Black history Month

Celebrate the impact of Black writers and their work!

Now through the end of February, get 40% OFF adult admission when you purchase tickets online.
Use code: BHM40 at checkout.

PLAN YOUR VISIT
Photo of Langston Hughes with quote by that reads: "In all my life I have never been free. I have never been able to do anything with freedom, except in the field of my writing."

February is Black History Month and we have a number of resources available to help you discover, celebrate, and honor the vast contributions of Black writers, both past and present.

  • Watch past program videos with leading contemporary authors like Rebecca Hall, Jacqueline Woodson, Walter Mosely and more.
  • Listen to informative podcasts about influential writers of the past like Maya Angelou, Margaret Walker, James Baldwin, and more.
  • Explore virtual exhibits like Frederick Douglass: Agitator, focused on the later years of Douglass’s life and his unceasing writing and activism during that time.
  • Take your class on a Black History Month guided exploration of the AWM with a focus on Black writers and their work.

Black History Month is here, celebrate with us!

Register for these programs in February with Black writers and artists.

Book cover of Sing, Aretha, Sing!

Sing, Aretha, Sing!
Hanif Abdurraqib & Ashley Evans

WATCH RECORDING OF PROGRAM HERE

The Kindest Lie
Nancy Johnson

WATCH RECORDING OF PROGRAM HERE

Photo of Layla Saad and book cover of Me and White Supremacy: Young Readers' Edition

Me and White Supremacy: Young Readers’ Edition
Layla Saad

WATCH RECORDING OF PROGRAM HERE

Photo of Deborah Nelson Linck and book cover of Pauli Murray: Shouting for the Rights of All People

Pauli Murray: Shouting for the Rights of All People
Deborah Nelson Linck

WATCH RECORDING OF PROGRAM HERE

Explore Online Exhibits

Plus, you can take a virtual guided tour focused on Frederick Douglass with a group or classroom! Learn more and book a tour.

Frederick Douglass: Agitator exhibit logo

Frederick Douglass: Agitator

Author and orator Frederick Douglass was a “self-made man” (the title of one of his most popular speeches). To Douglass, a self-made man was an activist who sought to eradicate the sins of society. He escaped from slavery to become one of the most eloquent voices of abolitionism. The official end of slavery in 1865 marked the second phase of Douglass’ career. His words – passionate, brilliant, and powerful – denounced violent racism in the South while demanding true equality for all Americans.

Classroom resources are available to download as well.

Pauli Murray: Survival With Dignity

Pauli Murray: Survival With Dignity

Pauli Murray (1910-1985) was a poet, a lawyer, a priest, a freight hopper, Eleanor Roosevelt’s friend, arrested for refusing to comply with bus segregation laws, a closeted member of the LBGTQ+ community, a professor, and so much more. Their work has influenced Supreme Court decisions, the Civil Rights movement, and countless individual people. Get to know the life and work of Pauli Murray and see how they used writing to fight for justice for all oppressed communities.

Classroom resources are available to download as well.

American Voices exhibit logo

American Voices

In the online adaptation of our physical exhibit American Voices, you can delve into more than 400 years of American writing. Learn more about barrier-breakers like Phillis Wheatley, who at the age of 20 became the first published African-American author in 1773. Or learn about Modernism-era writers like Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, and more. Explore themes like “Identity” and “Promise” and see how Black writers have helped shaped these throughout American history.

Classroom resources are available to download as well.

Watch today’s leading writers, scholars, and activists read Frederick Douglass’s iconic 1845 memoir Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave in its entirety.

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Photo of June Jordan and a quote by her that reads, "Like a lot of Black women, I have always had to invent the power my freedom requires."

WATCH

Over on our YouTube channel we’ve put together a Black History Month playlist for your viewing pleasure. Revisit many of our past programs with leading Black writers writers like:

YOUTUBE PLAYLIST

Square graphic with a portion of Gwendolyn Brooks' poem "Primer for Blacks" that reads: "Blackness—the Black of it, the rust-red of it, the milk and cream of it, the tan and yellow-tan of it, the deep-brown middle-brown high-brown of it, the 'olive' and ochre of it—Blackness marches on."

LISTEN

Check out the AWM Podcast Network if you are interested in learning about writers of the past or hearing from leading writers of the present.

AWM PODCAST NETWORK

READ

Hit the American Writers Museum blog for even more Black History Month content.

AWM BLOG HOME

Photo of Tupac Shakur with quote by him that reads, "I see no changes, all I see is racist faces. Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races. We under, I wonder what it takes to make this. One better place, let's erase the wasted."
Photo of Audre Lorde with quote by her that reads, "I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified...We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't"