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Celebrating Black History With Live Events

Image of four African-American women laughing together Concert & Ticket Guides

February is Black History Month, a time to acknowledge the lives and culture of African Americans. It is also a time to highlight the impact of Black pioneers and activists like Bessie Coleman, Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Davis, Marsha P. Johnson and many others.

From abolition to the civil rights movement and more, the entirety of African American and Black history cannot be confined to a single month. Celebrating Black history is important, but it is also vital to acknowledge the work still being done to secure equal rights and create a better future.

Read on to learn about different ways to acknowledge and honor the creative works and accomplishments of Black and African-American artists and performers beyond Black History Month.

Music Artists Touring in 2024 

Music, like in many cultures, plays an important role in the African-American experience. From preserving history to laying the foundations for genres like jazz, rock and hip-hop, music is a great way to enjoy the works of Black and African American artists in pop culture.

One popular artist that you can enjoy live is global rap icon, Nicki Minaj. The “Super Freaky Girl” rapper announced the long-awaited dates for her 2024 Pink Friday 2 World Tour. Along with headlining arenas across North America, Minaj will also be making appearances at 2024 music festivals like Dreamville and Rolling Loud California

Image of Nicki Minaj graphic

The Trinidadian rapper’s versatility and unique altar egos have inspired a new generation of musicians like Ice Spice and Billie Eilish. Minaj was credited in a 2020 Billboard article with bringing female rap back to mainstream culture in the US.

Stephen and Damian Marley are another great option for a memorable concert experience. The Grammy-award-winning brothers set off on their Traffic Jam Tour in mid-February. Along with collaborative songs like “Cast The First Stone” and “Welcome To Jamrock,” the setlist for the tour will also feature popular hits from the brothers’ solo catalogs and a mix of classics by their father, Bob Marley.

Upcoming Concert Tours:

Music Festivals

There are also plenty of music festivals to check out in 2024 that are dedicated to celebrating Black music, art and culture, like Lovers & Friends or California Roots. 

Founded by the magazine of the same name, Essence Fest has become the biggest event to celebrate African-American culture in the US. Previous festival performers have included acts like Mary J Blige, New Edition, Wizkid and H.E.R.

Afropunk is a similar festival that highlights the music, fashion, art and media created by Black alternative and punk artists. Since its origins in 2005 in New York, Afropunk has grown to become and even has had international festivals held in cities like Paris, London, Johannesburg and more.

For Fans of Comedy

Get your fill of clever quips and funny anecdotes when you check out popular comedians like Dave Chappelle, Sheryl Underwood, Issa Rae and Katt Williams live. Many of these comics have used their own life experiences, the good and the bad, as material in their stand-up sets and live shows.

Named one of the funniest people in America by Entertainment Weekly, Wanda Sykes is a classic comic act that never fails to entertain. From her early days of writing for The Chris Rock Show to acting in television and movies like Evan Almighty and The Upshaws, Sykes has made her mark in the entertainment industry. Make sure to get your Wanda Sykes tickets to laugh the night away.

Another popular comic that will be on tour is Katt Williams. Williams’ stand-up career kicked off in the late ‘90s and he quickly branched out into acting, known for his roles in 2002’s Friday After Next, Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘n Out, My Wife and Kids and Black-ish.

For Lovers of Theatre & Performing Arts

The arts offer many mediums that allow people to express themselves from plays to musicals, dance performances to orchestral concerts and more. 

Theatre productions like The Color Purple and To Kill a Mockingbird are adaptations of classic American novels that explore themes of race and adversity, love, justice and more. 

If you prefer lighter-hearted material, you can check out shows like The Wiz, which retells the story of Dorothy and her adventures in Oz within the context of contemporary African-American culture. 

Or check out Purlie Victorious, a comedy play by actor and activist Ossie Davis. The Broadway show follows the journey of a Black preacher, Purlie, as he returns to his rural Georgia home to save his church and his community.

Jukebox musicals are a great way to experience the history of popular Black artists who have made their mark in the music industry. Shows like TINA and Ain’t Too Proud highlight notable moments in the lives and careers of artists like Tina Turner and The Temptations, respectively. 

These nostalgic musicals revive hits like “My Girl” and “Proud Mary” while offering insight into the barriers these artists experienced while making their way to the top.

Other Must-See Shows: 

Many Black-founded organizations for the arts and theatre highlight the works of Black artists like The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) or the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (AAADT). 

Ailey founded his namesake modern dance company in 1958 in New York City. The AAADT has grown from a small group of seven dancers performing in New York to a troupe of more than 30 dancers performing for millions of people around the world. Enjoy productions like the iconic Revelations and Dancing Spirit with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre tickets today.

Celebrate Black History Throughout 2024

You can celebrate the essence of Black History Month throughout the year with tickets from TicketSmarter for concerts, theatre productions, comedy shows and more. No matter what kind of entertainment you like to enjoy, TicketSmarter makes it easy to get tickets to a variety of events.