With MLK’s birthday, Black History Month celebrations, and Houston’s general preponderance of fun activities I put together a list of my highest recommendations so that you can mark your calendars. I hope to see you in the streets!
The Color Purple at The Hobby Center
January 9, 2018 – January 14, 2018
With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story. Don’t miss this stunning re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South. The musical sensation that New York Magazine calls “one of the greatest revivals ever.” Experience the exhilarating power of this Tony-winning triumph! Learn more here.
Poet Marcus Wicker at HMAAC
January 12, 2018
Join Gulf Coast for an incredible evening at the Houston Museum of African American Culture on January 12, 7:30 pm. Award-winning author Marcus Wicker will read alongside the stunning artwork of David McGee. You don’t want to miss this event! Learn more here.
HBCU Documentary & Panel: Tell Them We Are Rising
January 12, 2018
Texas Southern University & KTSU 90.9 FM presents “Tell Them We Are Rising” screening and panel discussion with Director of TTWAR – Stanley Nelson, TSU President – Dr. Austin Lane, TSU Professor & Debate Coach – Dr. Thomas Freeman, Grammy Award Singer – Yolanda Adams and TSU SGA – Corbrin Burton. This event will highlight the history and legacy of TSU as an HBCU in Houston, Texas. Learn more here.
Play: AD Players – Best of Enemies
January 12, 2018 – February 4, 2018
Two natural enemies—a Ku Klux Klan member and a civil rights advocate—clash then become unlikely friends in this true story of racial tension and reconciliation set in Durham, North Carolina in 1971. (Based on the bestselling book, THE BEST OF ENEMIES, by Osha Gray Davidson) A true story. Their views made them enemies…until their lives made them friends. Learn more here.
People First Saturday Block Walk
January 13, 2018 (and every Saturday!)
Let’s continue to activate voters in Senate District 17 and make sure they know about Fran, her platform and when they can vote for her. Never block walked for a campaign before? Don’t worry – we’ll train you and provide all materials. Training will begin at 11:45am and will last 20-30 minutes. For the pros, come with your campaign t-shirt, pick up a packet and go! No training required! Water and snacks will be provided. Please wear comfortable shoes. Come join us for a fun afternoon of voter outreach! Learn more here.
Monumental Decisions: Art, Politics & Social Responsibility
January 15, 2018
In honor of the life and work of the Rev. Dr. King, the Chapel will hold a lecture and conversation exploring the power of symbols in our society today. Conversation with artist Ed Dwight, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, and Texas Southern University Art Historian and Curator Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, moderated by ABC13 Houston news anchor ABC13-Melanie Lawson. Learn more here.
University of Houston MLK Commemorative Celebration – Symone Sanders
January 18, 2018
The 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration is an opportunity for the University of Houston community to celebrate and reflect on the legacy and life of civil rights leader Dr. King. We gather during this time to memorialize the work and accomplishments of one of the most prominent African American leaders in modern history. Political Activist, CNN Political Commentator, and Former National Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Campaign Symone Sanders is the keynote speaker. Learn more here.
Opening Reception: Dissent and Desire
January 19, 2018
Celebrate the opening of Dissent and Desire featuring documentary photographs by Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh that chronicle contemporary LGBTQ+ life in Delhi, India. The exhibition depicts 48 color photographs that chronicle contemporary LGBTQ+ life in Delhi, India. Music will be provided by KTRU’s The Navrang Show DJ, Gaura Karuna. Cash bar, with light bites generously provided by Pondicheri. Learn more here.
Rebecca Solnit Lecture and Book Signing
January 24, 2018
Hear renowned writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit speak about her current projects and her essay in the exhibition catalogue for “Mona Hatoum: Terra Infirma.” Solnit has written extensively on such themes as feminism, western and indigenous history, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, and hope and disaster. She has received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award. Learn more here.
Obsidian Theater – For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide
January 25, 2018 – February 17, 2018
This groundbreaking “choreopoem” is a spellbinding collection of vivid prose and free verse narratives about and performed by Black women. Capturing the brutal, tender and dramatic lives of contemporary Black women, For Colored Girls… offers a transformative, riveting evening of provocative dance, music and poetry. Learn more here.
Bettina Love – Scholar-in-Residence at University of Houston-Downtown
January 30, 2018 – February 1, 2018
“When Hip Hop scholars place Hip Hop in the context of higher education, the robustness of Hip Hop culture allows us to have complex class discussions about the contemporary everyday realities of urban youth who endure the social, economic, physiological, and psychological trauma of coping with the racial injustices of ‘post-racial’ America.” Learn more here.
Station Museum Exhibition Opening: In(di)visible
February 3, 2018
An exhibition examining immigration, the residual effects of war, and the implications of assimilation, integration, and invisibility for Asian Americans. From the intergenerational trauma of war and the impossibility of articulating what is lost between generations to the legacy of federal policies such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and Executive Order 9066 in 1942. These artists use their experiences to bring visibility and add nuance to the cultural understanding of Asians in America. Learn more here.
Houston Public Library Presents Nikki Giovanni
February 15, 2018
Hear from poet, author and activist Nikki Giovanni. Copies of her new and critically-acclaimed book, A GOOD CRY, will be available for purchase. All HPL programs are free of charge and open to the public! This RSVP provides an estimate attendance and does not guarantee a seat. Seating is open and first come, first serve. Learn more here.
Black Panther: Private Screening Fundraiser – YAP Houston
February 15, 2018
Young African Professionals brings you this private screening of the highly anticipated debut of Black Panther. This is the first major superhero movie to feature an all-Black cast and you get to see the movie early with family! Dress code: African attire or Afro-Punk clothing highly encouraged. $25 tickets come with popcorn and non-alcoholic beverage. Learn more here.
Houston Afrofuturism Book Club – The City Born Great
February 17, 2018
We’re continuing our Afrofuturism book club here in Houston where we’ll (mostly) tackle short stories. This month we’re discussing the short story The City Born Great by Hugo award-winning author N.K. Jemisin. You can read it for free online here. Learn more about the book club here. Learn more here.
This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale
February 22, 2018
Join us at The Living Room at HPL to view film, This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale. Director Jon Schwartz will be on-site to discuss and answer questions as he reflects on his classic 1987 documentary on the 60-year history of an archetypal American neighborhood in Houston called Riverside; and its experience of the classic syndrome of integration, real estate blockbusting, white flight, and regentrification. Learn more here.