With Black History month coming to a close, many organizations are having grand finales to signal the end of the month. Despite the ongoing pandemic, I am glad that we can still find a way to enjoy these virtual celebrations that showcase and celebrate Black life, joy and legacies. This list of things to do is music heavy this time — you might just find a new artist you love or discover a new genre.
Thursday, Feb. 25.
Leading up to this tribute and celebration of life, the New England Conservatory’s Black Student Union held a countdown to this day, and it’s finally here. Coretta Scott King was an alumna of the school, which hosts a celebration of her life and legacy. This year, the livestream will be a short performance film focused on showcasing the stories of students then and now. The performance is meant to spark a deep reflection on the countless Black lives needlessly lost in America.
Thursday, Feb. 25
Zanele Muholi is a South-African visual activist who focuses largely on themes of race, gender, and sexuality, meanwhile creating artwork that aim to document the black queer experience. Currently, Muholi’s series centered around queer individuals, titled “Faces and Phases,” is on view at the ICA. Muholi will be in conversation with ICA curator Eva Respini and will discuss how the artist captures and documents the queer experience in South Africa in their powerful portraits. [Note: The ICA is currently closed, but will be reopening March 20.]
Friday, Feb. 26
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Center at Berklee College of Music partnered with the Black History Celebration Committee to present a moving, livestreamed performance celebrating Black artists. With gospel, soul and jazz as inspiration, you can be sure that you’ll hear something you absolutely love in this performance. Throughout the performance, there will also be spoken word sprinkled in by leaders of the Black student groups formed at Berklee. I don’t know about you, but I love a show with range.
Saturday, Feb. 27
The film “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” was notably produced by Barack and Michelle Obama. The documentary is about a Catskills summer camp in the 1970s in tandem with the persevering efforts of Judy Heumann to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act. Heumann also wrote a book that dives more into the work it took to make a stride forward on federal and local levels titled “Being Heumann.” In addition to the screening, Temple Emanuel in Newton is hosting a Zoom conversation with Heumann on Sunday, Feb. 28, where she’ll discuss more of the work she’s done, as well as the documentary. Although this movie is something you can watch on your own on Netflix, this free event makes the film accessible to all.
Sunday, Feb. 28
During Black History Month, Passim has hosted a series of concerts and events to highlight Black artists. Thankfully, with this virtual world — we’re able to connect with people around the world and this performance is no exception. Julian Taylor is a singer-songwriter based in Toronto and will pull audiences in with his fusion of folk and soul. He’ll be playing songs from his recent album “The Ridge.”