Seattle Culture

Seattle’s Guide to Black History Month

Celebrate Black culture, history, and community through February and beyond

By Sarah Stackhouse February 1, 2024

Clockwise from top-left: Eric Bellinger (photo by Benjamin Howell Photography), Communion, City Sweats, Jon Batiste, Métier Brewing Co.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of Seattle magazine.

Our Black community is a vital part of the city, contributing year-round. It’s on us to champion Black-owned businesses, and make the most of our Black Black Friday cards — this month and every month. They’re good for seven years.

Here’s your guide to supporting Black-owned businesses, Black stories, culture, history, art, music, and joy in Seattle throughout February. 

 

 

Thursday, Feb. 1

Tune into Black History is Now. KEXP kicks off the month with all-day special programming honoring Black music and stories. 

 

Catalyzing Change with Akuyea Karen Vargas: Social justice advocate Akuyea Karen Vargas talks about understanding identity, finding home, and unity. 

7 p.m., Bainbridge Island Museum of Art Auditorium, $10-12.

 

Free First Thursdays at Northwest African American Museum: Positive Frequencies explores the impact of music on our lives; Oregon Black Pioneers is a historical exhibit telling the stories of Black pioneers who, despite facing legal barriers and discrimination, settled in Oregon between 1840–1870; and Freedom of Expression Series II, art by artists of African descent in the Pacific Northwest.

10 a.m.-7 p.m., Northwest African American Museum, free. 

Jeffrey Wright is flawless in every role, so make sure you catch American Fiction at Siff this month.

American Fiction: Jeffrey Wright stars in Cord Jefferson’s adaptation of Percival Everett’s Erasure – a  satire about the commodification of marginalized voices and a look at a writer forced to re-examine his integrity. It earned five Oscar nods including Best Picture and Best Actor. 

4:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m., Siff Cinema Uptown, $14. 

 

Friday, Feb. 2 

Galentine’s Sip and Pour at Noir: Craft soy wax candles with your favorite scents while chilling, chatting, and sipping. 

6-8 p.m., Noir Lux Candle Bar, $45. 

 

Saturday, Feb. 3 

Grab a bite at Jerk Shack for some Caribbean goodness.

Barbara Earl Thomas, Broken Landscape, 1990.

Courtesy of Junior League of Seattle.

100 Years of Junior League of Seattle: Explore the Northwest Art Project: Learn more about the Junior League of Seattle and its 100-year history of volunteer service to the community. Art from the Northwest Art Project, founded in the 1960s, will be on display. Expect to see works by Seattle artists Jacob LawrenceBarbara Earl Thomas, and  George Tsutakawa

10 a.m.-5 p.m., Museum of History & Industry, $17-$22.

 

Sunday, Feb. 4 

Once Upon a Spacetime: Aramis Hamer’s show blends femininity, Blackness, and enlightenment. 

12-6 p.m., Arte Noir, free.

 

Monday, Feb. 5  

First Annual Clarence Acox Gala – A Legacy Fundraiser: Onyx Fine Arts Collective, the premier African-descent artist collective in the Pacific Northwest, hosts a fundraiser supporting local student music programs endorsed my Clarence Acox.

6:45 p.m., Jazz Alley, $109. 

 

Tuesday, Feb. 6 

Book a hair appointment at Bruju Salon – get ready to turn heads on Valentine’s Day.

Hot and scrumptious, Boon Boona brings Africa’s finest beans straight to your cup.

Photo courtesy of Boon Boona

Swing by Boon Boona for a coffee boost. It’s only Tuesday, and there’s a late night ahead.

 

Night Lovell: I Hope You’re Happy Tour: With a deep voice and distinct sound, he blends the dark and artistic.

8 p.m., Showbox, $25.  

 

Wednesday, Feb. 7 

Grab a meal at Jackson’s Catfish Corner, where Terrell Jackson, inspired by his grandparents who founded the original in 1985, keeps the family legacy alive with a commitment to treating every customer like family.

 

Tamara Payne: The Life and Legacy of Malcolm X: In 1990, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Les Payne began a 30-year quest to interview those who knew Malcolm X. His goal: to create an accurate portrait. After Payne’s unexpected death in 2018, his daughter, Tamara Payne, completed the biography.

7:30 p.m., The Wyncote NW Forum, $5-25.

 

Thursday, Feb. 8 

An Evening with Dr. Tina Campt: Black Feminist Visual Culture: A founding scholar of Black European Studies, Dr. Campt’s recent research connects vernacular image-making and Black contemporary artists reshaping self-perception.

6:30 p.m., The Wyncote NW Forum, free. 

Catch the Grammy-winning vibes of Eric Bellinger as he performs his pandemic-era hits.

Photo by Vince Boussamba

 

Eric Bellinger: The Rebirth Tour: Grammy-winning R&B artist Eric Bellinger, now wiser and inspired by industry greats, is set to redefine his career and legacy.

8:30 p.m., The Showbox, $29.50. 

 

Ijeoma Oluo: Discusses her new book, Be A Revolution, with her partner Gabriel Teodros.

7 p.m., Third Place Books: Lake Forest Park, $29.72 (ticket includes a copy of the book).

 

Raquel Willis: Trailblazing Black transgender activist and author of The Risk It Takes to Bloom discusses her memoir with Jaelynn Scott, the executive director of the Lavender Rights Project.

7 p.m., Elliott Bay Books, free. 

 

Friday, Feb. 9 

WOW Happy Hour: Unwind at WOW Gallery with good music, great company, tasty snacks, and drinks. Bring a friend or meet new ones. 

4-6 p.m., WOW Gallery, $20. 

 

Saturday, Feb. 10 

The Soul of Seattle returns for its third year, celebrating Seattle’s Black community.

Image courtesy of The Soul of Seattle

The Soul of Seattle: This fundraiser is designed to strengthen community ties and showcase Seattle’s Black-owned eateries and businesses. Proceeds will assist local vendors and a nonprofit focused on supporting youth of color.

6-10 p.m., Bloc 41, 115 Bell St., Seattle, $125.

 

Sunday, Feb. 11 

Spruce up with Queen Care products, infused with good love, energy, and natural ingredients.  

 

Monday, Feb. 12 

Black & Boujee: Redefining luxury by celebrating the richness of Black culture and challenging stereotypes.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, free/donation.  

 

Pre-order your Valentine’s Day cookies from Black Magic Sweets

 

Tuesday, Feb. 13 

South Hudson Music Project Presents: Mardi Gras: Celebrate Fat Tuesday with dancing and live music.  

7:30 p.m., The Royal Room, admission by donation. 

 

Wednesday, Feb. 14  

Show yourself love and growth with plants from booSH Nursery, then head to Love is in the air!, where you’ll wander through a romantic, pink-lit park, get crafty with Valentine’s cards, learn pollination facts from the UWBG team, and snuggle up with warm cocoa, cider, and tea.

5-7 p.m., Wisteria Hall, $20. 

 

Treat yourself to baked goods from Shikorina Pastries

 

Thursday, Feb. 15 

Start the day with a PB & J smoothie from Intentions.  

 

Black History Month Keynote with Dr. Doretha Williams: Dr. Williams will delve into Black family history and genealogy, continuing NAAM’s tradition of hosting a Smithsonian scholar for Black History Month. 

6 p.m., Northwest African American Museum.

 

Friday, Feb. 16 

Friday fun at Métier on Cherry St.: Teachers, staff, and admins get $1 off pints from 4-6 p.m. Cheers to the weekend!

Photo courtesy of Métier Brewing Company

Choose from three different happy hours at Métier Brewing Co., driven by a mission to brew damn good beer, foster a stronger community, and inspire bigger dreams for everyone.

 

Saturday, Feb. 17 

Jon Batiste: He’s not only scooped up multiple Grammys and an Oscar, showing his talent, he’s also bursting with positivity and love.

8 p.m., The Paramount, $49.50.

 

Sunday, Feb. 18 

Get brunch at Fat’s Chicken and Waffles, where New Orleans charm meets southern classics like fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and the unique honey butter chicken biscuit sandwich, all in a laid-back setting.

 

Dr. Joy Buolamwini – Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines: Dr. Joy Buolamwini, known as ‘The conscience of the AI revolution’ by Fortune, discusses her journey from robotics in Memphis to challenging tech giants as a Fulbright fellow in Zambia.

7:30 p.m., The Wyncote NW Forum, $5-$25.

 

Monday, Feb. 19 

Grab a morning glory chai or a salted caramel mocha at Tougo Coffee.

 

Tuesday, Feb. 20 

The Cookers: Jazz Alley welcomes the bebop supergroup.

7:30 p.m., Jazz Alley, $39.50

 

Bring home a banana pudding cheesecake from Baked From the Heart.

 

Wednesday, Feb. 21 

Owner and Chef Kristi Brown was just nominated as a semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northwest and Pacific, so get over to Communion and partake!

Photo courtesy of Communion

Eat at Communion, a place of comfort and peace, where you feel seen and at home. 

 

Thursday, Feb. 22 

Thrifty Thursdays: Black Arts Love hosts this biweekly event supporting art, culture, Black artists, and economic empowerment. 

12-8 p.m., Black Arts Loves Gallery, free to RSVP. 

 

Enjoy coffee at The Station, a community focused coffee shop in Beacon Hill with deep familial ties to the region.

 

Friday, Feb. 23 

Hank Willis Thomas: LOVERULES – Black conceptual artist and activist known for his work on commodity, identity, and media in popular culture. Thomas is showing a 90-work exhibition spanning 20 years of his career, exploring art’s role in society and the impact of advertising and visual culture.

Public opening, 7-9 p.m., The Henry Art Gallery, free (registration is encouraged).

Two-time Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo stars in Drift, a captivating story with a thoughtful take on immigration.

Drift: Jacqueline (Cynthia Erivo), a young refugee, arrives penniless on a Greek island, forming a bond with a tour-guide (Alia Shawkat) as they find resilience to move forward.

7 p.m., Siff Film Center, $14. 

 

Saturday, Feb. 24 

X: The Life and Times of Malcolm: Explore the life of civil rights icon Malcolm X through biographical vignettes. From Lansing, Mich., to his tragic murder in Harlem, X features a score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis, blending modernism, minimalism, and jazz.

7:30 p.m., McCaw Hall, $61-$249.

 

Bassekou Kouyate and Vieux Farka Touré: Celebrating Mali’s Rhythmic Soul – Bassekou Kouyate and Vieux Farka Touré join forces to bring the soulful sounds of Mali to the stage.

8 p.m., Town Hall, $40-$45. 

 

Pink Sweat$: The Philadelphia-born artist known for his R&B and Soul music, characterized by intricate melodies and powerful lyrics, is coming to town.

8:30 p.m., The Showbox, $30. 

Join forces in the collective fight against hate.

Photo courtesy of Washington State Jewish Historical Society

Confronting Hate Together: The Power of Community: The Black Heritage Society, Wing Luke Museum, and Washington State Jewish Historical Society share about their collaborative exhibition and campaign inspired by the 1937-1952 American Jewish Committee’s fight against bigotry. Explore strategies for combating hate and participate in poster-making led by Vivid Matter Collective artists.

11 a.m.-2 p.m., MOHAI, free with cost of admission. 

 

Sunday, Feb. 25 

Bakar: The London native explores themes of loss and life’s complexities. He’s touring in support of his new EP which was recorded partly at Rick Rubin’s Shangri La studio in Malibu. Bakar shows his ability to infuse black comedy and an outsider’s perspective into even the darkest moments.

8 p.m., The Showbox, $29.50

 

Monday, Feb. 26 

Have dinner at Plum Bistro, Capitol Hill’s Black-owned vegan restaurant. 

 

Tuesday, Feb. 27 

Grab a pork chop sandwich or gumbo and sweet tea at Simply Soulful Café.

 

Wednesday, Feb. 28  

Order cookies for next day pickup from Pinckney Cookie Cafe, known for artisanal, gourmet flavors, including vegan and gluten-free options.

 

Have some brews at Ballard Beer Co., where beer is fun, beer has history, and beer is cool. 

 

Be sure not to miss the forever classy Dianne Reeves at Town Hall Seattle this month.

Photo by Craig Allyn Photography

Dianne Reeves: A five-time Grammy winner and jazz vocalist known for her unique jazz and R&B stylings, including three Grammy wins for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.

8:00 p.m., Town Hall Seattle, $54-$74.

 

Thursday, Feb. 29  

Close out the month with a po’ boy and an order of beignets from Where Ya At Matt’s soul food truck, which will be at Yonder Cider & Bale Breaker Brewing in Ballard from 5-8 p.m. 

 

Once you’ve finished snacking, book yourself a trip to City Sweats – you’ve earned it.

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