10 Places You Have to Visit During Black History Month - Wooder Ice
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10 Places You Have to Visit During Black History Month

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10 Places You Have to Visit During Black History Month

African American Museum

701 Arch St. | 215.574.0380 | Thurs.-Sat. 10 am – 5 pm, Sun. 12-5 pm


What better place to kick-off your Black Histoy Month celebrations than at the African American Museum.  This month the AAM will be featuring “As we see it: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of American Art.” The exhibit runs until March 21st and is kid friendly.  In addition AAM will also be showcasing its permanent exhibit “Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876.”  Visitors will also be treated to other interactive displays and presentations on projection screens.  All-in-all a perfect place to celebrate Black History Month.


Freedom Theatre

1346 North Broad St. | 267.687.1764


This Philadelphia landmark is actually Pennsylvania’s oldest African-American theatre. Built in 1853 by actor Edwin Forrest this monument went through a variety of changes before becoming the renowned African American art institution it is today.  Some of the most famed musicians and actors have traveled through these hollowed walls including Denzel Washington, James Baldwin, and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men.  Aside from classes the Freedom Theatre also presents live shows.  This month catch “Kind of Blue” an allegory about love told in verse inspired by the music of Miles Davis’ ground breaking tour de force Kind of Blue.  Show dates are Feb. 6-7 &  Feb. 13-14.

Art Sanctuary

628 South 16th St. | 215.232-4485

Mon. Tues. Wed. 10 am-4 pm, Thurs. 10 am -7 pm, Sat. 12-4 pm


One of the city’s most premier art institutions that promotes local black art, Art Sanctuary runs exhibits regularly.  Displaying everything from traditional art to sculptures and everything in-between if you’re looking for the heart beat of Philly black art this is the place to be.  This month Art Sanctuary is showcasing Philly based artist Ivben Taqiy and his gallery entitled “Green Winter.” See one of a kind art from one of Philly’s most talented artists.  The exhibit runs now until Feb. 21st.


Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy | 215-763-8100

Tues. Thurs. Sat. Sun. 10 am – 5 pm, Wed. Fri. 10 am – 8:45 pm


Now until April the the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be running “Represent: 200 Years of African American Art.” For all you historians and art lovers this is a can’t miss exhibit. ‘Represent explores the evolving ways in which African American artists have expressed personal, political, and racial identity. It begins with rare examples of fine and decorative arts made in the 1800s by free and enslaved individuals.’  Everything from abstract art to sculptures can be seen in this awesome exhibit.  This one should be on everybody’s list.



1400 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. | 215.462.2000

Mon. 7-11 pm, Tues.-Thurs. 5 – 10 pm, Fri. 5-11 pm, Sat. 4-11 pm, Sun. 10:30 am-9 pm


What better way to celebrate Black History Month than with soul food and soul music?  Warmdaddy’s is the best in the city when it comes to mixing traditional soul food with soul music including jazz, funk, R&B, and neo-soul.  Some of the best in the business grace the stage here. Enjoy dishes such as chicken & waffles, catfish, and Cajun pasta while taking in smooth and sultry sounds of talented musicians from all over the country.  This month Wamdaddy’s will host Philly’s own Mozaic Flow, Carol Riddick, Amazing Grace Little, Leah Smith, & Tanqueray Hayward.  Check Warmdaddy’s site for exact show times and dates.


The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in Making a New Nation

6th & Market St. | Open 24 Hours


Photo Cred: Phila. Visitor’s Center

Stepping away from the traditional museum experience, this monument honors the dark side of history that historians buried over the centuries.  Both president Washington and Adams occupied facilities at this location and housed their slaves while they stayed here.  In 2010 this site officially became a U.S landmark and houses markers and archeological fragments from when the site was excavated.  It’s a powerful reminder of the deep African American roots in American history.


Independence Seaport Museum

211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard | 215.413.8655 | Mon. -Sun. 10 am – 5 pm


What is probably one of the least talked about museums in Philly is definitely making one of the biggest impacts in Black History Month.  The Independence Seaport Museum, is running a unique exhibit that features recently uncovered artifacts from the Museum’s collection, gripping first-person accounts and interactive elements, providing visitors with opportunities for discovery and communication. Using four key moments in Philadelphia’s history representing the themes of Enslavement, Emancipation, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights, Tides of Freedom urges visitors both to bear witness to a story central to Philadelphia and American history, and to think about the meaning of “freedom” both historically and in today’s world. Visitors will have the opportunity to engage in an ongoing discussion via social media at several points in the exhibition.


The Johnson House

6306 Germantown Ave. | 215.438.1768

Mon. Tues. Wed. (appt. only), Thurs. Fri. 10 am – 4 pm, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm 3:15 pm


Photo Cred: Pew Center For Arts & Heritage

Built in 1768 The Johnson House is the oldest existing year-round homes in Germantown.  It’s living proof that the Underground Railroad passed right through Philadelphia. Samuel and Jennet Johnson promoted their anti-slavery beliefs by offering their home as a station on the Underground Railroad. They provided sanctuary, food, clothing, and transportation to untold numbers of African freedom seekers. Tradition holds that prominent abolitionists William Still and Harriet Tubman visited the Johnson House.  Now you can see first hand just how significant this home was in Black History.


Mother Bethel A.M.E Church

419 South 6th St. | 215.925.0616 

Museum Hours Tues.-Sat. 10 am – 3 pm, After Service on Sundays, Mon. Apt. Only


Photo Cred: usslave.blogspot.com

Step into history while visiting one of America’s first Black churches which was founded in 1794 by Richard Allen and dedicated by Bishop Francis Asbury that same year. ‘By 1795, Bethel’s congregation numbered 121 and ten years later it was up to 457. In 1799, Allen was ordained to the office of deacon, making him the first ordained Black person in the MEC. Also in 1795, the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society appealed for Richard Allen’s support to assist thirty runaway Jamaican slaves. He provided the church as a place of refuge and aided in the training and integration of the runaways into the black community. The first church continued to provide shelter for runaway slaves.’


National Constitution Center

525 Arch St. | 215.409.6600

Mon.-Fri. 9:30 am – 5 pm, Sat. 9:30-6 pm, Sun. 12-5 pm


Normally we try to avoid sending visitors to tourist traps but this one had to be included.  This month the National Constitution Center is celebrating Black History Month in a variety of ways.  You’ll get the historical lessons without the traditional museum feel with NCC’s interactive displays and awesome visual effects.  Experience ‘Breaking Barriers Show,’ which examines the lives of Thurgood Marshall, Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson, and other groundbreaking African Americans throughout American history or ‘Decoding the Document’ which takes a closer look at the museum’s rare printing of the Emancipation Proclamation to learn more about its history, the history of the Civil War, and the background of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.  In addition NCC will offer free admission on February 16th complete with activities for kids.

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