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Events to celebrate Black History Month

Looking for ways to celebrate Black History Month?

Here are this week’s Chicago Sun-Times picks of activities offered at Chicago metropolitan area nonprofits, universities, libraries, park districts, etc.

Check back weekly for new listings throughout February.

Monday, Feb. 17

◆ 6:30 p.m. Join the conversation as the University of St. Francis in Joliet hosts “Black in America,” a town hall with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, at the Pat Sullivan Center, 500 Wilcox St. O’Brien’s provoking and critically acclaimed documentary series, “Black in America” and the follow-up, “Latino in America,” are among CNN’s most successful domestic and international franchises.

Wednesday, Feb. 19

◆ 6 p.m. The Chicago Public Library presents “On The Trail of the Great Migration: The Fight for Inclusion,” at the West Pullman Branch, 830 W. 119th St. Beverly A. Cook, assistant curator of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection and an expert on the history of Chicago’s black communities, leads a discussion on the Altgeld and Roseland communities and their connection to the Great Migration.

◆ 6:30 p.m. The Chicago Public Library presents a book discussion on “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie,” at the North Austin Branch, 5724 W. North Ave. In this best-seller, author Ayana Mathis covers the life of Hattie Shepherd and her children, set against the backdrop of the Great Migration and Jim Crow laws.

◆ 6:30 p.m. The Chicago Public Library presents a book discussion on “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,” at the Roosevelt Branch, 5724 W. North Ave. In this book, author Wes Moore covers the lives of two African-American boys with the same name and similar backgrounds in Baltimore, who take starkly different paths in this searing tale about the plight of ghetto youth.

Thursday, Feb. 20

◆ 7 p.m. The DuSable Museum of African-American History hosts a showing of the Academy-Award nominated movie, “Twelve Years a Slave,” at 740 E. 56th Pl. The film will be followed by a discussion led by Columbia College English professor and historian George Bailey, whose courses include “The Slave Narrative as Documentary.” Tickets $5

◆ 8:30 p.m. Northwestern University in Evanston hosts a showing of “Good Hair,” the controversial 2009 documentary by actor/comedian Chris Rock, at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Dr. The film will be followed by discussion on Western and American concepts of beauty and how media portray women.

◆ 10 p.m. WTTW-Channel 11 presents “Independent Lens: More than a Month,” which follows Shukree Hassan Tilghman, an African-American filmmaker, on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. His tongue-in-cheek and thought-provoking journey investigates what the treatment of history tells us about race and equality in a “post-racial” America.

Friday, Feb. 21

◆ 7:30 p.m. St. Sabina Catholic church presents a lecture by civil rights leader Bernard Lafayette, Jr., at 78th & Throop. Lafayette co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Saturday, Feb. 22

◆ 1 p.m. The Chicago Public Library presents a book discussion of “Angel of Harlem,” at Uptown Branch, 929 W. Buena Ave. In this book, author Kuwana Hausley offers an extraordinary account of the life of Dr. May Edward Chinn, who, despite shame, unemployment, impoverished conditions and racism, achieved greatness — and along the way created friendships with authors Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes.

◆ 11 a.m. The Chicago Park District presents the 22nd Annual ASHAKI Black History Month Celebration, which transforms Washington Park Field House, 5531 S. King Dr., into the countries of Ghana, Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria and Somalia. Free family event with live musical performances, cultural exhibits, vendors and culinary delights that immerse imagination into these countries’ vivid cultures.

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