This February, Baltimore and its surrounding areas will be buzzing with Black History Month excitement. These events offer a variety of celebrations and educational opportunities. From concerts and galleries to open forums, there are more ways than ever to enjoy the area's African-American heritage. Here's a sampling:
'Courage: The Vision to End Segregation, The Guts to Fight for It' : Exhibit tells the story of ordinary people - people outside the traditional power structure, without wealth and often with little classroom education - who led the fight to desegregate schools in the South. Through March 1 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Tickets are $6-$8, free for children younger than 6 and members. Call 443-263-1800 or go to africanamericanculture.org.
Free concert series : Lexington Market celebrates Black History Month every day in February, except Sundays, with musical performances, exhibits and more. Exhibits are open 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, school group performances are noon-1 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and band performances are noon-2 p.m. Saturdays. The market is at 400 W. Lexington St. Call 410-685-6169 or go to lexingtonmarket.com.
Thurgood Marshall's Legacy : Celebrate the continuing tribute to Thurgood Marshall and his 100th birthday with a permanent exhibit in his honor at the University of Maryland School of Law's Thurgood Marshall Library, 500 W. Baltimore St. The exhibit is free and open during the library's regular business hours. Call 410-706-6502 or go to www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall.
A Slice of Historic Black Baltimore: Celebrate Black History Month in Baltimore with a collection that showcases churches, schools, organizations and influential members of society who have made their mark in history. Event features items from Philip J. Merrill and his company, Nanny Jack & Co. Opening reception is free and takes place 6 p.m.-9 p.m. tomorrow at Top of the World on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt St. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and those with military ID, and $3 for kids 3-12. Call 410-837-8439 or go to promotionandarts.com.
'The Heavens are Hung in Black' : Washington's Ford's Theatre reopens after 18 months of renovations with this new play by James Still. The play follows Abraham Lincoln's life in the months between the death of his son Willie and the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation. Runs Tuesday-March 8 at Ford's Theatre, 514 10th St., N.W. Tickets are $10-$47. Call 202-347-4833 or go to fordstheatre.org.
Black History Month Symposium : Participate in an all-day seminar presented by Bates Legacy Center, Maryland State Archives and Banneker-Douglass Museum that will focus on Annapolis' African-American history. The free event takes place 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 7 at Bates Legacy Center, 1101 Smithville St., Annapolis. Registration is recommended. Bring a lunch or reserve one in advance for $10. Call 410-267-8146 or go to annapolis.org to register.
Black Heritage Art Show : The 14th annual event features dance, arts, fashion, music and more, with actress Jasmine Guy and performances by gospel music artist Isaiah Thomas, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Baltimore Convention Center, Center Hall D, 1 W. Pratt St. Tickets are $8. Call 410-521-0660 or go to blackheritageartshow.com.
'The Harlem Renaissance' : The Walters Art Museum examines the changes that took place in the New York community between 1919 and 1935 with a multimedia presentation at 2 p.m. Feb. 8. The event takes place in the Graham Auditorium, and admission is free. The museum is at 600 N. Charles St. Call 410-547-9000 or go to thewalters.org.
NAACP's 100th Anniversary : The civil rights group celebrates its 100th anniversary with performances by the New Psalmist Baptist Church Fine Arts Ministry and the Community Dancers of Dance Baltimore, at 1 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Tickets are $6-$8; free for children younger than 6 and members. Call 443-263-1800 or go to africanamericanculture.org.
Banneker-Douglass Museum's 25th Anniversary : Join the Banneker-Douglass Museum in a celebration of its 25th anniversary of operation and preservation of African-American history and culture in Maryland. The celebration takes place 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 22 at the museum, 84 Franklin St., Annapolis. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance. Call 410-216-6186 or go to bdmuseum.com.