Celebrating Black History Month

Activities and thoughtful experiences happening throughout Black History Month in and around downtown Ithaca

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Above: Photo of Black Lives Matter Mural on East Green Street next to Underground Railroad Mural by a collection of local artists.  Photo by Jill Ruthauser

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Gallery Night Downtown

In honor of Black History month, included in this February’s Gallery Night on Friday Feb. 5th, are four featured local black artists that have been set up with galleries to display recent works giving a space for black voices and art.


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Mighty Yoga


Words to Flow By:  Gentle Yoga + Reading 
w/ Zainab Zakari
livestream from home with Mighty Yoga
Sunday, Feb 28th, 11:30am-12pm
Donations go towards the Ithaca Southside Community Center
Register in advance via mightyyoga.com
Enjoy a simple, gentle yoga flow to prepare you to rest in a supported restorative yoga pose.  As you lay in rest, Zainab will read a passage from an inspiring, thoughtful and liberating work.  This at home virtual session will feature a poem by a Black author, to honor the many Black voices in our world this month.

For your at-home yoga practice, you'll need a yoga mat, 2 yoga blocks, 1-3 thick blankets, & 1 bolster or a long, firm pillow.

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Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC)

GIAC will be presenting our annual Black History Month Community Talent show themed "A Party for Kamala” virtually on Feb. 26th at 6 pm. Stay tuned for details and links! At GIAC, Black History Month is every month.

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The History Center in Tompkins County

Learn about Black history in Tompkins County, historic Black residents, and engage with curriculum and virtual exhibits on our Black History Month web page. Also tune in to our social media feeds for posts highlighting local Black history. Stop by our Exhibit Hall and learn about the phenomenal lives of women civil rights leaders in the "Sisters of Change" exhibit, and explore exhibits on the Webbs, Levi Spaulding, and other notable residents of Tompkins County in the Exhibit Hall
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Buffalo Street Books

We are honoring the theme of Black History Matters for Black History Month. We are featuring three books in particular: ABCs of Black History picture book by Rio Cortez; African American Poetry 250 Years of Struggle & Song; and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African American 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain.
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Black Lives Matter Kiosks

Local Artist Terry Plater in partnership with the DIA refitted digital kiosks in downtown with portrait paintings and line drawings of people of color along with the slogan Black Lives Matter on the side panels. View these art pieces on The Ithaca Commons.
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Martin Luther King Jr. Statue

Created by local artist Rob Licht. Bronze and stainless steel sculpture  inscribed with the quote ”we will not be satisfied untied justice rolls like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream". Located on the Ithaca Commons, pictured here covered in flowers this past MLK Jr Day. Picture by Sarah Horbacewicz of WENY. Learn more about the current efforts towards racial equality locally in her special report below.

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Odyssey Bookstore

February 25 at 6pm you are invited to join a virtual event featuring Dr Carolyn Finney author of Black Faces, White Spaces. This event is sponsored by Fingerlakes Land Trust, USFWS, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Ithaca Childrens Garden and The Learning Farm.  This event is an opportunity to explore how we meet this moment in American history as it relates to green space, race, and the power to shape the places we live in our own image. 


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Public Art Murals

Ten years after the original Underground Railroad mural displayed beneath the Aurora Street bridge on Green Street was painted, it is being revitalized by four local artists. Read about the stories of Justice Painted Into Ithaca Murals by By Grace Azaula — Contributing Writer for The Ithacan.

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Deep Breath Project

An intersectional, art-as-activism, anti-racism project by Show Up Stand Up Listen Community Organization.

Chapter 1: Deep Breath, Featuring Dr. Nia Nunn, this February.


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#BlackHistoryMonth #BLM