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Annual Kickoff Celebration for Black History Month will be An Evening of Cultural Production Dedicated to Black Women

January 19, 2017

For more information, please contact:

Rafi Khalid Hasan II, Director of Safe and Civil City Program, Community and Family Resources Department, 812-349-3559,

Annual Kickoff Celebration for Black History Month will be An Evening of Cultural Production Dedicated to Black Women

Bloomington, Ind. - The entire Bloomington community is invited to "An Evening of Cultural Production" to kick off Black History Month on Thursday, February 2 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Showers City Hall located at 401 N. Morton Street. The 2017 theme for Black History Month is Black Her-Story Month: Illuminating the Gifts of Black Women.

As part of the City of Bloomington's ongoing commitment to foster equity and inclusion, the Black History Month Planning Committee has developed programming that celebrates the bounty which Black women nationally, and locally, have bestowed upon our communities. As agents for change, Black women have challenged racial and gender inequality and advanced the struggle for human rights. Despite their accomplishments, their impact has not always been recognized.

"Especially during these times when some seem to seek to divide us, events such as this that lift up and celebrate the contributions of African-American women are important and deeply worthy of our support. I urge everyone, especially families, to attend and learn from the outstanding program the committee has prepared," commented Mayor John Hamilton.

The evening will include remarks from IU Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Mellonee V. Burnim, on hidden histories of Black women, as well as an array of performances of spoken word, poetry, song, music and dance.

This event is free and open to the public.

Other City of Bloomington Black History Month events include:

  • Black History Month Essay Contest Awards Reception
    Tuesday, February 21 - 6:00 p.m. at Fairview Elementary School, 500 W. 7th Street
    Join parents, teachers, siblings and friends as the community's young historians and authors are honored.

  • 12th Annual Black History Month Gala
    Saturday, February 25 - 6:30 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, 245 N. College

In addition to an elegant evening of dining and dancing, the event includes a silent auction and the presentations of the 2017 Living Legend Recognition and the Commission on the Status of Black Males' Black Male Leader of Tomorrow Award. The Gala begins at 7:00 p.m. and is preceded by a reception and silent auction at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for this event are $50 and are available at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office, 114 E. Kirkwood, at or by calling 812-323-3020.

For a complete listing of Black History Month activities throughout the community, log on to or contact the City of Bloomington Safe and Civil City Director, Rafi Hasan at 812-349-3559 or by email at