by Lori Wilson
February is Black History month and the local NAACP chapter and other organizations will celebrate progress and reflect upon the past, with several programs being hosted in and around Wilmington.
Coloring Wilmington: Celebrating Black History Month Coloring Contest Saturday
Cape Fear Museum, 814 Market St.
Saturday, February 2 @ 1 p.m.
The Cape Fear Museum and the Support the Port Foundation have joined forces to host a coloring contest in celebration of black history month. The Foundation’s book “Wilmington N.C. in Color” showcases important local, black historic landmarks such as Bellamy Mansion, Thalian Hall and Williston Middle School. Event attendees can select from three coloring pages featured in the book. Choose your design carefully, as the winner will receive a museum prize bag, including museum Freaker Feet. The winning artist will be picked at 3:30 p.m. by Support the Port founder Cedric Harrison. The event is free and open to the public.
Wilmington NAACP 100th Anniversary: A Panel Discussion
Cape Fear Museum, 814 Market St.
Saturday, February 2 @ 3:30 p.m.
The local chapter of the NAACP celebrates an impressive century of civil and community engagement. This achievement will be observed through a discussion that will consider the organization’s past since its 1919 founding, its present, and its future. Panelists of the discussion include Deborah Dicks Maxwell, current New Hanover County NAACP president; Jessica M. Franks, president for the Wilmington NAACP Youth Council and Juvenile Justice chair for the NC NAACP Youth & College Division; as well as Earl Sheridan, past NAACP president. The event is free and open to the public.
Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ)
Stein Mart Hanover Center (driving to Raleigh)
Saturday, February 9 @ 6:30 a.m.
Although this event won’t be hosted locally, the local NAACP invites you to join them in bringing the engagement of the Cape Fear to this special edition of the well-known Moral March in Raleigh. The New Hanover chapter is offering group transportation for $20, meeting at the Stein Mart parking lot across from Independence Mall. Led by the People’s Assembly Coalition, the HKonJ attendees will walk, literally, into the event’s 12thyear as one of the largest civil rights marches in the South.
Black History Month Program
St. Stephen AME Church
Saturday, February 16 @ 2 p.m.
This year’s Black History Month program at the local African Methodist Episcopal Church will celebrate the life of the Aretha Franklin, the singer-songwriter civil rights activists, otherwise known as the “Queen of Soul,” who passed away in August 2018. Hosted by the St. Stephen’s chapter of the Women’s Missionary Society, the event includes a show and a meal for only $25. The location, St. Stephen AME church, itself, is a monument of local African American history, founded in 1865. At the corner of 5thand Redcross Streets, it stands as a result of the post–Civil War black community members withdrawing from Front St. Methodist Church, when they were denied a sermon by a black leader. Today, the church continues to represent freedom of religion and speech by working with the community on social and civil issues.
Black History Month Film Screening
February, 12 @ 5:45
Main Library, 201 Chestnut Street
This series looks at the last five decades of African American history through the eyes of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exploring the tremendous gains and persistent challenges of these years. Drawing on eyewitness accounts, scholarly analysis and rare archival footage, the series illuminates our recent past, while raising urgent questions about the future of the African American community—and our nation as a whole.
Red Cape: An 1898 Film Screening
Thursday, February 21 @ 6:30 p.m.
TekMountain/Castle Branch, 1844 Sir Tyler Dr.
This event features an open-to-the-public and free screening of The Red Cape, the first ever dramatic film about the 1898 Wilmington Massacre and Coup, otherwise known as the Wilmington Race Riots, the only proven violent overthrow of a government in U.S. history. The movie tells the story of a black father and his son who fight to survive during a campaign to disenfranchise Wilmington’s African American community. After ten years in the making, the film appeared on the big screen for the first time last summer.