3 and up); next, drop into a spoken word writing workshop and write a story around the themes of empowerment and beauty activism (ages 13 and up), building on the photography exhibit “Black Girls Don’t Wear Red Lipstick” by local photographer Leta Harrison; create your own art in a portrait workshop with artist Angelique Ferraro (ages 10 and up); and enjoy a live performance from local singer Alesia Lani.
Plus, check out other Black History Month events including author events, movie screenings, crafting classes, and more going on at branches around town all month long.