African American History Month. African Americans and the Right to Vote. Image: Evelynn Butts

African American History Month

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February 2020

Theme: African Americans and the Right to Vote

African American History Month is celebrated each February since 1926 when Dr. Carter G. Woodson sought to commemorate the contributions of people of African descent in the United States. The national 2020 theme is African Americans and the Right to Vote.

"The year 2020 marks the centennial [100th anniversary] of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement.  The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial [150th anniversary] of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War." (Association for the Study of African American Life and History)

Join us throughout the month of February for celebratory and educational programs and events, including concerts, theatrical and dance performances, speakers, crafts and more.

The Phoenix and the Ashes

St. Joseph Catholic Church and School was a spiritual core for African American Catholics in Norfolk, and a long-lasting memory even after its demolish nearly 60 years ago. One late summer evening on September 1, 1926, Father Vincent Warren of the St. Joseph parish was abducted by the Ku Klux Klan and threatened to be burned alive, because of his association with blacks. He would emerge hours later, unharmed, a celebrated “Phoenix,” who continued his passionate advocacy for Norfolk’s black community.

Join us for a screening and panel discussion of Terrance Afer-Anderson’s short film “The Phoenix & the Ashes” which chronicles this turbulent point in Norfolk’s local history.

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