Honoring Black History Month in Columbia

Celebrate the community through talks and storytelling, education and work, art and poetry all month long.


Ija Charles mural on Main Street celebrates Columbia’s Black business district. | Photo via COLAtoday Team

Every February, the country marks the history, struggles, achievements, and contributions of generations of Black Americans. From storytelling and music to a book signing with A’ja Wilson, here are a few ways to honor Black History Month in Columbia.

Exploring the written word

Celebrating Gullah/Geechee Legacy & Literacy: An Evening with Queen Quet | Thursday, Feb. 1 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | South Carolina State Library, 1500 Senate St., Columbia | Free | Queen Quet will provide a histo-musical presentation to open a Gullah/Geechee exhibition curated from De Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive, followed by a book signing.

Black History Month Celebration | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 2-5 p.m. | Richland Library Main, 1431 Assembly St., Columbia | Free | Features culinary conversation with Gullah Chef BJ Dennis, author Dinah Johnson, a performance by the Cultural Expression African Drum and Dance Ensemble, a “Tracing Your Roots” display, a community vendor market, and artist-in-residence Chuck Brown.

A'ja Wilson by her statue at the Colonial Life Arena

A’ja Wilson by her statue at the Colonial Life Arena | Image via @krislumague

A’ja Wilson “Dear Black Girls” Book Discussion & Signing Event | Sunday, Feb. 25 | 6 p.m. | R2i2 Conference Center, 763 Fashion Dr., Columbia | $5-$25 | Join WNBA star and Cola native A’ja Wilson for an inspiring evening as she discusses her book “Dear Black Girls”. The event includes a one-on-one discussion with fellow WNBA player Allisha Gray, a Q+A session, and a book signing opportunity.

Hearing history

Columbia Conversations | Injustice in Focus: The Civil Rights Photography of Cecil Williams | Thursday, Feb. 15 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Boyd Horticultural Center, 1615 Blanding St., Columbia | Free (Registration required) | Join a discussion with journalist Claudia Smith Brinson and Civil Rights photographer Cecil Williams photos of key moments of the South Carolina Civil Rights Movement. The event includes a book signing and light refreshments, with books available for purchase.

Camden’s Parlor Talk: Briggs v. Elliot | Thursday, Feb. 22 | 1:00 p.m. | 212 Broad St., Camden | Free | This event focuses on the pivotal Briggs v. Elliot case and its significant impact on civil rights and education equality in America.

Irmo’s Black History Celebration | Saturday, Feb. 24 | 5:30 p.m. | Irmo High Center for the Arts, 6671 St. Andrews Rd., Irmo | $10-$20 | Join the community in a celebration of Black history with various cultural performances, educational presentations, and more, highlighting the rich heritage and contributions of Black Americans.

Experiencing art

Black History Ball | Saturday, Feb. 3 | 7-10 p.m. | Columbia Museum of Art 1515 Main St., Columbia | $65-$100 | The Ball will focus on the evolution and impact of Hip Hop culture, marking the conclusion of Hip Hop’s 50th year. The event will feature discussions with Civil Rights activist Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., and Grammy Award-winning producer David Banner.

Step Afrika! | Thursday, Feb. 15 | 8 p.m. | $10+ | Newberry Opera House, 1201 McKibben St., Newberry | Step Afrika’s shows are celebrations that immerse audiences in the vibrant traditions of African dance.


The Nickelodeon Black History Month Film Series | Feb. 27th-29th | Nickelodeon Theater, 1607 Main St., Columbia | Times vary | $5 | Celebrate Black History Month with a special film series at The Nickelodeon, in partnership with various organizations including the SC Commission for Minority Affairs. The series includes screenings of “Marshall,” “Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child,” and “Summer of Soul,” each complemented by discussions and artistic collaborations. This series is a tribute to black artistry and excellence, fostering community engagement and diverse narratives.