In honor of Black History Month, we have turned the spotlight to the arts to represent Charlotte natives that are making a positive impact on both our culture and our city today. This week, we celebrate the work of many places that explore Black History in the Queen City.
The Charlotte Museum of History illuminates on the history and culture of Charlotte’s vibrant African-American community from the colonial period to the present. Welcoming guests of all ages, The Charlotte Musem of History offers lecture tour and exhibits that focus on submerging visitors in the African American experience. This month, you can take a special look at the story that inspired Marvel’s Black Panther which is now in theaters on February 24th from 12-4 p.m.
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is Charlotte’s destination for African-American art, history, and culture. Inside its new four-story building, which references quilt designs from the Underground Railroad era and woven textile patterns from West Africa, the center continues a four-decades-long celebration of the cultural contributions of Africans and African-Americans and serves as an epicenter for music, dance, theater, visual art, film, arts education programs, literature and community outreach. Named for Charlotte’s first African-American mayor, the center hosts both permanent and temporary exhibits.is an amazing establishment that during the month of February offers special programming where you can see the full list HERE. With West African dance classes, film screening, lectures and hands-on workshops, the history of black culture truly comes to life all in celebration at the Gantt Center.
Mama’s Caribbean Grill & Bar brings authentic flavors from their native Jamaica and is only a mile from downtown Charlotte. The restaurant year-round offers dishes like Oxtail, Jerk Chicken, Curry Chicken and so much more. Owner Vinroy Reid and his mother Hazelyn Mills back in the kitchen will make you feel at home and truly bring a rich array of African-rooted food traditions to the Charlotte community. Whether you get spicy jerk chicken in rich brown sauce or a milder curry or stew, you’ll see rice and beans on the side. Historians believe that combo originated in the Gambia on Africa’s “Rice Coast.”
Fun Fact: Mecklenburg County’s Romare Bearden Park was named in honor of artist, Romare Howard Bearden, a black Charlotte native whose work depicted the American South, African-American culture, and unity?
Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige