Honor Black history and support Black futures

Nashville is a community steeped in Black history and shaped by Black voices and culture. Every year, Black History Month puts a spotlight on the transformative but often painful history of Black Americans, and how, despite systemic injustice and roadblocks, they have contributed so much to American culture and achievement.  

Nashvillians are fortunate to have many ways to learn more about Black history, music, and organizations all year long, not just in February. Here’s a roundup of some tours, events, and initiatives that strive to strengthen our community’s understanding of Black history and commitment to racial equity.  

Please note that COVID-19 may result in changes to or cancellations of events listed here. Please check with the individual agencies and organizations ahead of time for scheduling updates! And check out even more events and activities here. Know of a great event or activity we’re missing? Leave it in the comments!

• National Museum of African-American Music: This beautiful new museum just opened and is accepting visitors. NMAAM is the first museum to tell a comprehensive story about the impact African Americans have made on American culture through music. Bonus, NMAAM recently joined HON as a community partner, and we’re looking forward to all the ways volunteers will be able to support the museum! 

CLICK HERE to learn more about how to visit the museum, which is open on Saturdays and Sundays this month. 

• Tour civil rights sit-ilocations: This 1.2-hour, 1-mile walking tour takes participants to notable locations in the sit-in movement in which demonstrators peacefully occupied a location to challenge segregation and discrimination. Rep. John Lewis, who died in 2020, famously led a series of sit-ins in Nashville.  

CLICK HERE to learn more about the walking tour (and its virtual version). 

• Learn about the Black experience: Billed as “A virtual Black history experience for disrupters,” this live, interactive event hosted by antiracism activist and founder of United Street Tours Chakita Sharnise promises to show Nashville as you’ve never seen it. 

CLICK HERE to register for the Feb. 1 event (select the “virtual experiences” tab) at 6 p.m., which will also be recorded and made available to view for 48 hours after the event. 

• Tour sites important to early Black life and culture: This 1.5-hour, 1.2-mile walking tour uncovers the buried history of early Black life and culture in Nashville by exploring the lives and work of free and enslaved African Americans. 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the walking tour (and its virtual version). 

• Learn about historic Black communities in Tennessee: This Feb. 4 online panel discussion hosted by the Tennessee State Museum will take a look at how historic Black communities including Orange Mound and Free Hill were created, their evolution, and the broader cultural impact. 

CLICK HERE to sign up for the event via Facebook. The Tennessee State Museum has additional Black History Month events scheduled this month. Check them all out here

• Support Black-led nonprofits via CFMT’s Give Black, Give Back initiative: In 2020, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee launched Give Black, Give Back as a way to support and strengthen equity in Middle Tennessee.  

CLICK HERE to learn more about the initiative and how to support Black-led agencies in the Nashville area. 

• Volunteer with the Equity Alliance: The Equity Alliance is a grassroots local organization that advocates for African Americans and other communities of color to have a fair and just opportunities at realizing the American dream. TEA strives to equip citizens with tools and strategies to engage in the civic process and empower them to take action on issues affecting their daily lives. 

CLICK HERE to volunteer with The Equity Alliance. 

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