Black History Month
Posted on 02/13/2023
Black History Month

Black History Month

This year’s Black History Month theme is “Black Resistance,” as selected by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. This theme was chosen to highlight the “institutions and affiliations [that] have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested and achieved success.”

Black History Month Proclamation

Photo: Black History Month proclamation

Mayor Armondo Pavone presents the Black History Month proclamation to Renton Technical College President Dr. Yoshiko Harden (right) and Franchesca ‘Fancy’ Vargas of Elevate PR Management (left).

Black History Month Events

Below is a list of Black History Month events, exhibits, and activities scheduled in and around Renton. If we've missed your event, please send the information to [email protected]. 

Unity & Perseverance

The Renton-King County Alliance for Justice, Elevate PR Management & Sync Seattle are sponsoring a Black History Month celebration at The Hyatt Regency-Lake Washington at Renton’s Southport on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Renton-King County Alliance for Justice presents “Unity & Perseverance,” an open forum discussion centered around the Black culture & community, at 12:30 p.m.

Melanin Magic Disco

Elevate PR Management & Sync Seattle present Melanin Magic Disco from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. at The Hyatt. General admission tickets are $50, which includes two (2) drink tickets, light appetizers, and portrait photography. In addition, there are a limited number of VIP tickets for $100. Those include a private photo shoot, a bottle of champagne, and recognition during the program.

The evening will also include the Community Leadership Awards. Two recipients will receive $1,000 each to support their work in the community.

Funding for the events comes partly from the City of Renton’s Lodging Tax Fund.

Virtual Tour of Renton’s African American Historical Sites

Lifelong Renton residents John Huston and Benita R. Horn use interactive dialogue to take you on a virtual tour of the remarkable history of Renton’s African American residents and their contributions to the community. Discover the center of their community, the effects of development, local dignitaries and more.

Videotaped at Renton History Museum on Feb. 7, 2020, as part of the city’s celebration of Black History Month.

Celebrating Black Excellence

"Celebrating Black Excellence" is a virtual celebration in partnership with the Renton African American Pastoral Group (RAAP), SKY Urban Empowerment and Transformation Center and Renton PD. Videotaped in February 2021.

“Living the Dream”

The city celebrates Black History Month in February 2019.

Realizing the Dream: Justice for All


Black History Month Celebrations

A compilation of the highlights of celebrations of Black History Month in Renton over the years.


Museum of History and Industry Exhibits 

Feb. 4 to April 30 - From the Ground Up: Black Architects and Designers. Explore past, present, and future architectural talent while learning about Black pioneers in the field.

Feb. 11 - Building with Purpose: Black Architects and Community Agency. Black architects bring their sense of community connectedness to current and future design within the Puget Sound region. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Feb. 15 - History Café: Paying Tribute to Seattle’s Black Landmarks and their Namesakes. Join historian Mary Henry to discuss her new book, Tributes: Black People Whose Names Grace Seattle Sites, and learn about the lives of the many Black figures whose names are found on street signs, parks, concert halls, and more. 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Feb. 28 - Designing with Intention: Three Generations of Black Architects. In the historically white–dominated field of architecture, Black architects have created some of Seattle’s most important landmarks and continue to change the industry. Join three generations of Black architects in the Pacific Northwest for a discussion on their work, inspirations, challenges, and hopes for the next generation. 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Northwest African American Museum Events 

Feb. 12 - February Interactive Storytime: “Jake Makes a World,” by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitt. Explore the creative adventures of the young Jacob Lawrence as he finds inspiration in his community's vibrant colors and characters. It was written, 1-1:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 - Black History Month Research and Writing Workshop for High School Students, University of Washington Special Collections Room, 3-6 p.m.

Feb. 16 - Black History Month Keynote Program. In-person conversation with Dr. Damion Thomas, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Curator of Sports. 6-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22 - Black History Month Research and Writing Workshop for College Students. University of Washington Special Collections Room, 2-5 p.m.

March 12 - March Interactive Storytime: A reading of “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer,” by Carole Boston Weatherford. This children's book brings to life the story of one of the most important civil rights leaders Fannie Lou Hamer, 1-1:30 p.m.

Educational Resources

The King County Library System has curated a list of books celebrate African American history, culture and explore contemporary issues, in addition to KCLS Black History Month events.

Octavia's First Afronaut: History, Resistance and Black Futures
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2-3:15 p.m. Register

Octavia Butler scholar, Dr. Briana Whiteside, will provide insight into the author's earliest efforts to (re)imagine black women’s lives and futures by discussing the groundbreaking character Alanna, from Butler's novel, Survivor… Survivor (1978), was not included in the re-published series compilation, Seed to Harvest (2007). Dr. Whiteside will talk about why that novel was rescinded (at Butler's request), and why the novel is an important touchstone in Butler's remarkable career.

Precarious Lives of Free Blacks Pre-1865
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6-7:15 p.m. Register

What was life like for Free Blacks prior to 1865? This presentation discusses how freedom was obtained pre-Emancipation in British, French and Spanish colonies as well as the new nation of the United States… Speaker Janice Lovelace, PhD, has more than thirty years of experience in genealogical research and has presented nationally on methodology, DNA, and ethnic minority genealogy. She is author of the National Genealogical Society's course African American Roots: A Historical Perspective.

Author Voices: Clyde W. Ford
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Register

Join a discussion with Clyde W. Ford, author of Of Blood and Sweat: Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth. As Ford reveals, in tracing the history of almost any major American institution of power and wealth you’ll find it was created by Black Americans, or created to control them. highlights a series of federally funded virtual discussions, book talks, and other online events as well as resources to learn more about Black History Month.

The Library of Congress contains numerous exhibits, books and programs related to Black History Month events.

African Americans Reach & Teach Health Ministry (AARTH) provides training and capacity-building for faith, community-based organizations and medical institutions serving people of African descent.

The Center for MultiCultural Health promote the health and well-being of diverse communities--including individuals from communities of color, individuals with limited English proficiency, immigrants and refugees--through innovative health advocacy, health promotion, disease prevention, and immigrant and refugee service programs.

People of Color Against AIDS Network (POCAAN) is a multicultural, multi-social service agency that addresses disparities in marginalized communities in Seattle and greater King County by offering a wealth of health services and community programs.

Professional Women of Color Network is a business resource for all professional women of color in the Pacific Northwest to collaborate and empower.

Seattle Black MBA is a network for African American professionals creating economic and intellectual growth for African American communities. 

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle works in education, employment, health, and housing with the disenfranchised African American community. The Black Voices Project, sponsored by Urban League, is a virtual Black book club and community dedicated to uplifting Black literary/creative voices.

United Way of King County has committed $1.5 million in each of the next two years through their Collective to invest and shift power to the Black community. In addition, a group of 15 Black nonprofit leaders have determined how funding will be used to support equitable recovery and the long-term viability of King County’s Black community. Find out more at Black Community Building Collective.

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