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Black History Month 2023

February 1, 2023 -- Black History Month begins today, February 1, celebrating Black history, culture, and achievements across all sectors. Established in 1926, Black History Month is an opportunity to honor Black Americans, amplify Black experiences, and engage with the complex and lingering consequences that are the legacy of racism. Local and national organizations have planned a number of events for all ages in celebration of Black History Month.

For suggestions of local events to be added to the following list, please email us at with the subject line, "Black History Month."

Highland Park Public Library

To celebrate Black History Month, find books and films available to check out on display at the Library. In the lobby, books and films about black resistance will be on display during the month of February. 

In the Youth Department, picture books, novels, nonfiction titles, and graphic novels will be on display in February. Titles are geared towards young children through those in middle school. 

Cookin’ With Books
Thursday, February 16 | 7-8 PM | Zoom

The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas, by Adrian Miller

Author Adrian Miller, a James Beard award winner, will join us to celebrate Black History Month and President's Day. His fascinating book shines a light on the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington, and includes recipes. Check out the book, try out a recipe, and join the library and Adrian Miller on Zoom.   

Register at

Invisible Warriors
March 5 & 15 | Zoom

This film shares the experiences of a group of women who represent the 600,000 Black women who fled their lives as domestics and sharecroppers to work in factories and U.S. government offices during World War II. These women share their wartime memories, recounting their battles against racism at home, Nazism abroad, and sexism everywhere.  

Documentary historian and producer of Invisible Warriors, Gregory S. Cooke, joins us to introduce his film on Sunday, March 5 at 2:00 PM, and for a conversation and Q&A session on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:00 PM. Join the library on Zoom for these events. 

Stream the film on YouTube from March 5 – 15. Register at for the March 5 or March 15 event to receive a link for the film. 

Presented with multiple Illinois libraries and the College of DuPage

The Art Center Highland Park

Everybody Knew Their Place
Sunday, February 19 | 2-4 PM

Sam Lewis, a puppeteer known for exploring racial issues and negative iconographywill perform a collection of stories in a full-length performance piece, Everybody Knew Their Place. Pre-registration is required.

Note to parents: This genre of puppet show offers valuable lessons for all ages but the subject matter is not necessarily geared toward young audiences.

Raised Up Westside
Sunday, February 26 | 2-4 PM | Wayfarer Theaters at Renaissance Place

Documentary filmmaker and Highland Park Native, Brett A. Schwartz, will screen his award-winning documentary that “peels back the layers, exposing the deep-seated segregation, food insecurity, and mass incarceration that continue to shape predominantly Black neighborhoods”. 

$10 admission and pre-registration are both required.

Lake County Forest Preserves

40th Annual Profiles in Excellence: Women in Sports
Sunday, February 5 | 3:00 – 4:30 PM | Greenbelt Cultural Center

Join the Lake County Forest Preserves for this free event with inspiring presentations, performances, and a keynote with China Jude, the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Denver Broncos highlighting Women in Sports.

Our Voice is Black History Virtual Exhibit
The exhibition offers a unique look at a representation of the African American voice of Lake County through graphic design, poetry, writing, art, and video interviews.

Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad
Through March 19 | Bess Bower Dunn Museum

Mystery and curiosity surround the Dunn Museum’s new exhibition, Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad. Through photographs, narratives and memorabilia, the exhibit documents the sites, cities and places that freedom-seekers passed on their journey.

Symbols of the Underground Railroad’s likely presence in Lake County are included at the end of the exhibit. Among them are excerpts from a diary with references to runaway slaves being helped by area residents.

College of Lake County

African-American Trivia Bowl
Thursday, February 23 | 12-1 PM | Southlake Campus Atrium

Learn more about Black History Month and test your knowledge to compete for prizes.

Salute to Gospel Music Program
Sunday, February 25 | 7:00 PM | Jesus Name Apostolic Church

Join CLC and the Jesus Name Apostolic Church for the 38th annual Salute to Gospel Music Program, featuring performances from GRAMMY® Award nominee Jekalyn Carr as well as the uplifting voices of CLC's Gospel Choir. Tickets are on sale.

National Museum of African-American Heritage and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution

Activities for all ages are available from the National Museum of African-American Heritage and CultureOnline exhibitions are also available.