Experiencing And Exploring Black History Month In Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA, USA - June 23, 2018; I love to represent the positive, says Bryant Lee, with African Dance and Drum Ensemble Kulu Mele, ahead of participating in the annual Juneteenth parade in Center City Philadelphia, PA, on June 23, 2018. The Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day commemorates the announcement of abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865.

February is Black History Month dating back to its early roots in 1924 with the creation of Negro History and Literature Week later renamed Negro Achievement Week. Throughout the 1940s many were celebrating the often-overlooked achievements of the African American community for multiple weeks and it wasn’t until 1976 it was officially indoctrinated as Black History Month.

It’s held annually in February to honor the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on the twelfth and Frederick Douglass on the fourteenth who both played prominent roles in the shaping of black history. Philadelphia is well-known as a historically significant city and during the month of February, there’s plenty of ways to truly immerse ourselves in the history and culture significance of African-Americans.

Recommended Reading

Although the 27th annual African American Children’s Book Fair passed on February 2nd, we’re still able to check out some of the books featured during this Saturday reading like:

  • Be A King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You
  • Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, a monumental American man
  • Sisters & Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams

While they’re geared more towards younger readers, whether you’re sharing these titles with your children, reading to them or simply enjoying them yourself, they’re all worthy of a look.

A Namesake Museum And More

According to their website, The African American Museum is “the first institution built by a major United States city to house and interpret the life and work of African Americans.” There’s also a pair of historical houses everyone should visit and not just during the month of February.

The Johnson House

This historical landmark is home to a truly memorable tribute to the Underground Railroad, the makeshift route Harriet Tubman and her supporters trafficked Negro slaves on a pathway to freedom. The Johnson House is one of the actual locations used as a pit stop for those brave enough to challenge their bonds of slavery and those who put themselves in harm’s way to help them.

In a memorable quote from Harriet Tubman herself which pre-dated Dr. King’s memorable speech, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer,” she shares, “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Dine On The Experience

Support local Black-owned restaurants by visiting one, two or all of them that are featured on VisitPhilly.com – Click HERE


Edna Lewis is one of my favorite cookbook authors — my first vegetable cookbook was hers and it was called In Pursuit of Flavor.

Edna Lewis (April 13, 1916 – February 13, 2006) was a renowned African-American chef, teacher, and cookbook author who helped refine the American view of Southern cooking. She championed the use of fresh, in season ingredients and characterized Southern food as fried chicken (pan, not deep-fried), pork, and fresh vegetables – most especially greens. She wrote and co-wrote four books which covered Southern cooking and life in a small community of freed slaves and their descendants.


Enjoy Edna’s famous biscuit recipe – Click HERE


Bon Appetit!

Chef Jacquie

February 19th, 2019|Chef Jacquie's Blog|0 Comments

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