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Celebrating Black History Month: Local Events in Freeport and Stephenson County

Celebrating Black History Month: Local Events in Freeport and Stephenson County
February 5, 2024 Billy George

As we usher in the month of February, celebrating Black History Month takes center stage across the nation. In Freeport and Stephenson County, these events serve as a platform to commemorate and pay homage to the rich and diverse African American heritage in the community. From educational seminars and cultural exhibitions to artistic performances and community discussions, the local events planned for Black History Month offer a unique opportunity for residents to engage, learn, and connect.

On Friday, February 16 at 7 pm, Highland Community College will host “Jazzin’ It Up for Peace,” a Black History Month Performance by Mr. Carl Cole and the Sounds of Good News Productions. Mr. Cole will be accompanied by feature performances from the HCC Chamber Singers for an evening of spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, pop and R&B styles alongside historical narration. This performance is free to the public.

Highland will also host a presentation by Dr. Amira Millicent Davis on The Black Chicago Renaissance on Tuesday, February 20 at 2 pm. The presentation focuses on the early to mid-20th century migration of Southern Blacks to Chicago and the cultural revolution they trail-blazed in their new setting. The presentation will include a Q&A and an opportunity for attendees to share their family migration stories. For more information, visit

The National Day of Racial Healing will be hosted by Freeport NAACP and United Way of Northwest Illinois at the Freeport Public Library on Saturday, February 24. The event will feature discussion groups, speakers, art displays and more. Visit Freeport NAACP on Facebook for more information.

The Boys & Girls Club of Stephenson County and CHOICES will host “Black History is American History” at the Jeanette Lloyd Theater on February 24 at 6 pm. The event promises a night of music, dancing, and theatrical presentations with guest performances. For more information, contact the Boys & Girls Club of Stephenson County.

The Freeport Public Library will host a book discussion of How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith on Monday, February 26 at 6:30 pm. This #1 New York Times Bestseller leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves. For more information on the book discussion and to pick up a copy, visit the Freeport Public Library or

Continue to follow Greater Freeport Partnership on Facebook and subscribe to the weekly events guide for other events as they are promoted.

These events serve as a reminder that Black History Month is not just a reflection of the past but a call to action for a more inclusive future. By participating in local commemorations, residents actively contribute to the ongoing narrative of diversity and unity, fostering a community that appreciates the collective strength found in embracing our differences.