Black History Month
Nashville's calendar is filled with events celebrating Black History Month. From art exhibits to musical performances, Music City is honoring the contributions of African-Americans to our society.
Discover the Past
Besides just the month of February, Music City honors women and men throughout the year that have contributed not only to Nashville's history, but the country's history. From the Fisk Jubilee Singers to the Civil War through the Nashville sit-ins and the music of Jimi Hendrix, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Etta James, and so many others, the past has built the present and continues to form the future. It is all here and waiting to be discovered year round. It is all here and waiting to be discovered year round. Explore more of multicultural Nashville.
Black History Month and MLK Celebrations
These are just some of the events happening in 2018 to celebrate Black History Month, and to honor the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death. Stay tuned. More events will be added as they're announced.
Exhibition opening - Slavery, the Prison Industrial Complex: Photographs by Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick (on view through May 28, 2018)
Frist Center for the Visual Arts Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery
New Orleans natives Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick have been documenting African American life in Louisiana for more than 30 years. Since 1980, they have made regular visits to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola to photograph life on the prison farm, which was founded on the consolidated land of several cotton and sugarcane plantations. Their poignant black-and-white images record the exploitation of the men incarcerated within the maximum-security prison farm while also showcasing the prisoners' humanity and individual narratives.
Black History Month Memorial Service, Presented by Andrew Jackson's Hermitage: Home of the People's President
The Hermitage Church
Join for the annual commemoration of those enslaved at The Hermitage and throughout the country. The service will feature guest speaker Nicole A. Moore of the Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta. Guests will conclude the service by participating in a procession to the slavery memorial “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” located behind the Hermitage Church. Some 150 flowers will be laid, marked with the names of all those known to have been enslaved at The Hermitage. Minister Green will then lead a libation ritual, a spiritual ceremony to honor the ancestors commonly found in traditional African religions.
Tennessee State University Meistersingers
Nashville International Airport - Arts at the Airport Stage, located in the South Meeter-Greeter Area
Enjoy a live musical performance.
Film: 13th with post-film Q&A with Project Return
Frist Center for the Visual Arts Auditorium
The acclaimed documentary film 13th looks in depth at the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery and indentured servitude. Following the screening, stay for a special Q&A with Project Return, a nonprofit non-faith-based organization that provides an extensive array of supportive services for individuals returning to society after incarceration.
Exhibition opening - We Shall Overcome: Civil Rights and the Nashville Press, 1957-1968 (exhibition is on view through October 7, 2018)
Frist Center for the Visual Arts – Conte Community Arts Gallery
Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination—and at a time when race relations and human rights are again at the forefront of our country’s political and social consciousness—the Frist Center will present a selection of approximately 50 photographs that document an important period in Nashville’s struggle for racial equality.
Art Exhibition: The MLK Six Point Plan
Tennessee State University, Elliott Hall Lobby
The art exhibit is presented by Tennessee State University Department of Art. It is free and open to the public. Contact Courtney Adair Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Voices from the Front Lines
Frist Center Auditorium
Hear the stories behind the photographs of We Shall Overcome: Civil Rights and the Nashville Press, 1957–1968, and take a deeper look at the civil rights movement. Moderated by Linda Wynn, this panel will feature first-person accounts by individuals who fought for racial equity in Nashville.
Concert: Songs of Freedom
Frist Center Auditorium
Join for a celebratory evening of music, featuring performances by the Fairfield Four and other Nashville musicians. This program is presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music.
Happening in Nick Cave: Feat.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts Upper-level Galleries
Join local storytellers, musicians, and dancers for in-gallery performances that will delight and inspire you as they respond to Cave's works through imaginative artistic encounters.
African American History Tour
Gray Line of Tennessee offers an African American History Tour year-round, available for private bookings. You will discover the rich culture of the black community within Nashville while stopping at Fisk University, Jefferson Street, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, and more. Also, the tour includes admission to Ryman Auditorium.
MLK Days of Service 2018
Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by joining Hands on Nashville by becoming a long-term volunteer.
The Civil Rights Collection
Nashville Downtown Library
The collection at the Nashville Public Library features black & white photos from the Civil Rights era in Nashville and a circular table in the center of the room representing the lunch counters of Nashville - locations of many sit-in protests that fueled the Civil Rights Movement.