CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — History is coming alive in Chesterfield County this month, thanks to a variety of programs offered by Virginia State University and the county during the 34th Black History Month Celebration.

Each February, Chesterfield County and VSU join together to celebrate Black History Month a variety of programs focused on heritage and community. This month’s programs are focused on the theme of Uniting Today for a Better Tomorrow.

Throughout February, there will be programs celebrating history and community for all age groups available through Chesterfield libraries, museums and recreation centers. Here are some events to look forward to this month:

Scientific Racism and the First Psychiatric Facility for African Americans

  • Attend a screening of the documentary “Central Lunatic Asylum for the Colored Insane,” followed by a question and answer session with Dr. Shawn Utsey, Professor of Psychology at VCU, who produced the film.
  • Date and Time: Monday, Feb. 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m. 
  • Location: Ettrick-Matoaca Library, 4501 River Road, Petersburg, Va.

My Life as a Sharecropper

  • Join local author James McKnight as he tells the personal stories of his grandfather’s life as a sharecropper in South Carolina.
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, Feb. 7, noon to 1 p.m.
  • Location: Castlewood, 10201 Iron Bridge Road, Chesterfield, Va.

Marcus Garvey and the History of Black Liberation

  • Learn the history of how activist Marcus Garvey built the largest mass movement in the history of the African Diaspora, and the modern lessons of his success.
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
  • Location: LaPrade Library, 9000 Hull Street Road, North Chesterfield, Va.

The Question Remains: Liberty or Death with Michael Paul Williams

  • Michael Paul Williams, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, offers a discussion about the importance of free speech and democracy. 
  • Date and Time: Thursday, Feb. 9, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: North Courthouse Road Library, 325 Courthouse Road, Richmond, Va.

Barbara Johns: Teen Civil Rights Influencer

  • Living history performer Theresa Gee shares the story of 16-year-old civil rights activist Barbara Johns, who organized a school boycott demanding equal education in Virginia. Intended for ages 6 to 11.
  • Date and Time: Saturday, Feb. 11, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Location: Clover Hill Library, 6701 Deer Run Drive, Midlothian, Va.

Life is History

  • Join Dr. Lerla Joseph, one of the recipients of the Library of Virginia and Dominion Energy’s prestigious 2021 Strong Men and Strong Women in Virginia Awards, presentation on each person can contribute to history.
  • Date and Time: Saturday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m. to noon
  • Location: Chesterfield County Museum, 6813 Mimms Loop, Chesterfield,

Virtual Trip to the National Civil Rights Museum

  • Take a guided journey through the major events of the Civil Rights Era, led by Ryan Jones, Associate Curator of the National Civil Rights Museum. 
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 6 to 7 p.m. 
  • Location: Virtual

Elizabeth Keckley Performance by Theresa Gee

  • Theresa Gee brings history to life in a production of “Mary Elizabeth Keckley, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.” Refreshments provided. 
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 10 to 11 a.m. 
  • Location: Huguenot Road Baptist Church, 10525 W. Huguenot Road, North Chesterfield, Va.

The Rosenwald Project

  • Learn about the history of the Rosenwald Schools, which were constructed throughout the South to improve African American children’s educational experience.
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m. 
  • Location: Stonebridge Recreation Center, 230 Karl Linn Dr, North Chesterfield, Va.

Telling Our Story in Song

  • Join a musical lesson on African American spirituals, traditional hymns and gospel music. Rev. Zynora Manson performs musical selections from the catalog. Registration begins Thursday, Feb. 2.
  • Date and Time: Thursday, Feb. 16, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
  • Location: Chester Library, 11800 Centre Street, Chester, Va.

Annual Scholarship Recognition

  • Six outstanding Chesterfield County high school seniors will be recognized in the Annual Scholarship. The program will be live streamed on and on Chesterfield County’s YouTube channel
  • Date and Time: Friday, Feb. 17, 8 to 10 a.m.
  • Location: Virtual

The Life and Legacy of Elizabeth Keckley

  • Storyteller and Entertainer Theresa Gee who will present a costumed presentation about the life of native Virginian Elizabeth Keckley, who was born into slavery in Dinwiddie County and later became a talented dressmaker.
  • Date and Time: Saturday, Feb. 18, noon to 1 p.m.
  • Location: Magnolia Grange Museum, 10020 Iron Bridge Road, Chesterfield, Va.

The Rosenwald Project

  • Learn about the history of the Rosenwald Schools, which were constructed throughout the South to improve African American children’s educational experience.
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, Feb. 21, noon to 1 p.m.
  • Location: Castlewood, 10201 Iron Bridge Road, Chesterfield, Va.

Voting Rights and the Politics of Race in Richmond

  • Dive into the urban history of Richmond with Dr. Julian Hayter of the University of Richmond. Registration begins Wednesday, Feb. 8.
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Bon Air Library, 9103 Rattlesnake Road, Richmond, Va.

One Voice Chorus Ensemble in Concert

  • The One Voice Chorus, one of the largest and most diverse choruses in Central Virginia, will provide an uplifting choral experience in recognition of Black History Month. A reception will follow the free concert. 
  • Date and Time: Thursday, Feb. 23, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Location: Chesterfield Baptist Church, 16520 Hull Street Road, Moseley, Va.

Black Excellence Open Mic 

  • Celebrate Black History Month with a display of talent at the Poets, singers, and musicians of all ages are encouraged to showcase their talents at the Black Excellence Open Mic night.
  • Date and Time: Friday, Feb. 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Location: Mayes-Colbert Ettrick Recreation Center, 20400 Laurel Road, Petersburg, Va.

Underground Railroad Quilt Codes

  • Learn about coded quilt designs used by enslaved people was they were escaping through the Underground Railroad. Intended for ages 6 to 11. Registration begins Saturday, Feb. 11.
  • Date and Time: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2-3 p.m.
  • Location: Virtual

Great Figures of American History: Rosa Parks

  • Join Theresa Gee as she puts on a performance as Rosa Parks, and enjoy cake samplings by Shonda’s Sweets, Treats and More.
  • Date and Time: Monday, Feb. 27, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Location: Bensley Recreation Center, 2900 Drewrys Bluff Road, Richmond, Va.

Virginia During the Massive Resistance

  • Join Joseph Rogers from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture to discover how politicians tried to keep Virginia schools segregated, and learn about the educators and students who fought back. Registration begins Tuesday, Feb. 14.
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Central Library, 7051 Lucy Corr Boulevard, Chesterfield, Va.

For more information on specific events and how to register, visit Chesterfield County online.