River tour, children book exhibit highlight 2024 Black History Month events

Events take place through the month of February

San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) (SAAACAM)

SAN ANTONIO – A river tour, a lecture, a powerful moving play and the 9th annual children’s book exhibit are some of the 2024 Black History Month events that will be hosted by the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum this February.

Beginning Feb. 8, the play, “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry will come to life at The Public Theatre of San Antonio, located in the 800 block of West Ashby. It tells the story of a Black family living in Chicago in the 1950s and dives into their dreams, struggles, and perseverance. The performances will run through Feb. 25.

A Raisin in the Sun image (Photo Courtesy: SAACAM)

A Black History River Tour is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 10. The tour along the San Antonio River will start at La Villita and explore African American influence in San Antonio. The 100-minute cruise will explore Black history all along the River Walk.

Also taking place on Feb. 10 is the 9th Annual Black History for Children Book Exhibit for 2024. According to the SAACAM website, the exhibit is a community and cultural event created to promote literacy and the study of Black History.

The exhibit will offer Black History books for children, provide a recommended reading list on Black History, share information to improve children’s reading skills and offer some reading time with a special guest. In addition, there will be a free Black History book giveaway. The Pan-African Cultural Community and MAAT Bookstore are sponsoring the event.

The Black History for Children Book Exhibit is a community and cultural event to promote literacy and the study of Black History. (KSAT)

Another Black History Month event will take place that same day at the Carver Library, which is located in the 3300 block of East Commerce, as a breakfast lecture featuring Dr. Charles Gentry, of the Office of Historic Preservation for the City of San Antonio.

The lecture will take place at 10 a.m. The theme of the lecture is “Black Commerce Street: San Antonio Development and New Negro Entrepreneurship”.

During the mid-twentieth century, East Commerce Street developed into a thriving, mostly African American commercial district with restaurants, hotels, retail stores, boarding houses, and professional offices. However, the rise in automobile traffic and the construction of IH-37 brought about a decline in the 1960s and 1970s.

The presentation will focus on some of the early Black business leaders: Charles Bellinger, G.W. Bouldin, Pinkie Smith, Homer Rodgers, and Eugene Sample -- whose drive and entrepreneurial spirit helped to build the economic foundation of a thriving African American community in San Antonio, as well as the supporting role played by civic groups like the United Brothers of Friendship (UBF) and the NAACP.

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About the Author

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

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