The National Center for Civil and Human Rights Celebrates Black History Month with Robust New Programming & Activities for the Entire Family

Mostly virtual programming brings history to life in performances, new film screenings, discussions and more throughout February, with support from PNC

ATLANTA, Ga. (February 1, 2021) – With storytimes, screenings, performances, giveaways, and more, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (The Center) is celebrating Black History Month with a full slate of new programs and events throughout February. The Center will showcase a broad tapestry of experiences through virtual storytelling to bring the sights and sounds of this rich history to adults and children.

Events include a children’s story screening of Pearl Cleage’s new animated short “Sit-In” in partnership with the Alliance Theatre; a virtual Q&A with George C. Wolfe director of the Netflix film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and curator of The Center’s “Rolls Down Like Water” gallery; and a screening of the visual poem The Baptism, an homage to civil rights leaders Congressman John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian, in partnership with Lincoln Center.

Black History Month programming at The Center is sponsored by PNC. For a full list of programming and events visit

The Center will also create exclusive content for its social media channels, including a collaboration with historian and activist Blair Imani on her “Smarter in Seconds” series. Follow @BlairImani on Instagram. Follow The Center | |

The Center celebrates the achievements of African Americans and their central role in the formation of the United States all year long. During the annual commemoration of Black History Month, we design special programs for all age groups.

“Our programming this Black History Month recognizes the courage, creativity and determination of Black leaders from young demonstrators to Ma Rainey to John Lewis,” said Jill Savitt, the CEO of The Center. ”By hosting storytelling, performances and conversations, we hope to inspire our visitors to tap their own power to secure racial justice.”

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Black History Month celebrations at The Center will focus heavily on virtual programming with a few special, socially distanced onsite events. The Center re-opened its doors in September 2020 by implementing extensive protocols, supported with new air filtration and thermal technology from Siemens, to help keep visitors and staff as safe as possible.


Virtual programming highlights this month include:

Children’s Storytime: Featuring “Sit-In” From the Alliance Theatre | Monday, Feb. 1 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 25, 1:30 p.m.

Written by Atlanta bestselling author, playwright, and Civil Rights activist, Pearl Cleage, (“Blues for An Alabama Sky,” “In My Granny’s Garden” and “Tell Me My Dream”) this original animated short celebrates the power of youth to change history. The Center will be hosting a second storytime Thursday, Feb. 25 with a whole new story to engage listeners. Additional details to come. 

“The Baptism” Screening & Panel | Tuesday, February 9, 3 p.m.

This powerful visual poem pays homage to civil rights leaders Congressman John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian. Written and performed by award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, and essayist Carl Hancock Rux. In partnership with Lincoln Center.

Virtual panel: Defending Civil and Human Rights in the U.S. and Abroad | Friday, Feb. 19, noon

In partnership with Freedom House, this discussion about reinvigorating civil and human rights protections will feature grassroots activists on the frontlines of social change in the U.S. and abroad and leaders of national democracy and rights organizations.

Virtual Q&A with George C. Wolfe | Date TBA

Wolfe, director of the Netflix film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and curator of The Center’s “Rolls Down Like Water” gallery, will discuss the film, the issues it raises, and his contributions to the museum.


In-person events include:

African-American Famous First | Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Children visiting The Center will receive a trivia card with the silhouette and achievements of famous African-American “firsts” of the 20th and the 21st century. The achievements will lead young folks through all three museum floors to complete the story and receive a special sticker for each African American luminary.

Family Activities – Photo Backdrop, “Share Your Voice!” Create Your Own Protest Poster, & Surprise Giveaways | Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Each Saturday, visitors to our third-floor balcony space can create protest posters for issues they care about, take pictures against a special backdrop; and participate in a giveaway while supplies last (books, coloring sheets and materials, school supplies, and more).

Creative Performances (Tentative) | Feb. 20 and 27 at TBD

The Center will host a featured artist in our event space or third-floor balcony space. Additional details to come.



About the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta is a cultural institution that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to the struggle for human rights around the world today. The Center features a continuously rotating exhibit from The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, which includes many of Dr. King’s documents and personal items. Visitors will be immersed in experiential exhibits through powerful and authentic stories, historic documents, compelling artifacts, and interactive activities. The Center is a source for ongoing dialogue — hosting educational forums and attracting world-renowned speakers and artists who work on a variety of human rights topics. For more information, visit Join the conversation on civil and human rights: | |



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