Celebrate Black History Month

Art of Black Image

Art of Black

Courtesy of Saddi Khali Photography
Historic Lyric Theater

Historic Lyric Theater

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By: Ashlee Thomas

It’s a leap year and the ancestors have put out the clarion call:

Black History month has arrived!

Black history is American history and proudly highlighted in Miami throughout February’s Black History Month. Make this leap year memorable with these Black, Bold and Beautiful cultural events.

King Hedley Press Picture
Sandrell Rivers Theater - King Hedley Press

Live Theater

Ain't Misbehavin’ | Stage play presented by M Ensemble
February 6 – 23 | *Tickets: $31 - $36
Sandrell Rivers Theater: 6103 NW 7th Avenue, Miami 33142 -Liberty City

The newly-renovated Sandrell Rivers Theater in Liberty City is lush and home of M Ensemble, one of the oldest African American theater companies in South Florida. Their Black history month feature Aint Misbehavin', The Fat Waller’s Musical Show is a musical revue celebrating famous musicians during the Harlem Renaissance. Get ready for an exciting, foot stomping revue of the roaring 20s and 30s.

*Student and Senior tickets can only be purchased at the box office. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

Lyric Live All Stars, “the Apollo of Miami” | Hosted by: Chello
February 7 | Tickets: $15-$35
Historic Lyric Theater: 819 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami – Overtown

A historically designated facility, the Lyric Theater was once the go-to theater house of major black celebrities during the segregated era in American history. Renovated in the early 2000s, The Lyric Theater is home to the Black Archives and culturally enriching events that celebrate the African American Diaspora. One epic monthly event is Lyric Live All Stars happening the first Friday of every month. This is a special one as all the winners from the past six seasons come to compete for the Allstar title. Click here to purchase tickets.

African Heritage Cultural Arts Center
African Heritage Cultural Arts Center

Art & Culture Aficionados

Miami is known for visual art. The Art of Black Miami brings the niche heritage experience to the world. Here are two exhibits in Miami’s heritage neighborhoods to check out.

As a Matter of Black: The Roaring 20’s | Curated by Bart Mervil, MUCE 305
Opening Reception | February 9, 3p.m. – 7p.m. | Free
Roaring 20’s Costume Party | February 29, 1p.m. – 7p.m. | Tickets: $29
MUCE Campus: 246 NW 54th Street, Miami 33127

As a Matter of Black is an annual exhibition curated by Bart Mervil of the Miami Urban Contemporary Experience which deconstructs the meaning of the word Black, from identity to color to universal matter. This year’s theme explores the Roaring 20’s: from the Harlem Renaissance to the present. Join MUCE on Sunday, February 9 for the opening reception. The exhibition runs through March 12.

On February 29, the exhibit presents The Roaring 20’s Black History Costume Party. Get the glitz, glam, and top hats out and dress up as iconic historical figure circa the Harlem Renaissance. Come roar into the 20s with MUCE. 

Ernie Barnes: From Pads to Palette | The Art and Life of a former NFL Player
Saturday, February 1, 1p.m. – 7 p.m. | Free
Historic Ward Rooming House, 249 NW 9th Street, Miami 33136

Hampton Art Lovers Presents: "Ernie Barnes: From Pads to Palette, Art of a Former NFL Player" a pop-up showcase of his sports related rare works on paper in honor of Black History Month and Super Bowl LIV week. As Miami hosts the largest sporting event in America, it’s fitting to showcase these rare images of former NFL player Ernie Barnes. This neo-mannerist painter was also a five-year veteran of the NFL in the 1960s. He was the first American athlete to become an internationally recognized fine artist. The National Sports Academy recognizes him as the greatest painter of sport.

In 1984, Barnes was commissioned by the Los Angeles Olympic Committee to create five paintings for the Games of the XXIII Olympiad. Other memorable works by Barnes include Sugar Shack which appeared on the sitcom Good Times and as the album cover for Marvin Gaye's I Want You. RSVP here.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Music & Dance

Enjoy soul stirring music and dance during Black History Month. Get tickets to these great events to lift every voice and sang.

Jazz Roots Series: A Century of Jazz Giants
Friday, February 21 at 8 p.m. | Tickets: $45 - $125
Adrienne Arsht Center, Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami - Downtown

A Century of Jazz Giants features acclaimed Grammy winner Kurt Elling who has secured his place among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. Enjoy a musical revue of 100 years of jazz. The smooth sounds of this baritone takes concert-goers on a journey through the ages with tantalizing musical notes and dreamy cadences of ten decades.

Also performing is vocalist René Marie who will be showcasing the best of Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other leading ladies of past generations. Purchase tickets here.

Live Music: Art of A Spiritual | Presented by: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center
February 1 | Tickets: $25
Sandrell Rivers Theater: 6103 NW 7th Avenue, Miami 33142 -Liberty City

The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center kicks off its 45th anniversary celebration with the Art of the Spiritual classical music concert.

The Art of a Spiritual concert highlights the technical complexity of the old “Negro Spiritual,” (also referenced in modern times as the “African-American Spiritual”) and celebrates the boldness of the ancestors while enlightening today’s generation. Click here for tickets.

The 23rd Annual Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival
Friday – Sunday, February 28 – March 1 | Tickets: $20 - $200
Historic Lyric Theater: 819 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami - Overtown

Enjoy jazz, a musical form with its birthright rooted in African American culture, from concerts to classes with the musical mavericks of the jazz world at the 23rd Annual Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival. The late Melton Mustafa Sr. was an iconic musician and exceptional educator committed to preserving and celebrating the unique orchestration of this American artform. The 2020 festival line-up includes jazz workshops with the likes of Grammy nominee Jamison Ross Band. Energetic performances, competitions, and a jazzy mixer at the Dunns-Josephine Hotel all help you enjoy 23 years of live jazz in South Florida. Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Free Gospel Sundays: Lisa Knowles Smith & the Brown Singers
Saturday, February 23 | FREE with RSVP
Adrienne Arsht Center, Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Blvd Miami - Downtown

The Adrienne Arsht Center delivers a dynamic Sunday evening of heavenly music at Free Gospel Sundays. February features the female gospel quartet, the Brown Singers. The Brown Singers were formed in Memphis, Tennessee in the late 70s by Willie Mae Richmond (whose maiden name was Brown). The group quickly garnered a following for their beautiful and energetic vocal performances.

Richmond's granddaughter, Lisa Knowles-Smith, joined the quartet when she was nine years old, and by the time she turned 12, she was the lead singer of the group. This is for all the lovers of the visceral sounds of gospel music. Tickets are free and go fast so be sure to rsvp early!

Alvin Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance
Saturday, February 8 | Tickets: $30 - $60
Adrienne Arsht Center, Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami – Downtown

Critically acclaimed for their stirring performances, Ailey II’s brilliant young dancers have captivated audiences for over four decades. Led by artistic director Troy Powell, the company brings Alvin Ailey’s timeless classics and thrilling new works by outstanding emerging choreographers to cities across the world. Learn More.

Read More:

Miami's Hottest Events in February
15 Historic Sites In Miami's Liberty City
History Of Black Art In Miami
Black Miami Artists That Everyone Should Know

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