Black History Month Offers Opportunities to Celebrate
Black History in February

Following a proclamation by the Mayor and Council at their Monday, Jan. 23 meeting, Rockville will celebrate Black History Month with special presentations throughout February.

“Black History Month is a time for all Americans to remember the stories and teachings of those who helped build our nation, took a stance against prejudice to build lives of dignity and opportunity, advanced the cause of civil rights, and strengthened families and communities,” the proclamation states.

For events with course numbers, sign up at www.rockenroll.rockvillemd.gov and enter the course number to register.

Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice in a time of war to become one of the most respected fighter groups serving in World War II. They included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, and the personnel who made it possible for the planes to fly and the crew to succeed.

  • Rockville Senior Center: 10:15-11:15 a.m., Monday, Feb. 13, course #57698
  • Lincoln Park Community Center: 1-2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 13, course #57926

Free for residents; $11, nonresidents.

Musical Memories
African-American music covers a diverse range of music over many decades, encompassing ragtime, blues, boogie woogie, soul, rhythm and blues, spirituals and jazz. Musicians celebrated include Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, BB King, Ella Fitzgerald and many more.

  • Rockville Senior Center: 1-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15, course #57699

Free to residents and members; $11 for nonmembers.

Councilwoman Virginia Onley
Rockville’s first African-American councilwoman shares her journey, from growing up in a small town to becoming a member of Rockville city government.

  • Rockville Senior Center: 10:30-11:30 a.m., Feb. 24, course #57700

Free to residents and members; $11 for nonmembers.

African-American Women
This presentation by Joan Adams, a history professor from Prince George’s Community College, focuses on Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. Tubman ran an underground railroad; years later, Parks refused to go to the back of the bus. Both women were brave in the face of extreme danger. Threats to their lives were an everyday occurrence. Celebrate these exceptional ladies.

  • Rockville Senior Center: 10:15-11:15 a.m., Monday, Feb. 27, course #57701
  • Lincoln Park Community Center: 1-2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27, course #58034

Free for residents; $11, nonresidents.

First Black History Movie Night
A video of Wintley Phipps singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing (Negro National Anthem)” will precede a showing of a feature-length movie at the Twinbrook Recreation and Community Center gym. This free event for families, residents and employees will include free popcorn, water and hot chocolate, with pizza available for purchase.

The movie night begins promptly at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 in Twinbrook’s gym.  Residents can sign up for the event through Eventbrite. For special accommodations, contact Diane Charles at 240-314-8917. This is a free event.

African-American Heritage online
Residents and visitors can tour sites related to Rockville’s black heritage online or using their smartphones while on a walk around the city by visiting www.rockvillemd.gov/AfricanAmericanHistoryTour. The African-American Heritage walking tour covers 2 miles and includes 18 locations in the city. It was established in 2012 by the Department of Community Planning and Development Services.

This article has been updated.