Sharing the stories of Black Americans is essential to understanding the complexity and depths of our history. This February, in honor of Black History Month, we will highlight programs and resources from ourselves and our community and national partners to highlight how Black Rhode Islanders have made an impact locally, nationally, and globally. This page will continue to be updated throughout the month of February. If you have suggestions of resources to be added to this page, please email

ProgramsReading ListsCommunity PartnersTools for Educators

  • Friday, February 2, 5:30pm: EX LIBRIS: Gregory Pardlo & Tina Cane– Join the Providence Athenaeum on Friday, February 2, at 5:30pm for a reading from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo and recent RI Poet Laureate Tina Cane.

  • Sunday, February 4 at 1:30pm: Valley Talks: Making Art History– Join RIHS Executive Director C. Morgan Grefe, Ph.D., and sculptor Gage Prentiss at the Museum of Work & Culture for a free talk on the impact of renowned Providence artist Edward Bannister and the sculpture of him that has recently been erected in Providence.

  • Friday, February 16, at 5:30pm: EX LIBRIS: The 272 with Rachel Swarns Join the Providence Athenaeum for a reading from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo and recent RI Poet Laureate Tina Cane.

  • Saturday, February 17 - August 4: Nancy Elizabeth Prophet: I Will Not Bend an Inch– Visit the RISD Museum for a new exhibit on Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, one of the first known women of color to graduate from RISD. RISD admission is free for RIHS members.

  • Tuesday, February 20 at 6pm: Gilded Age in Color– Join the 1696 Heritage Group and Community Libraries of Providence: Mount Pleasant for a talk on the history of African heritage people in the United States during the Gilded Age.

  • Tuesday, February 27, at 7pm: Mixed Magic Exult Choir: Exultation– See Mixed Magic Theater’s Exault Choir perform at the Providence Performing Arts Center, a musical program that ranges in style from soul to jazz, from pop to gospel, from Bob Marley and Prince to Bob Dylan.

  • Library of Congress Black History Month Website– The Library of Congress website honoring Black History Month includes online information from the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • Civil Rights Timeline– Civil Rights Timeline from Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, Rhode Island Historical Society, & the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Cultural Commission.

  • Encompass- Civil Rights in Rhode Island– Explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Rhode Island with essays and primary sources, along with lesson plans and additional materials including video clips and oral histories.

  • Resources on African American History from the 1696 Commission– The 1696 Historical Commission was signed into law on July 1, 2014 and was tasked with developing a comprehensive African American history curriculum for Rhode Island public schools from kindergarten through grade 12. This page includes resources provided by organizations, scholars, and historians throughout Rhode Island to support classroom instruction in African-American history.

  • A Matter of Truth Report– The examination and documentation of the role of the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island in supporting a “Separate and Unequal” existence for African heritage, Indigenous, and people of color.