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Twin Cities arts organizations celebrate Black History Month

A man stands smiling in front of a wall of shelves filled with boxes and documents.
Davu Seru is the curator of the Givens Collection of African American Literature (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery)

Black History Month is a time set aside to acknowledge the significant influence of Black people on US history and culture. And there are a LOT of events to choose from this month. We’re breaking it down week by week, sharing some of the most promising offerings in the Twin Cities.

Curator Davu Seru gives a presentation on the treasures of the Givens Collection of African American Literature, which spans nearly 250 years of American culture. The collection includes novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays, literary criticism, periodicals, and biographies, with a particular strength a literary collection regarding the influence of the African diaspora, presented by curator Davu Seru, at the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery, February 1 from 6 – 8 pm. Free and open to the public.

American Gothic” at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, features the photographic collaboration of Gordon Parks with government custodian Ella Watson. The exhibition brings together close to sixty photographs from their partnership and draws its title from one of the most celebrated photographs of the 20th century. The exhibition is free and runs through June 23.

"Okra and Indigo," an exhibition by artist-in-residence Azania Tripp, explores the influence of historic Black chefs on Black Minnesotans’ traditions and relationships with food. The exhibition runs February 6 through March 30 at the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery, with an opening reception on February 10. Admission is Free.

"Freedom Riders" is an original production by Youth Theater Performance Company. The play takes place in Mississippi in 1964, as a group of mostly white college students from the North headed to the Deep South to help register new voters, and reveals the hard truths they learned in the process. Performances run Feb 8 – 18 at The Conn Theatre in Minneapolis.


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