Each February, Grand Rapids celebrates Black History Month with a series of special activities and events exploring the local African American experience. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the ways African Americans have helped shape the past and present of Grand Rapids – and how African American culture is helping move the city forward in exciting new ways.
Note: A number of this year’s events have gone virtual due to COVID-19 precautions. Log on and enjoy!
History Comes Alive
Visit the Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives to explore a treasure trove of material honoring the lives, history, culture and art of local African Americans.
Stroll downtown to see bronze sculptures commemorating former Grand Rapids Mayor Lyman Parks, civil rights icon Rosa Parks and Helen Claytor, the first African American president of both the Grand Rapids YWCA and national YWCA.
Embark on a free, self-guided tour of significant local sites – download informational podcasts to accompany you on the Black History Tour of Downtown and the Grand Rapids Civil Rights Tour.
Engage Grand Rapids Running Tours for an African American History on the Grand experience – you’ll burn calories while you learn about the local African American population from 1826 to present.
Take a Black History Walking Tour of downtown Grand Rapids. A tour guide will highlight significant African American people, places, events, issues, legends and facts.
You can also get a glimpse of the Ford exhibit, “The Continual Struggle: The American Freedom Movement and the Seeds of Change,” on video.
Fantastic Food & Drink
Treat yourself to some delectable delights at one (or more) of the area’s Black-owned restaurants.
Treat yourself to a beer from Black Calder Brewing, Michigan’s first black-owned brewery, which has just started offering its creations through Broad Leaf Local Beer.
Celebrating Grand Rapids means celebrating the people, traditions, cultures, and of course, food! This post was initially published in 2018 commemorating Black History Month, we've updated this this…