Events & Festivals
Where to Observe Black History Month in the U.S.
So long as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of racial harmony proves bafflingly elusive in the United States of America, Black History Month will endure as a crucial conduit to promote cultural awareness and tolerance. Moreover, the annual February observance can be a lot of fun. With that, discover where to commune with the roots of it this BHM.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C. – Photo credit
Birmingham Civil Rights District, Birmingham, Alabama
If the Yellowhammer State’s premier metropolis is, in many respects, the symbolic epicentre of the American Civil Rights Movement, look no further than the historic cluster of landmarks at the core of a six block area of the city. The Birmingham Civil Rights District contains the 16th Street Baptist Church, site of a racist terror attack that took the lives of four girls on September 15, 1963, the Carver Theatre and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
Where to stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Birmingham/280 East-Eagle Point
Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martin Luther King, Jr. was a native son of Atlanta and is permanently enshrined in the Gate City’s Sweet Auburn Historic District. Itself a foremost enclave of African American history and culture, the district’s Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site contains King’s boyhood home, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, Ebenezer Baptist Church and King’s grave site.
Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee
Martin Luther King, Jr. met his untimely and tragic demise not in Atlanta, of course, but at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The former Lorraine Motel. The site is now a vital complex of museums and historic landmarks in the South Main Arts District of the Tennessee city.
Where to stay: Peabody Hotel Memphis
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, Michigan
Detroit’s contributions to African American culture range from the Underground Railroad to Motown. The superb Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History preserves that collective legacy and, as the foremost curator of African American culture (for now), assumes a special place in the pantheon of national museums.
Where to stay: Inn on Ferry Street Detroit
Harlem, New York City, New York
From Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. to Malcolm X, Langston Hughes to Fats Waller, the history of Harlem tells the story of a vital cornerstone of the African American experience. The Apollo Theater, Harlem’s pillar landmark, is open to the general public throughout BHM.
Where to stay: Aloft Harlem Hotel New York
Tremé, New Orleans, Louisiana
The historic and vibrant Faubourg Tremé quarter of New Orleans was relevant long before The Wire creator David Simon made a post-Katrina HBO drama about it. Home to Congo Square and the New Orleans African American Museum, the neighbourhood is resonant with culture.
Where to stay: The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
America’s capital city is 51% black but what makes D.C. supreme for BHM is a parade of special events and exhibits at the likes of the National Archives, Anacostia Community Museum, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, African American Civil War Memorial and Museum and Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. Moreover, the city will inaugurate the grand National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2015.
Where to stay: Palomar Hotel Washington, D.C.