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June Davis, a carpenter by trade, cycles down 40th Street near Gus Young Ave., past a building bearing a painted mural of Harriet Tubman on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, the first day of the annual celebration of Black History Month in the United States. Tubman was an American abolitionist and humanitarian who was born into slavery, but escaped and later made missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved families and friends, using the 'Underground Railroad' network of antislavery activists and safe houses. Davis said 'it's a very motivating thing,' to hear about the sometimes unsung contributions made by African-American people.

Black History Month, a time of celebration and education about African-American history and culture, is well underway in Baton Rouge. And it is continuing strong through the end of February.

A large number of events are coming up, from poetry and book readings at local libraries to a recognition of local African-American leaders. Below is a roundup of Black History Month events coming up in the Baton Rouge area.

Did we leave out an event that should be included? Tell us about it by emailing

Saturday, Feb. 16

NOW AND THEN MUSEUM BLACK HISTORY CELEBRATION: Noon to 2 p.m., Odell S. Williams Now and Then Museum of African-American History, 538 South Blvd. Including music, dance and speakers along with museum tours and a walking tour to exhibits in the neighborhood. (225) 343-4431.

CHILDREN'S AFRICAN-AMERICAN READ-IN: 3 p.m., Scotlandville Branch Library, 7373 Scenic Highway. Volunteers can read a poem, recite quotes, sing songs or read from a book. All ages welcome. (225) 354-7560;

Monday, Feb. 18

BOOKS AND BREW: THE COLLECTED WORKS OF LANGSTON HUGHES: 1 p.m., Fairwood Branch Library, 12910 Old Hammond Highway. Discussing works by the great Harlem Renaissance poet, novelist and playwright. (225) 924-9384;

BLACK HISTORY TRIVIA: 3 p.m., Eden Park Branch Library, 5131 Greenwell Springs Road. Trivia game for teens focused on black history. (225) 231-3240;

"MARSHALL" FILM SCREENING: 3:30 p.m., Carver Branch Library, 720 Terrace St. (225) 389-7440;

AFRICAN-AMERICAN READ-IN: 4 p.m., River Center Branch Library, 447 Third St. Poetry readings from Charles R. Smith Jr.'s book "28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World." For ages 6-11. (225) 389-4967;

BRCC BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION: 6 p.m., BRCC's Magnolia Theatre, 201 Community College Dr. Celebration featuring Kenyan performance group Jabali Afrikkan Dancers.

Tuesday, Feb. 19

AFRICAN-AMERICAN READ-IN & SCAVENGER HUNT: 4:30 p.m., Carver Branch Library, 720 Terrace St. Scavenger hunt to match quotes with famous African-Americans. For ages 8-11. (225) 389-744;

AFRICAN-CARIBBEAN COOKING: 5 p.m., Eden Park Branch Library, 5131 Greenwell Springs Road. African-Caribbean cooking demonstration. (225) 231-3240;

Thursday, Feb. 21

KIWANIS CLUB BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROGRAM: 6 p.m., Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center, 950 E. Washington St. Hosted by Kiwanis Club of South Baton Rouge, features speaker Dr. Tamiara Wade, author of "A Will to Win: From Scotlandville to Space."

BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., BREC's Independence Park Theatre, 7800 Independence Blvd. This year's theme is "Present Day History: Channeling the Past, Changing the Narrative." Celebrating African-American history and culture through dance, music and literary performances. Mychal Bell of the Jena 6 will be a guest speaker. (225) 272-9200;

Saturday, Feb. 23

LSU AACC JAZZ BRUNCH: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., LSU's Stadium Club South at Tiger Stadium. Annual jazz brunch hosted by Clarence L. Barney Jr. African-American Cultural Center. Registration required. (225) 578-8039;

Sunday, Feb. 24

THE ART OF "SANKOFA'S EYMBRACE": 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Author and artist Antoine Ghost Mitchell will talk about their graphic novel "Sankofa's Eymbrace" and give a tour of an exhibit on display at Jones Creek Regional Branch Library through March. (225) 756-1140;

Thursday, Feb. 28

THE BLACK BALL: 7 p.m., East Baton Rouge COA Capital City Event Center, 6955 Florida Blvd. A celebration of black excellence, honoring the Rouge 28, a group of Baton Rouge black leaders and influences. Hosted by The Rouge Collection. $50 via


RIVER ROAD AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSEUM FILM SCREENINGS: The River Road African-American Museum is hosting a series of events around Baton Rouge to screen a new documentary about two local cemeteries where enslaved people are buried. Times at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at River Parish Community College (925 W. Edenborne Parkway); 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Southern University; 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at River Parish Community College; and 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at River Parish Community College. (225) 474-5553;

LOUISIANA DIGITAL MEDIA ARCHIVE: Online at Throughout the month, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive is highlighting videos about periods in Louisiana black history, from slavery and segregation to the civil rights movement.