The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) kicks off its Black History Month celebrations tonight, Feb. 3 at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Several Minneapolis parks will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with special movies, music and activities for youth and families.
The month’s celebrations begin with the Park Board’s Night Owlz program for teens, Friday, Feb. 3, at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park from 9–11 p.m. “Lean on Me,” a film based on a true story about a principal dedicated to improving a decaying inner-city school, will be shown. The film’s message about how youth and adults can overcome the challenges facing inner-city youth is as relevant today as it was when originally released in 1989. Light snacks will be provided. Ages 12–18. Free.
Each Friday in February, Powderhorn Park will show viewer’s choice films featuring African American lead actors with popcorn provided for free from 9–10:30 p.m. during its Night Owlz program for ages 12–18.
Celebrate Black History Month at Fuller Park with a special youth movie night, Friday, Feb. 17 from 6–9 p.m. The movie “Akeela and the Bee” will be shown. Pizza, popcorn and pop will be served. Ages 5–12. Pre-registration required. $10/child.
Painter Park will host a free, family movie night, Thursday, Feb. 23 from 6:30–9 p.m. “Remember the Titans” will be the featured film. Popcorn and juice will be provided.
A Black History Month Movie in the Park will be shown Wednesday, Feb. 29 from 6–8 p.m. for ages 11–17 at North Commons Park. Popcorn and refreshments will be served. Free.
Lyndale Farmstead Park will honor Black History Month by focusing on African American music and its contribution to American culture on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 6–10 p.m.; a DJ will play music by African American musicians from past and present. Ice skating (weather permitting) and other activities will be available, including videos on African American history. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided. All ages. Free.
Activities and Events
Learn about past and present African American leaders, what they’ve dedicated their lives to and how they’ve made a difference for our country and the world in weekly Black History Month internet challenges at Corcoran, Sibley and Powderhorn parks. Stop by one of the parks’ front desks for an activity worksheet and prizes once completed.
From Feb. 13–29, stop by Waite, Windom or Audobon parks to play Black History Trivia. Prizes will be awarded for completed trivia questions.
Celebrate the taste of African American cuisine at Longfellow Park’s Soul Food Experience, Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 5–7 p.m. Cook and learn about soul food, thought to have originated from Africa and the West Indies during the civil rights era. Create dishes of rice and red beans, sweet potatoes and a tropical dessert treat made with coconut, bananas and mandarin oranges. Ages 10–16. Please pre-register. $2/person.
North Commons Park will host a Black History Month Jeopardy Game Challenge and African Ceramic Mask Painting event for ages 11–17 Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 6–8 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Free.
Luxton Park will host a Black History Month celebration Feb. 23 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. featuring a 20 minute documentary, story teller, crafts and light refreshments.
Express what peace means to you at Longfellow Park’s peace mural Friday, Feb. 17 and Feb. 24 from 6–8 p.m. Each artist will have a section of canvas to express their vision of peace using acrylic paint before the finished product is displayed in the recreation center. Ages 10–16. Free.