Events: Celebrate Black History Month With Art and Science’s Best and Brightest

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Monday, February 1: African Art Book Club

While I'm hoping I'm wrong in this assumption, something tells me that African literature is not commonly being taught in American high schools. (Personally, I was fortunate enough to have a teacher have me read Things Fall Apart—which is absolutely amazing and I recommend you put it on your reading list.) Expand your literary horizons and try getting wrapped up in a bit of lit from another part of the world. This iteration of the African Art Museum's book club will be focusing on collections of Nigerian short stories and this week's discussion will be about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book The Thing Around Your Neck (2009). Free. African Art Museum, 4-5:30 PM.

Tuesday, February 2: Three Days Before the Shooting by Ralph Ellison: A Discussion on Race and Literary Legacy

Author Ralph Ellison is perhaps best known for penning Invisible Man, a book that chronicles a nameless narrator's encounters with intolerance in American society. Although it was the only novel published during Ellison's lifetime, the author left behind notes and unfinished manuscripts. In January 2010, Three Days Before the Shooting, Ellison's sequel to Invisible Man, was published and this evening at the American History Museum, enjoy a discussion of the book with Ellison's literary executor John Callahan and Adam Bradley of the University of Colorado at Boulder. A book signing will follow. Free. American History Museum, 6:30 PM.

Wednesday, February 3: Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention

In this performance piece learn about the African-American entrepreneurs and inventors whose respective sparks of genius gave us products that we still use today—such as Geroge Crum's potato chip and the numerous creations George Washington Carver derived from peanuts. (The 2008 incarnation of the show was covered on NPR and you can listen to that radio segment here.) Tickets are required. Rates are: $6 general admission, $5 for children, free for children under age 2. Tickets may be purchased online here. Tickets for today's 10:15 and 11:30 shows have already sold out. Only tickets for the 1:00 performance are still available. Discovery Theater, 1:00 PM.

Thursday, February 4: Africa in Reel Time: Nollywood Film Festival: Nollywood Babylon

Learn about Nigerian movies with the documentary Nollywood Babylon which describes the growth of this nation's film industry which is booming to the point where it is second only to Bollywood. Enjoy movie clips that meld traditional and contemporary Nigerian sights and sounds as well as a discussion with directors Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal following the screening. Free. African Art Museum, 7:00-9:00 PM.

Friday, February 5: Let's Read About Africa

Perfect for persons ages 6 and up, come enjoy the talents of storyteller Diane Macklin who will introduce young readers to Africa by way of children's literature penned by award-winning authors. Free. African Art Museum, 10:30-11:30 AM.

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