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Posted on: January 19, 2021

Celebrate Black History Month 2021 with M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation

For Immediate Release:
January 26, 2021

Media Contacts:
Angel Waldron, 301-446-3311


Celebrate Black History Month 2021 with
M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County


Riverdale, MD – The Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its robust programming schedule in honor of Black History Month 2021. From virtual performances, to history lessons, and virtual festivals, there is an abundance of exciting events and activities planned for the community. 

“The M-NCPPC Black History Program strives to bring an engaging month of African –American history, educational and cultural experiences, and this year is no exception,” says Bill Tyler, Director, M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation. “This year’s national theme The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity is the perfect backdrop for the past year. The Black family has confronted social and racial injustice, as well as, healthcare disparities and the economic hardships of a global pandemic,” continues Tyler. “This year’s programs are virtual due to the impacts of COVID-19, but they are no less impactful. We hope the community is enriched by what we have put together.”

The following are some of the programs available. For a full list of Black History Month offerings, and to register, visit blackhistory.pgparks.com

Jan 31 – Virtual Opening Ceremony
Opening program for Black History Month that will feature the launch of the M-NCPPC Black History Program’s virtual exhibition, Black Health Matters: An Undoctored History of Health Care and Healing Traditions in the Black Community, and the unveiling of the Department’s annual Black History Month poster. Follow us on facebook @pgparks for updates. 

Feb. 6 – Generations: Music and the Black Family
This engaging panel discussion, based on the 2021 Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASLAH) theme of the Black family, delves into a focus of generations and how musical differences and similarities have helped unify or divide the Black-American family. The multi-generational panel includes a music historian, social scientist, and musician.

Feb. 10 – “She the People” Speaker Series
“She the People” is a non-partisan, political program for teen girls offered to engage, educate, and inspire youth to pursue leadership roles in politics, activism, and business. The speaker series will be led by past program participants and moderated by staff as they discuss various topics and current events. The Speaker Series will include panel discussions on a variety of topics including the historic election of Kamala Harris, Black entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rise of youth activism within the Black Lives Matter movement.

Feb. 13 – Masterclass with Step Afrika
Move to the beat with one of the most celebrated step dance companies in the world. Don’t miss four classes with the renowned dance company, Step Afrika! These master tutorials are dedicated to the tradition of stepping. This is perfect for anyone who loves to step or for those new to this storied art form. All levels are welcome.

Feb. 18 – Virtual Healthy Soul Food Demo
Join us for a fun, virtual cooking demonstration to learn how to prepare delicious, healthy soul food meals for you and your family. Registration is required.

Feb. 18 – The Root of it All
This event will introduce participants to holistic and traditional healing methods utilized by our ancestors, as well as present day. Participants can also address certain concerns that plague the African- American community, such as healthcare disparities between European- American women and African-American women.

Feb. 21 – Voices from the Past: Leontyne Price
Living opera legend Leontyne Price celebrates her 94th birthday on February 10. She rose to international acclaim in the 1950s and 60s, and was one of the first African Americans to become a “Prima Donna,” a female lead singer in the opera. Join this virtual musical birthday tribute celebration with the music she loves so much, performed by sopranos from many generations. This program is produced by the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA).

Feb. 27 – It’s a Family A-fair: African American Family Festival
This virtual festival will include various workshops, performances, storytellers, crafts, and more. It will also include a virtual marketplace with vendors selling culturally relevant African-American goods and products.

Feb. 28 – Black Lives Matter: Past, Present and Future
This Black Lives Matter event is a collaboration from the staffs of Oxon Hill Manor, Newton White Mansion, and Prince George’s Ballroom and features presentations of where we’ve been, where we are currently, and where we’re going, regarding BLM. Oxon Hill Manor staff will delve into the past and the glam of the movement and will feature personalities such as Nina Simone, Harry Belafonte, and Sydney Poitier who put their careers on the line for the movement. Newton White Mansion staff will highlight individuals who are currently making a difference in the movement and present to you the forgotten heroes who came out of the shadows for the cause. Prince George’s Ballroom staff will take you on a walk into the future through poetry. Several poets and spoken word artists will share their voices to keep propelling the movement for generations to come.

“In commemorating Black History Month this year, we chose to shine a light on the health care disparities that exist in the African American community. Our strategy discussions began in 2019 as a way to highlight the 2021 opening of the UM Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, a critical addition to the health care landscape of Prince George’s County,” states Dennis Doster, the Department’s Black History Program Manager. “Ironically, the COVID-19 pandemic further emphasized the importance of this theme, with the Black community being disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Thus, our Black History Month exhibition and poster reflects the struggle and progress made as African Americans continue to fight within a health care system bogged down by racism and exclusion.”

To register and learn more about these and many more offerings in February, visit blackhistory.pgparks.com


About the Department
The Department of Parks and Recreation delivers an award-winning park system through progressive, innovative leadership and a commitment to the community and the environment in Prince George’s County. For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Instagram. The M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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