Get Engaged for Black History Month

“This is a call to everyone… to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.”

– ASALH, on 2023’s Black History Month theme: Resistance

In honor of Black History Month, we’ve gathered a list of events from around King County with a focus on housing, architecture, art, and history. We truly hope you’ll join us in engaging with some of the Black-led organizations hosting or sponsoring many these events—not just during February, but throughout the year.

Have an event that’s not listed here? Please contact us!

Please note that not all of these events are free, and many require advanced registration. Check the individual event pages for more information.

Throughout February

On view at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) from February 4 through April 30, 2023, From the Ground Up: Black Architects and Designers explores the past, present, and future of architectural talent, while learning about Black pioneers in the field.

Originally created by the Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago, with a local addition by curatorial consultant Hasaan Kirkland and co-developed with the Black Heritage Society of Washington State, this exhibit celebrates the enduring innovation and impact of Black architects across the United States.

Rainier Avenue Radio is converting the historic Columbia City Theater into a museum for the entire month of February. The Museum will celebrate the achievements and the achievers of the PNW while recognizing the Black excellence that shines today through exhibits and installations.

Early February

Traditional real estate capital sources have historically been less accessible to BIPOC real estate developers and others aiming to improve BIPOC communities via the built environment.  With this lack of access to capital, BIPOC developers have had less opportunity to grow, both in personnel and experience, leading to further inaccessibility to capital and larger, more profitable projects.  In recent years, however, efforts have been made to break these historical patterns of inequity. 

This event will cover some of the best practices and new options for capital-raising for BIPOC community advancement, and discuss what it might take to bring traditional capital market players to give greater attention to historically underserved communities.  

Black architects bring their sense for community connectedness to current and future design within the Puget Sound region. When the community speaks, they want architects to listen and create built environments that serve livability while maintaining neighborhood character. Join us for a discussion with architects, cultural placemakers, and artists as they envision intentional and equitable development that is shaping our evolving communities.

Wa Na Wari’s gathering is intended to offer a space where black homeowners can commune with one another and engage in peer-to-peer discussions on the state of homeownership in Seattle’s King County. Join for an evening of food with neighbors and a facilitated discussion centered around rising property taxes.

NAAM will hold an in-person riveting conversation with Dr. Damion Thomas, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Curator of Sports. Be inspired, informed, and ignited for action.

Landmark names reflect the values, dreams and remembrances of a city’s residents. Yet when walking around Seattle, most viewers don’t know the people behind the names of local iconic sites. Join historian Mary Henry for a discussion of her new book, Tributes: Black People Whose Names Grace Seattle Sites, and learn about the lives of the many Black figures whose names are found on street signs, parks, concert halls and more.

Late February

Black style has always been able to dream powerful new forms of art into existence when language isn’t enough to express how you feel and the beauty industry can’t keep up with how good you look. Naturally, that style has become a global pop culture obsession.

The Chosen Few and MoPOP present the 10th annual Through the Eyes of Art, a Black History Month celebration. Gather with artists, community leaders, and tastemakers from across Washington State as we honor and revel in the Black experience through hair, clothing, music, and dance.

The past and the present are connected. Take a deep dive into the history of East King County through a racial equity, transportation, and affordable housing lens.

Speakers Chris Randels (Complete Streets Bellevue) and Guillermo Rivera (Eastside for All) will explore the ways that past practices, policies, and laws have contributed to the housing struggles and inequities communities face today in Eastside cities.

Participants will learn about actions they can take to advocate for equitable solutions in land use, transportation, and affordable housing policy.

One Vibe Africa presents Kijiji Night, an incredible evening celebrating Black History Month and African Culture. The evening will feature special musical performances headlined by local musicians, a dynamic panel discussion with community leaders on the history of Black collaboration, storytelling, and spectacular food. One Vibe Africa is also planning for two short film screenings to be available for the public to view.

The BIMA Soiree is a time to come socialize and celebrate Black culture. A night filled with music, art, and a special pop-up from “Black Love Market.” Shop from Black-owned businesses, enjoy some live music and performances, indulge in a night of art, grab a drink from the bistro, and soak in and appreciate the wonderful things the Black community has to offer.

This year’s State of Africatown will feature presentations on the dynamic work happening in our community and the path forward in 2023 and beyond.

Attendees will experience the Induction of Elders of Distinction, a showcase of our youth and hear the annual State of Africatown address followed by an address from Seattle’s Mayor, the Honorable Bruce Harrell.

In the historically white–dominated field of architecture, Black architects have created some of Seattle’s most important landmarks and continue to change the industry. Their work is grounded in guiding principles of community-centered design and empowering underserved communities. Join three generations of Black architects in the Pacific Northwest for a discussion on their work, inspirations, challenges, and hopes for the next generation.

Young Black Homeowners has partnered with African American Leadership Forum to bring you this years Black Equity Party. Homeownership strengthens families and communities. On february 28,2023 we want to celebrate all of our existing and aspiring black homeowners. This night will start with a dinner catered by Island Soul Carribean Restaurant followed by a cocktail social hour hosted by DJ Bankhead. Come out and enjoy the curated safe space specifically for the community to celebrate you and your efforts of achieving or striving towards homeownership.