16 local ways to learn about African-American history

There’s still plenty of Black History Month events to attend this month, including a free festival in its 26th year, musical performances, tours and area art exhibits.

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Black History Month Movie Series
Feb. 23, 2-4:30 p.m.
On Feb. 23, watch Marshall, a movie depicting the life of the first African-American Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall. // Shirlington Branch Library: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington

Family Read-In
Feb. 21, 10 -12:30 p.m.
In the multipurpose room, sit in on readings from books by African-American authors and illustrators every 30 minutes starting at 10 a.m. // Arlington Public Library, Columbia Pike Branch: 816 South Walter Reed Drive, Arlington

Black Music Matters
Feb. 22, 7-8 p.m.
Katea Stitt, program director for WPFW-FM 89.3, will discuss how African-American musicians have been able to use music to start conversations about—and in some cases, change—socio-political issues. // Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills Branch: 735 South 18th St., Arlington

Where They Slept: Spend the Night in Ben Lomond’s Slave Quarter
Feb. 23-24, 7 p.m.-8 a.m.
For $75 per person, spend the night in one of only three still-standing former slave quarters in Prince William County. Historians will discuss the lives of those who lived there and a light breakfast will be provided on Feb. 24. // Ben Lomond Historic Site: 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas

Virginia Black History Month Association Gala
Feb. 24, 5-9 p.m.
Lamman Rucker, an actor, educator and activist who starred in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, will serve as the Virginia Black History Month Association’s keynote speaker. There will be a social hour starting at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. An adult ticket costs $80, teens and college students are $50 and children are $25. // The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center: 5000 Seminary Road, Alexandria

Every Day Full of Work: The African-American Experience
Feb. 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
At this event, take part in some of the same hands-on activities that the slaves living at Ben Lomond were expected to complete. Also embark on a tour of the slave quarters. Admissions costs $5 per person for those older than 6 years old. // Ben Lomond Historic Site: 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas

Evening of Music: Tom Teasley and Charles Williams
Feb. 24, 4-5:30 p.m.
This pair of performers will celebrate works by a number of African-American figures including poet Langston Hughes and composer James Weldon Johnson in an early evening concert. Also check out paintings by Sherry Z. Sanabria in the Before the Spirits are Swept Away exhibit. // Alexandria Black History Museum: 902 Wythe St., Alexandria

Feel the Heritage Festival 
Feb. 24, 1-6 p.m.
In its 26th year, this free event will feature live music, food, spoken-word performances, dancing and more. // Charles Drew Community Center: 3500 23rd St., Arlington

Black History Month Celebration
Feb. 24, 7-10 p.m.
Local African-American artists will have their works on display at this evening of dinner, live performance and spoken word. There will also be a raffle. For members of the Greater Fredericksburg Black Chamber of Commerce, this event costs $30. For non-members, admission is $40. // Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center: 2801 Plank Road, Fredericksburg

Daughter of the Struggle: An Evening with Ayana Gregory
Feb. 27, 6:30-8 p.m.
Honoring her father, civil rights activist Dick Gregory, Ayana Gregory will tell his story via songs and stories. The free evening will start with a 30-minute reception followed by the hour-long presentation from 7-8 p.m. // NoVA Manassas’ Colgan Theater: 10950 Campus Drive, Manassas

The Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
Friday-Sunday through Feb. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Leesylvania State Park helped three escaped slaves achieve freedom. Learn about these individuals and also about the park’s role in the Civil War through this free exhibit. // Leesylvania State Park: 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Dr., Woodbridge

Freedom House Museum Tours
Saturdays, 1-5 p.m.
Through a collaboration between the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Northern Virginia Urban League, the Freedom House, which once housed the country’s leading domestic slave trade firm, will offer $5 tours. // 1315 Duke St., Alexandria

Lucasville School Open Houses
Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
This reconstructed one-room schoolhouse built exclusively for African-American children (1870-1926) is normally only open by appointment or for special events, but this month, the school is open on weekends sporting displays highlighting students’ experiences. // 10516 Godwin Drive, Manassas

Screening of African-Americans War Heroes & Soldiers
Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m.
The national theme for this year’s Black History Month is “African-Americans in Times of War,” and this screening, organized by the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier, falls right in line with what the rest of the nation will be celebrating. // Afro-American Historical Association: 4243 Loudoun Ave., The Plains

The Enslaved People of Mount Vernon Tour
Daily, February-March, 11:30 a.m.
On a 60-minute walking tour, learn about the lives of the more than 300 slaves who tended to the estate’s 8,000 acres. Included with a $4 admission is an opportunity to view clothing, tools, personal items and living quarters. While there, also check out the Lives Bound Together exhibit, which opened in October 2016 and runs through Sept. 30, 2019. // George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon

Ayeye: A Retrospective of Black History Month
Through March 2
Explore works of art from local African and African-American artists in an exhibit focused on acknowledgement and appreciation of black history and culture. // The Candy Factory: 9419 Battle St., Manassas

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