Celebrating Black History in Indianapolis | Places to Visit & Black History Month Activities for Your Family

The month of February marks Black History Month, also known as National African American History Month; a month that highlights the achievements and history of the African Diaspora. Black History month emphasizes the accomplishments and gives voice to the history of Black Americans.

Although education and recognition of African American achievements and history does and should happen throughout the year, the month of February offers a unique celebration with events held around the city of Indianapolis. By honoring the contributions of African Americans we remember the impact and history of African Americans in our community.

Indy with Kids invites you and your family to participate in a wide variety of events around the city to celebrate the contributions and history of African Americans in our city.

Places to Visit for Black History in Indianapolis

Madam Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue

Around the time that Madam C. J. Walker came to Indianapolis, Indiana Avenue was the hub for African-American culture and business in the city. Madam Walker, America’s first female self made millionaire, was a pioneering entrepreneur and fervent social activist. The very spot where Madam Walker built her beauty product empire is now the home of the Madam Walker Legacy Center and Madam Walker Theater. The building has been under extensive renovation in recent years.

Madam Walker Art at The Alexander Hotel

The Alexander is a newish upscale hotel located at 333 South Delaware Street in downtown Indianapolis. The hotel is known for it’s stunning architecture, luxurious rooms, and extensive collections of art pieces. On the second floor living room, you will find a comb & steel portrait of Madam C.J. Walker, made by African-American Artist and Professor, Sonya Clark.

You Are There 1915 – Madam C.J. Walker, Empowering Women | Indiana Historical Society

The You Are There exhibit at the Indiana Historical Society puts your right in Madam C.J. Walker’s Indianapolis factory at the height of her success in 1915. Learn about her methods and products, and the friends and family that supported her and her successful hair care business. Explore her successes and failures as black, woman entrepreneur in the early 1900’s and the impact she had on the Indianapolis community. Exhibit ends April 2, 2022.

Kennedy-King Landmark for Peace Monument & MLK Park

On the day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Senator Robert Kennedy delivered a powerful speech about unity and justice. MLK park now stands on the spot where Senator Kennedy made his historic remarks and the park is home to the Kennedy-King Landmark for Peace Monument. There are many historic markers around the park—the park is part of the National Parks Service, African-American Civil Rights Network—and also a playground for the littles.

Crispus Attucks Museum

The Crispus Attucks Museum is housed with the Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet School at 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Indianapolis. The high school was opened in 1927 as Indianapolis’ first all black high school and named for the Revolutionary War hero, Crispus Attucks. Not will you learn about the impact of the school, the museum also honors two centuries of black culture and heritage in Indianapolis and beyond. Visiting and tours are available by appointment only.

Through 2 Eyes Walking Tour

Through2Eyes is an historical “walk & talk” program offered in various locations around the city, in areas where black history was made and shaped Indianapolis. Storyteller Sampson Levingston leads the walking tours, sharing tales of Indianapolis history often overlooked. His passionate storytelling immediately draws you in, but his knowledge and research of his topics leave you awestruck. Location, date, and topics change, but there are usually 3-4 walks a month. 

Center for Black Literature & Culture | Indianapolis Public Library

The Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) is located in the Central Library at 40 E St Clair Street in Indianapolis. The CBLC is a place of celebration of black culture and heritage, featuring art and information about prominent contributions in black culture, including activism, literature, science, sports, business, and music. The CBLC also host many events throughout the year, including Meet the Artists XXXIII—the annual exhibit of local African American artists through the month of February.

Black History Month Events in Indianapolis

Baba Tony — African Echoes

February 4, 2022, 11:00 am
February 5, 2022, 11:00 am & 2:00 pm
Conner Prairie

Come celebrate and learn the ancient African tradition of “treating your life as a work of art”. Through the art of music, you will learn and enjoy things that will increase your awareness of life elements that you probably already have but have forgotten. Recover the simple pleasure of being good to yourself and others through art and music. This program is included with regular museum admission.

Black History Month Exhibit

February 4, 2022 – March 3, 2022, 2:00 pm

We invite you to explore the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy when we host “Local Speech, Global Reach”, one of the Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) traveling exhibits. The exhibit will be on display from Saturday, February 5 to Thursday, March 3, at the Global Village Welcome Center. A supplemental Black Heritage exhibit from the Global Village Welcome Center will focus on local, unsung heroes, as well as sheroes of Black History including a different performance every Saturday in February at 2 p.m. Please RSVP

Black History Gallery Tour

February 6, 2022 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
February 11, 2022,  11:00 am – 12:00 pm
February 25 – 26, 2022, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Learn more about the artifacts featured in our museum that are connected to Black history in Indiana. Staff will guide your group through the galleries and discuss artifacts including Madam C.J. Walker’s hair products and artifacts from Black settlements. Registration required by 5 p.m. the day before the tour. This program is best for teens and adults ages 15+. Cost is $8/adult, members receive 25% off.

Music at Butler: A Jubilee! Black History Month Arts Celebration

February 18, 2022, 7:30 pm
Butler Arts Center

We ask that you join us in an evening of stories, music, and dance celebrating the mosaic of Blackness. A Jubilee! reflects on history, examines today, and looks forward to the essence of uplifting and joyous traditions in Black art. This program contains Spirituals, Jazz, Opera, R&B, Rock, Poetry and more!
This performance is free and open to the public, no ticket is required.

City of Lawrence Black History Month Celebration

February 24, 2022, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Theatre At The Fort

Join us for the City of Lawrence Black History Month Celebration and experience history through music, dance, storytelling and visual art. Open seating. All are welcome. This is a FREE event.

Black History Month Art Show

February 26, 2022, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Phiri Art

Join Phiri Art as we promote cultural awareness and togetherness and the Black History Month Art Show!

Black History Month Celebration at TCMI

March 3, 2022, 4:00 pm -8:00 pm
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Celebrate Black achievements in history, science, art, music, and sports with special programming on the first Thursday in March (rescheduled from February due to incliment weather). Participate in the Community Artist Showcase featuring local Black artists. Celebrate African-American heritage through stories and music. Contribute to our #BLACKLIVESMATTER mural with a variety of colors, shapes, and patterns. Discover how soybeans can be used to make a variety of products and learn about the work of African American chemist and soybean scientist Dr. Percy Julian. Take a stand for a social justice cause in the Making WAVES program

Special programming ends at 7:30 p.m.

Meet the Artists XXXIII

January 26-April 2, 2022
Indianapolis Public Library – Central Library

The Indianapolis Public Library African American History Committee in support of The Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library invites you to the 2022 Meet the Artists exhibit. This year’s exhibit features the artists “The Eighteen,” a collective of 18 like minded and civically engaged Black visual artists in and around the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area who painted Indy’s #BlackLivesMatter street mural. The exhibit is free and open to the public during Library hours.

In addition, you can visit exhibits at three of our branch locations: East 38th Street, Beech GroveWest Indianapolis

Art & Soul 2022

June 2022
WISH-TV & the Arts Council of Indianapolis

Art & Soul is the The Arts Council of Indianapolis celebration of Black History Month through a series of  daily performances and events. Performances are daily, Tuesday-Saturday. While this event is normally held in the Indianapolis Artsgarden annually in February, this year Art & Soul has been postponed until June 2022 due to Covid-19 concerns. Stay tuned for more details on the Art & Soul website. For a calendar or performances, visit the Arts Council of Indianapolis website.

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