1. Landmark for Peace
Designed by Greg Perry, who created the memorial in 1996 with sculptor Daniel Edwards, this artwork stands at 17th & Broadway. The location is significant because this is where Robert F. Kennedy, on April 4, 1968, delivered a speech memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after he was assassinated earlier that day.
2. Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant
Dive into authentic Ethiopian cuisine at Abyssinia. Located right in Indianapolis, Abyssinia is the only restaurant of its kind around. In Ethiopian culture, it is significant for people to eat from a “common plate,” so your dining experience will be no different. Not only will your friends and family share a common plate, you will also forego the use of silverware. All the food in Abyssinia is eaten with injera, which is a type of Ethiopian bread. The experience at Abyssinia is sure to be fun and unique.
3. Ruby Bridges at The Children’s Museum
Visit “The Power of Children: Making a Difference” exhibit at The Children’s Museum to learn how a first grade African-American girl persevered through harsh adversity as one of the first black students to be integrated into a white school system. Ruby was the only black student at her school and only student in her class. Her story is both inspiring and educational and demonstrates the challenges many African-American families faced integrating after segregation.
4. Art & Soul 2015
The 19th annual Art & Soul festival is a great way to celebrate Black History Month. Art & Soul is a celebration of African-American art and artists in Indiana. Throughout February, there will be free performances at the Indianapolis Artsgarden that will include improv, spoken word, dance, and more.
5. Sankofa Black Heritage Festival
The Indiana State Museum will be hosting the Sankofa Black Heritage Festival on February 7th from 11 am-3 pm. The festival will include dance, drumming, and demonstrations that celebrate African art, history, and culture. The celebration will include West African and African-American art and will be viewed from a Hoosier perspective.
6. Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) will be celebrating Black History Month by highlighting the contributions of African-American artists to the world of music with a free, general admission concert on February 10th. The ISO will be teaming up with guest conductor Chelsea Tipton II and the Voice of Light Choir from the Light of the World Christian Church located in Indianapolis to put on a show consisting of Edwin Hawkin’s “Oh Happy Day,” Quincy Jones’s “Hallelujah,” and more.
7. Jazz on the Avenue
Jazz on the Avenue is a long running program hosted at the Walker Theater. Madame C.J. Walker was born in New Orleans, which is well known for its vast contributions to jazz music. The Walker Theater puts on Jazz on the Avenue once every month. The performance during Black History Month is by Lonnie Lester on February 27. General admission is $10.
8. Stroll down Indiana Avenue
Indiana Avenue encompasses and celebrates Indianapolis’s rich African-American culture. Currently home to IUPUI’s campus and several medical establishments, the Indiana Avenue district used to play host to several jazz and art festivals in the 1920s and 1930s. Other things you will find on the avenue today that link it back to its roots include the previously mentioned Walker Theater, artworks celebrating its rich jazz history, and beautiful architecture including Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Crispus Attucks High School.
9. Visit the Crispus Attucks Museum
The Crispus Attucks Museum is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Street. The museum consists of four galleries and over 70 exhibits that celebrate the African-American experience. The exhibits range from student and school history to local, national, and international history. Admission to the museum is free and donations are welcome.
10. Good Hair Film Screening
The Indiana Historical Society is hosting a film screening for Chris Rock’s movie, Good Hair. In the movie, Chris Rock visits beauty salons, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples all in an attempt to answer his daughter’s question, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” The film features hair care professionals and celebrities including Ice-T and Reverend Al Sharpton. The film will be shown February 19th. Admission is $5 for IHS members and $8 for nonmembers.