Collingswood Celebrates Black History Month with a Focus on Economic Empowerment and Cultural Enrichment
In honor of Black History Month, the Borough of Collingswood is proud to showcase local events and initiatives dedicated to celebrating the rich history, culture, and contributions of African Americans. Throughout the month of February, we invite residents and visitors alike to participate in a variety of activities ranging from economic empowerment initiatives to cultural events that highlight the importance of diversity and unity.
One of the highlights of this year's Black History Month celebration in Collingswood is the introduction of Economic Empowerment Hours. The program will feature various Black-owned businesses during designated “Buy Black Blitz” hours throughout the month. Sponsored by the Collingswood BID (Business Improvement District), this initiative aims to encourage community members to support and uplift these businesses that play a crucial role in the town's economic landscape.
The Collingswood Public Library is at the forefront of Black History Month celebrations, offering a diverse range of events and resources from curated book displays that highlight African American literature to a film screening showcasing a legendary cultural festival celebrating African American music and culture. The library, a hub of cultural enrichment, also offers reading lists featuring Black authors for all ages and encourages adult readers to participate in February’s Collingswood Reads Book Club, where Stories from the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana will be discussed.
The Borough of Collingswood, in partnership with the Collingswood Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, has organized a series of local events to engage residents and visitors in meaningful ways. Highlights include pop-up literary readings where local poets and speakers will share their work, providing an opportunity for artistic expression and reflection. Don’t miss “A Celebration of Black History at Perkins Center for the Arts” on Saturday, February 17 from 12:30pm – 4:00pm. There, attendees will enjoy musical performances by CPR Music Invincible and a Soloist from the Marian Anderson Music Guild, Readings and Spoken Word performances, local fare and more.
“Celebrating Black History is a celebration of not just the history, but an acknowledgment of the sacrifice, resilience, achievements, and contributions of Black individuals throughout history. We are excited to share in fostering a deeper understanding of the significance of Black History with our Collingswood neighbors,” said Bruce Smith, Collingswood resident, DEI Committee Chair, and Perkins Center for the Arts Board of Trustees President.
Collaboration is key to the success of Black History Month celebrations in Collingswood. Partner agencies and institutions including the Collingswood School District, cultural organizations and Camden County, are hosting events that explore the rich tapestry of African American history.
“As we celebrate Black History Month, we’re embracing the spirit of unity and collaboration with our borough and community partners,” explained Collingswood Superintendent Dr. Fredrick McDowell. “By working together, we amplify the impact of our efforts to honor and educate, ensuring that through collaboration, we foster an environment where diversity is celebrated, understanding is cultivated, and the profound contributions of the Black community are recognized, not just in February, but throughout the year. Together, we can inspire a shared commitment to inclusivity, education, and empowerment for all.”
Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley added, "Black History Month is a great chance for us to come together to recognize the important contributions of African Americans. When we support our local Black-owned businesses and connect our neighbors to all the ways they can observe Black History Month in our region, we are creating a more welcoming Collingswood for everyone.”
To ensure everyone can participate in Black History Month, the Borough is highlighting events, resources, and ways to celebrate both in town and beyond. We encourage residents and visitors alike to keep an eye on local announcements and the town's official website and social media channels for updates.