FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 1, 2023
Media Contact: Angel Waldron, 301-446-3311
M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County Announces
2023 Black History Month Programming
Riverdale, MD – The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County, is pleased to announce a robust programming schedule in honor of Black History Month 2023. From performances to history lessons, there is an abundance of exciting events and activities planned for the community.
“Each year, the M-NCPPC Black History Program strives to bring an engaging month of African American history and educational and cultural experiences, and 2023 is no exception,” says Dr. Dennis Doster, Black History Program Manager. “This February, the public can expect month-long virtual and in-person programming for people of all ages, including intellectual panel discussions, art exhibitions, book discussions, documentary screenings, interpretative tours, and musical recitals.”
The following are just a few of the programs available. For a full list of Black History Month offerings, and to register, visit blackhistory.pgparks.com.
February 5, 2-5pm: Opening Reception for Black Resistance! Stories from Prince George’s County
The African American experience has been inundated with various forms of oppression rooted in anti-blackness. But this oppression has not been met with acquiescence, but resistance. This year’s exhibition highlights some of these stories of black resistance in Prince George’s County from the era of enslavement to the Black Lives Matter movement of the present.
February 11, 10am: FREEDOM exhibition
The Uhuru Quilters Guild, a group of 80 predominantly African American quilters who meet monthly to share work, challenge skills, and inspire future projects, has a mission to promote the work and accomplishments of African American quilters and preserve the traditions, culture, and history of quilting. This exhibition will include a collection of masterful quilts, varying in size, technique, and imagery, inviting the audience to the power of functional art. Included in the opening reception of this exhibition will be a live performance from artist Liz Ann Miller titled Rituals for Cleansing Racial Violence, a fascinating visual experience celebrating the importance of hair as it relates to African American culture.
February 12, 1-2pm: Black Aviators Tour
This tour highlights just some of history’s Black Aviators, from the legendary Eugene Bullard to local aviator Gus McLeod, and their impacts on aviation. We will also dig deeper into the story of the nearby Columbia Air Center, which was the first licensed airfield owned and operated by black aviators in the country. This tour last about 45 minutes-1 hour and is geared towards those 12 and older. Registration is NOT required.
February 18, 4-5:30pm: Arts and Activism Series
Join us for a conversation with artist and activist Lea Gilmore. Named by "Essence Magazine" as one of "25 Women Shaping the World", Gilmore is founder and director of Umoja Musica, an international effort promoting non-violence, peace, and human rights through music. Gilmore will share her journey from a political science student at Morgan State University, to performing and leading choirs all over the world. She will also share her triumphs over personal tragedy, and her current position as the director of the racial justice ministry at Govans Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.
February 19, 4-5:30pm: Voices from the Past
There are thousands of Black classical music composers throughout history. This concert highlights the music and lives of two of them, Philippa Duke Schuyler and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, with music performed by two CAAPA pianists. Narrated and curated by Nevilla Ottley, Schuyler was an American pianist, composer, author, journalist, and child prodigy. By contrast, Taylor was an English composer and conductor. Taylor was also referred to by white New York musicians as the “African Mahler” in the early 1900s. By the age of four, Schuyler was a noted pianist performing public recitals and radio broadcasts. Both of mixed-race birth, they achieved success in part because of their looks. The concert is produced by the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA).
February 26, 12-2:30pm: The Green Book
The Negro Motorist Green Book has been used as a tool of resistance for African Americans as it provided tips on how to safely travel through the country. While the book is no longer published, the legacy of the book has lived on through the award-winning movie, “Green Book,” and critically acclaimed show “Lovecraft Country.” The movie and show provide the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into the history of the text that saved so many lives. Our panel will pull excerpts from the original document, share personal experiences, and discuss how our history is reflected through entertainment.
About the Department
The Department of Parks and Recreation delivers an award-winning park system through progressive, innovative leadership and a commitment to the community and the environment in Prince George’s County. For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Instagram. The M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.