HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — February is Black History Month and numerous organizations and community members throughout Hampton Roads are hosting events and gatherings to reflect on African American heritage and culture.

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  • The Hampton History Museum will host a virtual book launch event on Monday, Feb. 7, for “A House Built By Slaves,” written by Christopher Newport University professor Jonathan White. The non-fiction book explores how Abraham Lincoln became the first president to engage African-American citizens who had come to the White House to exercise the First Amendment right to petition the government. The museum’s Facebook livestream is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday. After the livestream on Facebook, the presentation will be posted on the museum’s website.
  • The Fort Monroe Authority and the National Park Service in partnership with the Underground Kitchen are hosting a free virtual event on February 18 as part of their Evolution of Freedom series. The event will focus on food and how it chaned over history. Registration is required.
  • Visit Hampton is holding guided bus tours of the city’s Black history and culture sites. The 400 Years Forward Bus Tour is on February 11, 12, 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The tour includes a stop at Fort Monroe. Tickets are $52.99 for adults and $45.99 for kids. For more information and to order tickets, click here.

Newport News

The Mariners’ Museum and Park has kicked off its celebration of Black History Month. Special programming will cover a wide range of interesting topics suited for children and adults.

  • Saturday, February 5, 2022
    African Maritime Collage
    In Person ($1; free for Members) • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    A family-friendly event where Mariners of all ages can create a collage using African fabrics, found objects, embellishments, and photographs from the Museum Collections.
  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022
    Speakers’ BureauDoris “Dorie” Miller: An American Hero
    Virtual (free) • 1 p.m.
    Learn the heroic story of the African American sailor who stepped up and defended his country when Pearl Harbor was attacked from Museum docent Ed Moore.
  • Thursday, February 17, 2022
    Evening LectureEmphatically, the Black Man’s President: African Americans and Abraham Lincoln
    In Person (free for Members; $10 for guests) and Livestreamed (free) • 7 p.m.
    Encounter the remarkable story of Abraham Lincoln and the Black community during the crucible of the Civil War with Jonathan White, associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University.
  • Friday, February 18, 2022
    Civil War Lecture
    The Honorable Robert Smalls
    In Person ($1; free for Members) and Livestreamed (free) • 12 p.m.
    Hear from author and historian John V. Quarstein as he presents the incredible story of Robert Smalls, who was born enslaved but became known as a recognized political leader and advocate for African American rights.
  • Thursday, February 24, 2022
    Africa’s Kingdoms and Maritime Cultures: The Nilotic People
    Virtual (free) • 1 p.m.
    Learn about the Indigenous people of the Nile Valley in Africa from Erika Cosme, the Museum’s content and interpretation developer.
  • Friday, February 25, 2022
    Hampton Roads History Lecture
    Harriet Buss: Educator of Freed People
    In Person ($1; free for Members) and Livestreamed (free) • 12 p.m.
    Join Lydia Davis Hester, the Museum’s history educator, as she shares the story of Harriet Buss who taught formerly enslaved African Americans in Norfolk and other Southern cities after the Civil War.
  • Saturday, February 26, 2022
    From the Motherland: The Legends and Tales of Africa
    In Person ($1; free for Members) • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    Virtual (free) • 1 p.m.
    Travel along with Wisteria Perry and Erika Cosme from the Museum’s Interpretation team as the pair provides fascinating stories of African cultures that continue to be told in today’s pop culture through literature, movies, and television.


  • Norfolk Botanical Garden:
    • The Garden is celebrating Black History Month with free admission every Thursday all throughout the month of February. Community members are invited to explore the Garden’s 175 acres.
  • Tidewater Community College celebrates Black History Month
    • Tidewater Community College is celebrating Black History Month 2022 with numerous events both virtual and in-person all throughout February.
    • One of the main events is a virtual presentation featuring the president of African Ancestry, Inc., Gina Paige. The interactive conversation will be held on Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. To register for the event, click here


  • “Black Joy in the Outdoors”
    • Suffolk city officials are aiming to bring community members together with a series of outdoor activities including cycling, hiking, and archery.
    • The programs are open to the public and are free to attend. Advanced registration is required and can be done HERE

Virginia Beach

  • Virginia Beach Public Library to host New York Times bestselling author
    • Author Jason Reynolds will talk about his book, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” on Friday, Feb. 18, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library auditorium. The event is free and open to adults and students in grades 6 and up. A book signing will follow the talk. 


  • The Virginia Musical Museum & Virginia Music Hall of Fame will give free guided tours to any high school or college music group in February. The tours will be on Feb. 9, 11, 16, and 25.
    • The hall of fame includes personal items, pictures and a history of Virginia’s African American musicians. Some artists featured include: Ella Fitzgerald, Ruth Brown, Pharrell Williams, Pearl Bailey, Clarence Clemons, Sissieretta Jones, The Five Keys, The Old South Quartet, Missy Elliott and others.