America's Black Holocaust Museum Milwaukee Wisconsin

10 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Milwaukee (2022)

February is Black History Month, and there’s no better time to teach your kids about the history and heritage of Milwaukee’s African-American community. Here are some events and exhibits going on this month.

1. Black Holocaust Museum – Grand Re-Emergence

Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
401 W. North Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 209-3640
Admission: FREE

America's Black Holocaust Museum Milwaukee Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Facebook, @ABHMuseum

After years of planning, rebuilding and virtual operation, America’s Black Holocaust Museum will be re-opening a physical location. The brand-new facility can be found in Milwaukee’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood, at the corner of Vel R. Phillips and North Avenue. Inspiring new exhibits take visitors on a chronological journey through more than 400 years of African American history, from pre-captivity to the present. There will be a brief ceremony at 9 a.m., followed by a ribbon cutting at 9:45 a.m. The museum doors officially open to the public at 10 a.m.


Thank you to our partners at CTSI of Southeast Wisconsin for sponsoring this article.

2. Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum

Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Closed Sundays and Mondays
2620 W. Center St., Milwaukee, WI 53206
(414) 372-7677
Admission: $10 (Members FREE)

Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum wall mural art Milwaukee Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Instagram, @kmaukuscho

The Wisconsin Black Historical Society is in its 30th year of preserving Wisconsin’s African American history. Current exhibits include Work’n In The Promised Land: The African American Labor Experience in Wisconsin, and Ancient Eqypt to Modern Milwaukee. See the world unfold before your eyes, from ancient Egyptian civilization to early African American settlers in rural Wisconsin. A larger-than-life mural provides a glimpse of modern life of African Americans in Milwaukee.

3. The Watsons at Milwaukee Public Museum

Wednesday-Monday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays)
800 W. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 278-2728

Watson Family Streets of Old Milwaukee Public Museum Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Facebook, @MKEPublicMuseum

Visit the Museum during Black History Month and learn about the Watson family! Sully and Susanna Watson took their family from the oppressive conditions of antebellum Virginia in 1834 and, after several years in Ohio, arrived in Milwaukee in 1850. Through skilled labor and business entrepreneurship, the couple played a vital role in establishing Milwaukee’s black middle class. You’ll find the replica Watson House in the Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit. Visit on Kohl’s Thank You Thursday, February 3, to enjoy FREE admission.

4. Family Matters Shorts Program by Milwaukee Film

Saturday, Feb, 19, 2022, 1 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.
Oriental Theater, 2230 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 276-5140
Admission: $12 (Members $9)

Family Matters Shorts Milwaukee Film Black History Month Series 2022 Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Facebook, @MilwaukeeFilm

This showing represents the family-friendly installment in Milwaukee Film’s Black History Month series. An award-winning collection of short films chosen with kids and parents in mind, this shorts program features intergenerational themes appropriate for all. 

5. Stars, Stories & Rhythms of Africa

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, 6-8 p.m.
UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium, 1900 E. Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 229-4961
Admission: FREE

Stars, Stories and Rhythms of Africa UWM Planetarium Milwaukee Wisconsin
Photo Credit:

Celebrate Black History Month under the stars! The UWM Planetarium presents a night of live music, dancing, storytelling, and stargazing in different African cities. Cosponsored by the Black Student Cultural Center and Sociocultural Programming at UWM, this free event will include indoor stargazing sessions of the night sky followed by the opportunity to ask questions. Not recommended for children under 4. No registration is required, but masks are currently required inside all University buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

6. The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 (First Stage)

Jan. 21-Feb. 13, 2022
Marcus Center, Todd Wehr Theater, 929 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 273-7206
Admission: Starts at $21

The Watsons Go To Birmingham
Photo Credit: First Stage

First Stage, one of the nation’s leading theaters for young people and families, returns to live performances with a heartwarming production of The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963, now showing at the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater. Based on the award-winning book by Christopher Paul Curtis and adapted by Cheryl L. West, with original music by Paris Ray Dozier and directed by Brandite Reed and Jeff Frank, this journey into the deep South in 1963 reminds us of the importance of family, love and laughter to get through challenging times.

7. Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Jan. 17 – March 12, 2022
Frederick Layton Gallery at MIAD, 273 E. Erie St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 847-3200
Admission: FREE

Presence and Persistence: Visions of American Blackness Frederick Layton Gallery at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design MIAD Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Facebook, @MIADcollege

What does it mean to be Black in today’s America? At MIAD’s current exhibition, Presence and Persistence: Visions of American Blackness, artists provide insights through the lenses of their own lives and the artwork they have created. The gallery is free to tour and sponsored in part by the Milwaukee Art Museum’s African American Art Alliance.

8. Black History Month Reading Challenge

Feb. 1-28, 2022
Milwaukee Public Library (various locations)
(414) 286-3000
Cost: FREE

Milwaukee Public Library Black History Month Reading Challenge
Photo Credit:

Milwaukee Public Library is challenging everyone to read three items of their choosing for a chance to win a prize! There will be prize categories for adults, teens and children ages 0-12. Kids’ prizes include a $50 Milwaukee Bucks gift card, a $25 Confectionately Yours gift card, Super Soakers and more. Submit an entry form at any Milwaukee Public Library location by February 28, 2022 to be eligible to win. Need ideas for books, e-books, audiobooks, e-audiobooks? Go to to browse suggested reading lists and website recommendations.

9. Black History Month Take-and-Make Crafts

February 1-28, 2022
Wauwatosa Public Library, 7635 W North Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
(414) 471-8485
Cost: FREE

Black History Month graphic Wauwatosa Public Library Wisconsin
Photo Credit:

Throughout the month of February, drop by the children’s library at the Wauwatosa Public Library to learn more about several local and nationally known Black Artists who express their unique perspectives as African Americans through their creative endeavors. Then take home a project kit to continue your exploration of Black Artists and to celebrate their work by making a creation of your own. Anyone interested is invited to return their project to the library to be included in Wauwatosa’s Black History month celebration on Feb. 17 (see below)! 

10. Wauwatosa Black History Month Celebration (VIRTUAL)

Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, 7 p.m.-8:15 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Tosa Together Black History Month Virtual Celebration Wauwatosa Wisconsin
Photo Credit:

Join Tosa Together (virtually) for their annual celebration of Black History Month. This year’s focus is Black Health & Wellness, and Dr. Staci Young will be the keynote speaker. There will be art, music, trivia, great community involvement and more! A fun evening for the whole family! Register online for this FREE event.

Did we miss any Black history events? Let us know by emailing

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