For more than 50 years, February has served as a tribute to the history and contributions of Black Americans. Right here in Greater Fort Lauderdale, the Black community has been essential and a large part of our history and future. Here are just a few happenings going on during Black History Month — as well as museums and landmarks you can visit all year long.
Built in 1907, the Old Dillard Museum was the first public school for Black children in Fort Lauderdale and today serves as a museum. The landmark has a jazz-themed exhibition space that doubles as a club for live performances and hosts exhibitions and cultural activities that help keep the community’s history and heritage alive.
History Fort Lauderdale — the former 1905 New River Inn — chronicles Fort Lauderdale’s past with memorabilia and artifacts from Seminole people, European settlers, and the photos of the city’s oldest Black community from the 1930s and ‘40s. The museum is also working with local groups for a permanent exhibit of the city’s Black history.
For the little ones, the Carver Ranches Branch library in West Park is creating Take N Make Black History Month kits for children six and older. Each bag has activities following the theme of Black History Month.
In honor of Black History Month, the Pompano Beach Cultural Center is hosting “Cole, The Birth Of A King” on Feb. 2 as a tribute by Darrell Cole to the iconic, late entertainer. On Feb. 15, “Jazz Reflections” features singer and violinist Nicole Yarling with the Gold Coast Jazz Society Band to commemorate Black women in jazz. And all year long, the Ali Cultural Arts Center serves as a cultural hub for the African American community.
The Broward Center for Performing Arts and The Parker both have a plethora of Black performers taking the stage, including Keb’ Mo,’ Randy Jackson and Friends, and Eddie B’s “Teachers Only Comedy Tour.”
On Feb. 24, the annual Sistrunk Historical Festival & Parade comes alive in Fort Lauderdale’s oldest Black community—and where the hospital for Blacks was based during segregation—will be taken over by steppers, drill teams, and floats. Following the parade, the area will transform into a street festival with local food vendors and national and local artists performing on stage. For the early risers, the Chris Smith All-Star Classic Sistrunk 5K Run takes place at Delevoe Park. Other community events in Fort Lauderdale include Remembering Our Roots on Feb. 3 in Riverland Park and Kijiji Moja (meaning “one village”) at Lincoln Park on Feb. 17.
Feb. 17 marks Miramar’s 4th Annual Afro Carib Festival at the open-air Miramar Amphitheater, with stars Nadine Sutherland and Kabaka Pyramid alongside other Caribbean musicians and plenty of vendors for an evening of celebration.