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Special Events to Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

Explore African American influence and culture throughout Orlando during Black History Month and beyond, including notable landmarks like the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park.

Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

February is Black History Month, and Orlando is ready to help you celebrate with engaging events, exhibitions, and live performances. Plus, take the time to explore Orlando’s rich African American heritage, history and cultural influences in Orlando's neighborhoods, galleries and museums.

Orlando's Black History Month will feature an opening reception of an art exhibition at City Hall’s Terrace Gallery and a signature community celebration event, which will highlight this year’s theme, "African Americans and the Arts” allowing the Orlando community to celebrate the rich contributions of African American residents to our nation's cultural landscape throughout its history in the visual arts, performing arts, literature, film, music and much more.

Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

Orlando Black History Month Events

Reflections of Time II
January 6 - February 29, 2024

Explore the journey of African American artists from Central Florida and beyond at this limited-time exhibition, available at Winter Garden City Hall through the end of the month. Reflections of Time II features artwork of varying disciplines, all dedicated to Black excellence and the preservation of time.

Celebrate Soulfully at Walt Disney World
February 1 - 29

As February begins, guests of Walt Disney World Resort can explore new and traditional ways to “Celebrate Soulfully” during Black History Month with a variety of experiences to celebrate, educate and honor Black heritage and culture throughout the resort. From art to food to music and more, there are many opportunities to feel soulful.

Black History Month at Orange County Libraries
February 2 – 29

Orange County Libraries will celebrate Black History Month with family-friendly crafts, live music and storytelling, trivia, playtime, and more incredible events. It all starts with the 34th Annual National African American Read-In on Feb. 1, featuring authors of African American literature, and continues all month long. Highlighted events include Orisirisi African Folklore, Black History Science Smart, Motown Movin’, Black History Month Heroes, A Trip to Africa, Explore Space with Mae, and more.

Black History Month Art Exhibit
February 2 – March 31, 2024

The arts are an intrinsic part of Black heritage and culture, for this reason, the City of Orlando hosted an Open Call for local artists to showcase the diverse richness of African American history and heritage through the visual arts.

After evaluating all the art submissions, a diverse group of 26 visual artists were chosen to showcase their art pieces at the city’s Black History Month Art Exhibition in the Terrace Gallery at Orlando City Hall.

The art exhibit runs from February 2 – March 31, 2024, and residents and visitors are encouraged to visit the Terrace Gallery to enjoy a beautiful display of creativity, inspiration and cultural heritage of African American visual artists.

History Alive: Bessie Coleman Aviation Adventure.
February 4

Reach for the skies with Bessie Coleman, the first known African American and Native American female pilot, at the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando. Coleman, who received her license in 1921, was well known for her daring in-air tricks and flying performances. She also gave speeches, taught flight lessons, and encouraged African Americans and women to soar to new heights. Discover her story and learn more about Central Florida aviation history through themed hands-on activities for the whole family during History Alive: Bessie Coleman Aviation Adventure.

City of Orlando’s Black History Month Proclamation
February 5, 2024

The Orlando City Council will proclaim February as Black History Month in the City of Orlando. In addition, the City of Orlando’s Black History Month Employee Planning Committee and sponsors will be recognized for helping to coordinate, promote and support a variety of events that celebrate the rich and diverse African American culture and heritage.

Black History Month Art Exhibition Opening Reception
February 05, 2024

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, District 5 City Commissioner Regina I. Hill, District 6 City Commissioner Bakari F. Burns and the Orlando City Council will host the opening reception of the City of Orlando's Black History Month Art Exhibition sponsored by Orlando Health on Monday, February 5 from 5 - 8 p.m. at City Hall's Terrace Gallery. The exhibit celebrates the creativity, inspiration, and cultural heritage of African American visual artists, aligning with this year’s national Black History Month theme, “African Americans and the Arts.” The art exhibition runs from February 2 to March 31, 2024.

Hors d'oeuvres will be served, and complimentary parking is available at the City Commons Parking Garage on 460 Boone Avenue. Please inform the parking attendant of your attendance at the city's Black History Month event. 

Parramore Historic Bus Tour 2024
February 8, 2024

Join District 5 City Commissioner Regina I. Hill and the City of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board in celebrating Black History Month and the positive contributions, culture, and heritage of our African American residents.

The tour offers our residents to take a step back in history as we board a bus for a historic tour! Our special guest tour conductor for the event will be Commissioner Hill. Following the tour, guests will enjoy complimentary admission to the Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture.

Black History Month Art Exhibition - Meet the Artists Reception
February 12, 2024

The City of Orlando Multicultural Affairs Office, in partnership with the Downtown Orlando Partnership and Black History Month platinum sponsor Orlando Credit Union, presents a "Meet the Artists Reception" in celebration of Black History Month. Engage with and gain insights from the talented artists behind the art pieces on display in the Black History Month art exhibition. Discover the inspiration, stories, and cultural influences that shaped their work while enjoying coffee and donuts from black-owned and operated businesses.

Don't miss this opportunity to engage, discover, and celebrate the extraordinary talents within our community. Reserve your spot now and join us for an unforgettable "Meet the Artists" event in celebration of Black History Month.

Hint of History: Galactic Trailblazers
February 13, 2024

Houston, we have history! Join Orange County Regional History Center to recognize Black Americans who have contributed to America’s space journey.

Timucua Amplifies Black Voices
February 16 - 17, 2024

Join Timucua Arts Foundation for an electrifying range of jazz, soul, contemporary classical, R&B and choral performances during Timucua Amplifies Black Voices Weekend. The intimate concert space is home to some of the most diverse, inclusive and accessible performances in Orlando, with a one-of-a-kind acoustic control system to match. Enjoy unforgettable performances from Solomon Jaye: With a Twist, Britton René Collins, Jarred Armstrong Trio, DeAndre Lettsome Quartet and Brandon Martin throughout the weekend.

Honoring Black Heritage & Culture
February 17, 2024

Join Orange County Regional History Center for the second annual Honoring Black Heritage and Culture family day event! This year’s theme is African Americans as leaders in the arts. We will explore the tremendous impact Black Americans have had on visual arts, music, cultural movements, and more. The day will include performances, speakers, and activities for all ages. Museum admission is free on this date, thanks to funding from Florida Humanities.

The event will include an artist showcase featuring Florida craft artists from our Cultural Sustainability and Legacy Planning for Craft Artist project in collaboration with Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and Craft Emergency Relief Fund.

City of Orlando’s Black History Month Community Celebration
February 20, 2024

Join the City of Orlando for their annual Black History Month Celebration Event celebrating the remarkable contributions and positive influence of Black Americans in the Central Florida community. This free event will include the participation of Mayor Dyer, City Commissioners, City of Orlando Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome, Standing Ovation Dancers, saxophonist James Johnson, entertainment, music, food and the debut of the City Beautiful Voices, featuring city employees. 

Fair Housing Fair
February 24, 2024

The City of Orlando Office of Human Relations is hosting a Fair Housing Fair on Saturday, February 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grand Avenue Neighborhood Center. Learn more about your fair housing rights, speak to fair housing professionals in your area, receive a free credit check and mortgage counseling, while enjoying music, food, and fun activities.

Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

African American History in Orlando


Just 25 minutes north of Orlando’s main tourism districts, the historic town of Eatonville was incorporated in 1887, making it one of the first self-governing, all-Black municipalities in the U.S. — and the oldest still in existence today. The township’s core, the Eatonville Historic District, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1998, drawing countless history and culture aficionados in the decades since.

Around the turn of the 20th century, Eatonville attracted a family whose daughter would go on to great acclaim as an author: Zora Neale Hurston. Her best-known novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is set in Eatonville and nearby communities.

Parramore District

The oldest and largest African American neighborhood in Orlando, the Parramore District is an area rich in culture, heritage and heart. Explore the district to see how Parramore residents are creating their own modern legacies.

One of the district’s newest additions, Luminary Green Park, shines a light on individuals who made outstanding contributions to the Parramore-Holden community throughout their lifetime, honoring them with 12 luminary art installations. Located in the heart of downtown Orlando’s Creative Village, Luminary Green is the perfect place to stop and reflect on the past while looking forward to the future.

Hannibal Square

Hannibal Square is part of Winter Park, a charming community about 25 minutes north of Orlando’s tourism districts and close to Eatonville. It’s also home to the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, where you can explore the district’s origins as an African American community.

Officially founded in 1881, Hannibal Square originally consisted of African Americans who worked for the South Florida Railroad and Winter Park’s wealthy families. On Oct. 12, 1887, it became the site of one of the country’s earliest Civil Rights marches when a group of Black residents crossed the town’s dividing railroad tracks to vote in the election that officially incorporated Winter Park, including Hannibal Square. What’s more, two Black residents were elected aldermen, serving from 1887 to 1893.

Tinker Field

Head to downtown Orlando to visit historic Tinker Field, a space next to Camping World Stadium that served as a baseball stadium from 1923 through 2015 and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2004. It was also the site of a moving Civil Rights speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964.

Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

Black History Museums in Orlando

Zora Neale Hurston Museum of Fine Arts

Better known as The Hurston, the museum is run by the nonprofit Preserve Eatonville Community and specializes in art by individuals of African descent. The museum offers maps for self-guided tours of the area where Zora grew up and also sets up guided tours.

The modest town of 2,000 tucked just north of Orlando has preserved much of its historic roots, including Zora’s “home church,” St. Lawrence AME Church, 549 E. Kennedy Blvd., founded in 1881 and rebuilt in 1974, with 1920s-era murals depicting Eatonville residents at worship.

Hannibal Square Heritage Center

Established in 2007 and only minutes from Eatonville, the Hannibal Square Heritage Center offers over 100 photos and oral histories highlighting local and national African-American experiences, with visiting exhibits that explore quilt making, urban art and other elements of black heritage and Southern folklore.

Winter Garden Heritage Museum

The Winter Garden Heritage Museum features exhibits on Winter Garden’s Native American, early settler and citrus days, the museum boasts a permanent collection honoring the legacies of notable African American community members like Mildred Dixon, the first African American to serve on the city commission.

Wells Built Museum of African American History & Culture

Erected by one of Orlando’s first black doctors in 1921, Wells’ Built Hotel served black travelers during segregation, hosting the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson. Today, it’s a museum showcasing memorabilia and African art from Orlando’s black community. It includes a historic hotel guestroom with authentic furniture, beading and decorations straight out of the 1930s, when Zora spent time as an adult in the area.

Orange County Regional History Center

Housed in a renovated 1927 courthouse in downtown Orlando, the museum features four floors of exhibits, including a permanent display of 14 paintings by a group of self-taught African-American artists known as The Highwaymen who sold their Florida landscape paintings from the trunks of their cars in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of the artists came from Fort Pierce, where Zora died in poverty in 1960.

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Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando

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