Black History Month, 2021: celebrating virtually

We’re in a pandemic and it’s keeping us from public celebrations of Black History Month.   No parades for us, no expos, fairs, fund raising dinners or concerts.  What to do?  Go virtual, of course!  Here’s a list of virtual events that can help you to remember Black history, to learn about it, or to just enjoy the stories:

The NBA is celebrating by offering a playlist of videos highlighting “barrier breakers” in sports, starting with an interview with Bill Russell (also considered the Greatest Champion) for his ground breaking work as the NBA’s first  black coach.  He followed Red Auerbach, when the great coach of the Boston Celtics retired, and then went on to coach several other teams.  It also features  Auerbach, Oscar Robertson,  Walt Chamberlain and Andrew Young and many, many more.


And if you’d like to read more about barrier breaking sports figures, check out this video review of favorite books, covering celebrities like Bill Russell and Cicely Tyson.


On February 16 and 17, PBS will air “This is Our Story,This is our Song,” the  history of the Black Church in America.  It will be a lively presentation of music, spirituality, and the voices of the Black Church, which for 400 years, provided the seedbed for social, political and cultural movements.  Writer, producer and host Henry Louis Gates  guides viewers to the place where “our people” made a way out from nowhere.


February 5, PBS in SoCal
will feature Marian Anderson
as the “Voice of Freedom.”
Her soprano was considered a voice that comes only once in 100 years but it was her life in the turbulent times that turned her into a hero.…/extended-trailer-voice-freedom-american-experience


On Feb. 5 and Feb. 8, American Experience will revisit the Tulsa Massacre where the thriving Black community of Greenwood was burned and destroyed in 1921.   It is an eye-opening introduction to a period of violence and the resilience that emerged as American Experience visits  “Goin’ Back to T Town.”


At Cal State San Bernardino, celebration of Black History Month has gone virtual, starting with “Black History Month 2021: The Legacy, Our Existence, My Identity Opening Ceremony.” 

A dozen virtual events are planned, including a viewing of “I Am Not Your Negro,” based on James Baldwin’s “Remember This House,” and narrated by Samuel Jackson  Other events will feature art, discussions about ending racism and the black student experience on campus.  Here’s a full list and links for registering for events (you can register as ‘guest’):


And at the University of California Riverside, a virtual family event is planned for Feb, 7, 11am, offering a chance to learn about the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and to create a portrait of a Black hero.

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