5 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Portland

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February is Black History Month, and Portland plenty of ways to celebrate. From the library’s virtual “It’s Black Storytime” to a stadium-sized Trailblazers celebration, there are lots of ways to honor and acknowledge Black history in Portland (and beyond) throughout the month.
Black History Month graphic

In My Shoes

Go on a walking tour of Portland neighborhoods through the eyes of the Black Male Storytelling Project. From the website: “Word Is Bond presents ‘In My Shoes,’ a storytelling campaign in celebration of Black History Month that features nine walking tours in neighborhoods across Portland led by the community ambassadors of Word Is Bond. The tours are designed to highlight the voices, dreams, and experiences of rising Black men as well as the neighborhoods in which they live.

Support a Black-owned restaurant

Portland has an amazing array of food options, and sometimes the choices can be dizzying. For guided advice on finding Black-owned restaurants to support, head to the complete list at iloveblackfood.com, with a handy map for you to make planning simple.

Cascade Festival of African Films

Now in its 32nd year, the Cascade Festival of African Films shows “Africa through African lenses” by featuring directors from 18 different countries. The hybrid event has a strong virtual component, with four in-person screenings and the remaining films online. All showings are FREE! Head to their website for the line-up as well as instructions on how to view the films.

Read, watch, listen

With cultural events throughout the month and “It’s Black Storytime Live” every Wednesday in February, Multnomah County library has a great Black History Month virtual line-up. If you are looking for ideas on what books, shows, movies, artists, or musicians to explore beyond the library, the powerhouse non-profit Prosper Portland has a fantastic list to get you started.

Celebrate with the Trailblazers on Feb. 12

This annual celebration with the Portland Trailblazers includes a pre-game concert, a free beanie with purchase, and restaurant takeovers. Fundraising from the event will go toward the Black Educational Achievement Movement (B.E.A.M.). The 2:00pm game makes for a family-friendly basketball experience. If you can’t make it on Feb 12, there is another game at 6:00pm on Feb 27 for HBCU Night.

How do you honor and celebrate Black History Month?

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Lee Ann moved to Portland in 2008 following an eight-year stint in Paris, France, where her eldest was born. Though she thought nowhere could compete with the City of Lights, the City of Roses immediately stole her heart. As a great place to raise kids, she loves getting out and exploring the city and the PNW with her husband and four young children. While in France, Lee Ann earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Master's in Linguistics at the American University of Paris and L'Universite de Paris - La Sorbonne, respectively, before returning stateside to become a Speech-Language Pathologist through the Portland State University graduate program. Throughout her studies, she kept one foot in the digital world, writing content for publications and creating websites for clients. After many years as a medical Speech Pathologist, she left to the field to continue freelance writing, become the owner of Portland Mom Collective (!), and to create a crafting/workshop space for PDX makers. She likes to spend whatever "me" time she can muster making soap, geocaching, jogging, sewing, and staring at the wall with no small humans talking to her. Get in touch by sending a note to leeann {at} portlandmomcollective {dot} com, or follow her on Instagram.

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