Big Events Around Town During Black History Month

Emerson students visit West Town.jpg

A group of students from Emerson Elementary School in Maywood tour the West Town Museum of Cultural History as the museum’s curator, Jeri Stenson, shows one of the the facility’s many historic objects. | District 89 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

Throughout February, fourth grade students from various schools in District 89 have been celebrating Black History Month by visiting the West Town Museum of Cultural History in Maywood.

The coming days are stocked with similarly great Black History Month events (among the coolest of all is a Michael Jackson Laser Light Show hosted by Triton’s Cernan Earth and Space Center).

You’ll also find events that cater to your body, mind and pocket book. Scroll below to see what appeals to you and your loved ones.


Photo: Carnegie Science Center

Michael Jackson Laser Light Show || Saturdays and Sundays throughout February || Show times vary || Triton College’s Cernan Earth and Space Center || RIVER GROVE

You don’t have to be able to moonwalk to enjoy this Cosmic Concert featuring a variety of Michael Jackson’s musical masterpieces set to moving laser light.

Practice your ABCs, brave the Thriller and admire the Man in the Mirror in this tribute to the legendary performer.

Click here to learn more about show times and prices. Call (708) 583-3100 for a recording about the current schedule. Call (708) 456-0300 ext. 3372 for group reservations and other inquiries. Cernan Earth and Space Center is located on the campus of Triton College, 2000 5th Avenue River Grove.

PTMAN Black History Month breakfast || Saturday, Feb. 11 || 8:30 a.m. || God’s House of Brotherly Love Church || BELLWOOD

The Proviso Township Ministerial Alliance’s monthly breakfast will take place on Feb. 11 at God’s House of Brotherly Love Church, 425 Bohland Ave. in Bellwood.

To RSVP for this meeting, which will focus on Black History Month, click here. Contact PTMAN Chairman Bishop Reginald Saffo at (708) 397-6944 for more info.


Book signing with Tasleem Jamila || Saturday, Feb. 11 || 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. || Afri-Ware Books, Gifts & Cultural Events || MAYWOOD

Internationally renowned poet Tasleem Jamila, (pictured), will read from her book “Black Baptist Muslim Mystic.”

Tasleem’s words are a fusion of hip hop, spirituals, mystical chants and lyrical soul. She has shared her works across the United States, Africa, Europe, and Canada. She continues to tour worldwide.

This event, held at Afri-Ware, 1701 S. 1st Ave., Maywood (Eisenhower Tower), is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.

‘Pirate Pride’ film screening || Saturday, Feb. 11 || Doors open: 6 p.m. | Screening starts: 7 p.m. || West Town Museum of Cultural History || MAYWOOD 

Come and support a fundraiser for Maywood’s own West Town Museum of Cultural History that features a special screening of the award-winning documentary, “Pirate Pride: The Winning Tradition of Proviso East Basketball.”

The screening will take place at the West Town Museum of Cultural History, 104 S. 5th Ave., Maywood.

Adult admission is only $5 and children $3 (donations and yearly memberships to the museum are highly encouraged).

Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Filmmakers Derek Grace and David Grace will be present for a discussion of the film.

Grace, incidentally, captured this great photo of the Proviso East varsity basketball team being greeted to a hero’s welcome after their second-place finish at the State Championship tournament in 2012.

Pirate Parade.jpg

You can also support the West Town while treating yourself to Krispy Kreme donuts during the museum’s Black History Month/President’s Day Krispy Kreme Donut Drive.

West Town officials are taking orders until Wednesday, Feb. 15, with a delivery date set for Saturday, Feb. 18.

The cost of specialty donuts (raspberry, creme or lemon filled, and chocolate iced) is $10 per dozen. Traditional glazed donuts are $8 per dozen. Please contact the Uplift Center, 104 S. 5th Ave., at (708) 516-2637 to place your order.

Milestones of African American athletes || Monday, Feb. 13 || 11 a.m. || Triton College Library || RIVER GROVE

Join Triton College sociology faculty member Victor McCullum for a discussion on the role sport plays in social activism. Athletes featured in the presentation — which will take place on Feb. 13 inside of the library (Building A) on the campus of Triton College, 2000 S. 5th Ave. in River Grove — include Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell and Muhammad Ali. For more info, contact Dr. Robert Connor at

Blood Pressure Screening || Monday, Feb. 13 || 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. || Maywood Public Library || MAYWOOD

The Maywood Public Library, 121 S. 5th Ave., will host a Blood Pressure Screening on Feb. 13 inside of Room 202. For more info, call (708) 343-1847.

African American Cemetery Safari || Wednesday, Feb. 15 || 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. || Bellwood Public Library || BELLWOOD

Celebrate Black History Month with an evening of photos and stories of the final resting places of influential blacks., including Gene Baker, Emmett Till, Dred Scott and Augustus Tolton, among other African Americans buried in Chicagoland and Illinois cemeteries.


Emmett Till’s casket is carried out of Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago in 1955. | Chicago Tribune

This event, presented by Hillside residents Jim and Paula Hantak, will take place at the Bellwood Public Library, 600 Bohland Ave. Registration is required. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up by calling the library at (708) 547-7393 ext. 4.

Black Man’s Perspectives Fashion Show || Thursday, Feb. 16 || 7 p.m. || St. Eulalia Parish || MAYWOOD

With the goal of making the community more healthy, the Maywood-based Black Man’s Perspective organization is hosting a fashion show for all ages, along with a healthy and beauty contest for women ages 40 to 79.


This event will take place at St. Eulalia Parish on Feb. 16., 1832 S. 8th Ave. in Maywood. Contestants in both events will consist of African-American and Hispanic individuals from Maywood and Melrose Park.

The health contest will focus on how well the contestant takes care of their health. They will mention foods that they eat and exercises they do, as well as talk about the positive attitude they have in life.

Free Proviso Township Tax Day || Saturday, Feb. 18 || Appointment times based on schedule || Maywood Multipurpose Building || MAYWOOD

The Village of Maywood, the Monroe Foundation’s Stable Project, Proviso Township, U.S. Bank and PNC Bank will be hosting a free tax prep day on Feb. 18 at the Maywood Multipurpose Building, 200 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.

Free tax prep services will be provided to individuals with incomes of no more than $30,000 and to households with incomes of no more than $50,000. Sign up for an appointment by clicking here or call (312) 252-0280.

For more info, contact Otis Monroe at:, or call (708) 315-9720.

Healthy Lives Matter fitness class || Saturday, Feb. 18 || 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ||Proviso Math and Science Academy || FOREST PARK

Since the start of 2017, State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) has been hosting a monthly Healthy Lives Matter fitness class at various locations. The next class will take place at PMSA, 8601 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Forest Park.

Welch physical fitness.jpg

The next one, on March 18, will also take place at PMSA (same time). Proviso West in Hillside will host classes on April 15, May 20 and June 17.

For more dates and info, or to RSVP, call Rep. Welch’s constituent service office at (708) 450-1000 or email

Photo: Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch.

The Importance of Senior Ministry || Wednesday, Feb. 22 || Refreshments served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Speaker begins at 1 p.m. || Rock of Ages Baptist Church || MAYWOOD

Learn the importance of a senior ministry from the Honorable Patricia Banks, Judge of Elder Law & Miscellaneous Remedies Division, Circuit Court of Cook County.

This free event will take place on Feb. 22 at Rock of Ages Baptist Church, 1309 Madison St. in Maywood. Please RSVP by Feb. 15 by emailing or by calling (708) 344-0474 ext. 758.

Youth Summer Internship Musical || Sunday, Feb. 26 || Dinner: 2 p.m. | Concert: 3 p.m. || Greater Hope Baptist Ministries || MAYWOOD

This Musical will be an event of inspiration and information featuring fine arts, singing and a presentation of the 4-4-4 plan for a Summer Youth Employment Internship Program sponsored by the Proviso Township Ministerial Alliance.

Choir members.jpg

West Side choir members sing during a rehearsal last year. | William Camargo/Austin Weekly News

Your church has a total of seven minutes to stage up and perform (sing, dance, recite poetry, spoken word, etc.). Let us know what your church is doing by Feb. 12. Contact (708) 397-6944.

Dinner ($6 per person) will be served before the concert at Greater Hope Baptist Ministries, 1427 S. 18th Ave., Maywood.

Black History Closing Event || Tuesday, Feb. 28 || 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. || Triton College || RIVER GROVE

Join us as we salute creativity in Black History. Enjoy performances from Bellwood District 88’s Roosevelt Middle School band and a combined choir from Provisos East and West.

This free event will take place at Triton College, 2000 S. 5th Ave., inside of the Robert M. Collins Auditorium (R Building). For more info, contact Freida Spiller-Iverson at

District 89 Black History Month Presentation || Tuesday, Feb. 28 || 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. || Jane Addams School || MELROSE PARK

A group of District 89 teachers have organized a district-wide Black History Month presentation, which will take place on Feb. 28 at Jan Addams, 910 Division St., Melrose Park, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

To submit a Big Event, email information to 

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