Observed every February, Black History Month gives residents and visitors a chance to celebrate Orlando’s rich and diverse Black culture and heritage. Attending events, visiting heritage sites and supporting black-owned businesses are just a few ways to support, learn and understand more about Black history.
Celebrating Black History Month Through Events and Cultural Highlights
- 35th Zora! Festival (January-October): Taking place in Eatonville, this annual festival celebrates the life and work of the acclaimed Harlem Renaissance author. As the longest-running arts and humanities event, attendees gain knowledge about the cultural contributions of African Americans through public talks, museum exhibitions, historical tours, stage performances, arts education programming, a humanities-based conference and an Outdoor Arts Festival.
- Black History Month Celebration (February 15): Attend this Black History Month exhibit opening reception hosted by HAPCO Music Foundation at the Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center at the Town of Oakland. FAMU alumni Dr. Eurydice Stanley will speak about Harriet Tubman and present the documentary film “Chasing Harriet: Tracing the Footsteps of an Icon to Freedom,” showcasing Tuman’s life and extensive contributions to the U.S. Art and spoken word poetry is also a feature of the exhibit.
Visiting Heritage Sites
- The Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture: Originally a historic hotel, this museum now houses memorabilia of Orlando’s African American community, including artifacts from the Civil Rights era.
- Hannibal Square Heritage Center: Dedicated to the history of Winter Park’s African American community, Hannibal Square Heritage Center offers exhibits and educational programs.
- City Hall’s Terrace Gallery Art Exhibition: The City of Orlando invites local visual artists to display their work celebrating Black History Month. This exhibition is a tribute to the deep connection between art and Black heritage, honoring the 2024 Black history theme of “African Americans and the Arts.”
Supporting Black-Owned Businesses
- Seana’s: A Caribbean haven offering authentic flavors and a vibrant atmosphere.
- Shantell’s Just Until: A cozy spot known for its hearty meals and the warmth of home cooking.
- Pattie Lou’s Donuts: A delightful donut shop in Orlando known for its custom, made-to-order donuts.
- Uncle Tony’s Backyard BBQ: A popular barbecue spot in Orlando, Uncle Tony’s is renowned for its authentic, hearty and smoky flavors.
- Selam Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine: A culinary journey to East Africa with authentic, flavorful dishes.
2. Professional Services
- ModernEyes at Alafaya: A provider of quality vision services to Orlando and the surrounding communities.
- Premiere Orthodontics: A well-respected orthodontic practice offering a range of services, including braces and Invisalign, tailored to meet each patient’s unique needs.
- BBIF Florida (Black Business Investment Fund): A non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial and business development support to African American businesses.
- Purely Legal: Burns Sheppard Favors: A distinguished law firm with a client-first approach.
Black History Month: A Community’s Celebration
Orlando’s celebration of Black History Month extends beyond these events and businesses. It’s about recognizing the ongoing influence and contributions of the African American community to the city’s cultural landscape. Let’s continue to honor and embrace Orlando’s rich Black heritage all year long through art, education, and, most importantly, community engagement and support.