Rochester celebrations planned as Black History Month begins

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(ABC 6 News) – Across the country during the month of February, many are celebrating Black History Month. Paying tribute to generations of African-Americans who have paved the way to a more equal society.

Throughout the month, the Rochester Branch of the NAACP is hosting programming to highlight the strengths, struggles, resistance, and perseverance of African-Americans.

Part of the programming involves teaching students with knowledge bowls, a jeopardy-style event. While there are key civil rights figures many spent time learning about in school, for example, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, there is so much more students might not know.

“It’s more than one person, right?” said Wale Elegbede, the president of the Rochester Branch of the NAACP.

“That’s the goal to make sure the contributions are fully understood and seen, appreciated, and taught in schools. So this month is really critical to just fully appreciate the contributions of African-Americans.”

Some of the topics highlighted during these knowledge bowls include those involved in science and technology. If you can’t make an event, being a part of making a change doesn’t have to stop.

Some of the things Elegbede says you can do include becoming a member of the NAACP, donating to it, or other minority organizations. Supporting black businesses, and reading or watching about black history.

“This is important work and people just want to lean in. How do I get engaged and how do I help? They see it and they want a wonderful community.

“To change the future and the disparities we see in this world, we all have to lean in. We can’t just observe it from afar.”

The first event for Black History Month is Saturday, February 4th at the Rochester Public Library. A storytime event to teach kids about black history.
Saturday, February 4th – Join the RPL for story time!

  • Rochester Public Library: 101 2nd St SE, Rochester, MN 55904.
    • Time: 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM Bring your kiddos and join us for 30 minutes of fun and empowering stories on Black History.

Sunday, February 5th – Remembering Tyre Nichols: Rochester, Minnesota Community Vigil

  • Rochester Civic Theatre: 30 Civic Center Dr SE Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55904
    • Time: 5PM to 6PM.Tyre Nicholswas a father to a 4-year-old son and known by his family and friends as an avid skateboarder and nature photographer. A traffic stop should not result in the brutal death of an unarmed man, and Tyre is the latest person to die as a result of police brutality. Please join us for an indoor vigil honoring Mr. Tre Nichols.

For a full list of events, you can click here.