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Here’s how to celebrate Black History Month in Bloomington


Black History Month starts Thursday, and there are a variety of ways to celebrate around IU and Bloomington.  

Indiana University 

The Black Film Center and Archive will host a kickoff event Feb 1. The event will include a pre-screening reception at 5 p.m. in the center, followed by the 4K restoration world premiere screening of “Will (1981),7 p.m. in the IU Cinema.  

That same day, the BFCA will host a lunch and learn featuring E. Danielle Butler, who worked alongside filmmaker Jessie Maple as a writer and creative partner, 11:15 a.m. - 1 p.m. in Wells Library.  

In connection with the BFCA and the City of Bloomington, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center will celebrate Black cinema for Black History Month. On Wednesday, the culture center will host a Black History Month Kickoff: A Celebration of Black Cinema event at 6 p.m. in the BFCA in Wells Library. The event will feature a talk on the Blaxploitation movement and its impact on modern pop culture. Admission is free, and food will be provided.  

The culture center is also hosting B(l)ack in the Day, an event showcasing community elders sharing artifacts from their childhoods and their significance through storytelling and memory at noon, Feb. 7 in the center.  

That night, the culture center will host Karaoke: Black Movie Soundtrack edition, starting at 7 p.m. in the center’s Grand Hall.  

The center will support the IU women’s basketball team as they play Michigan State Feb. 8. The game starts at 7 p.m. in Assembly Hall, and the center (staff?) will be seated left of the band.  

The culture center will host the Black Knowledge Bowl at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 21 in the center. This over 40-year-old tradition will test students' knowledge of Black history and culture.  

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City of Bloomington 

The Black History Month theme for the City of Bloomington this year is “Blacks in Cinema,” celebrating the impact and contributions of Black individuals in film. 

The city will host its kickoff event 5:30 - 8 p.m., Feb. 1 in City Hall. The event features a special talk from Jerald Harkness, president and CEO of Studio Auteur.  

The city will host a Black Market featuring a coalition of organizations, Black-owned businesses, Black creators and artists to create a space affirming people of color in the community 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Feb. 17 in City Hall.  

Bloomington will present awards to the winners of the 2024 Black History Month essay contest 6 - 8 p.m., Feb. 20 in City Hall. 

 The city will recognize the 2024 Living Legends recipients and the Commission on the Status of Black Males’ Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow recipients at the Black History Month Gala 5:30 - 9 p.m., Feb. 24 in Woolery Mill. 

On Feb. 10, in partnership with the NAACP Monroe County Branch, the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office will host Promoting Racial Justice and Transparency in Indiana, a community conversation, from 2 - 4 p.m. in the Monroe County Public Library. The conversation will focus on the prosecutors' impact on bail decisions during pretrial processing.  

The NAACP will also host its third book club reading 6 - 7 p.m., Feb. 22 in Morgenstern’s Book Club. The NAACP is reading “Moonrise Over New Jessup” by Jamila Minnicks and invites people to learn about communities on freedom, liberation, empowerment and reclaiming their story.  

To learn more about Black History Month celebrations in Bloomington, visit the city’s website. To learn more about Black History Month celebrations at IU, visit the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's website.  

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