Next week marks the beginning of Black History Month, and the North Carolina Museum of History is holding its 17th Annual African American Cultural Celebration on Jan. 27 to kick it off.
The event is organized by the museum in partnership with the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission. It started as a small afternoon gathering 17 years ago and has grown every year since.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Emily Grant, the event coordinator of the initial celebration. “But then we had a huge public response. We thought we were really onto something and we were.”
The celebration offers presentations and activities that reflect various parts of African-American culture from the arts to cooking to enterprise. This year they added a new sports and games category.
“I think of this celebration as a family reunion, an exciting college seminar and a performing arts festival all put together,” said Michelle Lanier, executive director of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission. “It’s the only event that gives the visitor the opportunity to be fully immersed in African-American culture.”