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Black History Month

Gallery Activities | Black History Month

Saturday, February 25

Did you know the origins of Black History Month can be traced to Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood? In 1915, historian and author, Carter G. Woodson visited Chicago for the National Half Century Exposition and Lincoln Jubilee—a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. During the event, Carter joined in discussions with prominent scholars and advocates at the only African American‒serving YMCA in Chicago on Wabash Avenue to develop the framework for an annual event to honor the achievements of key historical figures. Today, we call this commemoration Black History Month!

Join us at the Chicago History Museum to explore the Chicago origins of Black History Month! Connect with Bronzeville community advocacy organizations, get an up-close look at Bronzeville materials from CHM’s collections, and participate in a meet and greet with a reenactor of journalist and activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett!

Included with general admission.

To learn more about Chicago’s early Black populations visit:


Drop-in Activities – 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

View Bronzeville-related items from our collections, 2nd floor, Chicago: Crossroads of America, behind the L car

Stop by the Bronzeville Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission table, 2nd floor, Jo Baskin Minow Balcony Lobby 

Try your hand at our BHM community puzzle activity, 2nd floor, Jo Baskin Minow Balcony Lobby 

Take part in our printmaking activity “Printing with Purpose: Dr. Margaret Burroughs,” 1st floor, Holleb Learning Center 


Scheduled Activities

12:30–1 p.m. – Story Time with Bernard Turner

1st floor, Crown Family Welcome Center 

10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. – Cynthia Maddox as Ida B. Wells-Barnett

2nd floor, meet in Jo Baskin Minow Balcony Lobby


While masks are appreciated and recommended, they are no longer required. Learn more about our COVID-19 safety policies and procedures.

National Half Century Anniversary Exposition and The Lincoln Jubilee at the Coliseum. CHM ICHi-063811; John H. Ballard, photographer
Group portrait of the Lincoln Jubilee Choir, Chorus of 650 Voices, outside the Coliseum during the National Half Century Anniversary Exposition and The Lincoln Jubilee: 50th Anniversary Celebration. CHM, ICHi-174451; John H. Ballard, photographer
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Wabash Avenue Building with addition in the Douglas community area of Chicago, c. 1940. CHM, ICHi-174453

The Details



25 th

10:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

Event Location

Chicago History Museum

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Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories