Black History Month at the History Center

The History Center interprets and preserves African American history and culture year-round through a variety of events and exhibitions curated by the museum’s African American Program. This work is accomplished through research, artifact and archival collecting, consulting, educational programming, exhibitions, and public outreach. In recognition of Black History Month, the African American Program of the Heinz History Center will present two free programs in February.

Black History Month Programs

From Slavery to Freedom Film Series Presents “Torchbearers”

Join the History Center’s African American Program for a free, online screening of “Torchbearers” on Wednesday, Feb. 15, as part of the 2023 From Slavery to Freedom Film Series.

The Black Fives: The Epic Story of Basketball’s Forgotten Era with Claude Johnson

Discover the lesser-known history of Black basketball’s trailblazing teams, players, and coaches at the History Center’s ninth annual Black History Month lecture, on Friday, Feb. 17.

For Students and Teachers: The History of Hill City Youth Municipality

The History Center will host “The History of Hill City Youth Municipality,” a free webinar for teachers and students on Thursday, Feb. 22. This virtual program will explore the story of Hill City, a youth-run organization that worked to lower juvenile crime in Pittsburgh’s Hill District during the 1930s-1950s.

Guided Tours

Beat 'Em Bucs 

Discover the fascinating history behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Homestead Grays, and the Pittsburgh Crawfords on the “Beat ‘Em Bucs” guided tour on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11. 

Pittsburgh: Beyond Adversity

Museum docents will lead a special guided tour on African American history in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum and the Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation and From Slavery to Freedom exhibitions on Feb. 11 and Feb. 25

From Slavery to Freedom


Heinz History Center

The long-term exhibit highlights the enslavement of Africans and its effect on the American economy, the history of the anti-slavery movement, the Underground Railroad, and the impact of 19th-century activism on the modern quest for civil and human rights in Pittsburgh.

Explore more than 250 years of African American history in the History Center’s exhibition.

More Exhibits Highlighting Black History in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation

The newly expanded Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibit honors several African Americans who made trailblazing breakthroughs, including Dr. Velma Scantlebury, the nation’s first African American woman transplant surgeon and student of UPMC’s late Dr. Thomas Starzl.

Negro League Baseball

As home to two of the Negro League’s most dominant teams – the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords – Pittsburgh was once the center of Negro League baseball. Learn more about the legacy of Pittsburgh’s Negro League teams in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

Coming Soon: Smithsonian’s The Negro Motorist Green Book

The History Center’s newest Smithsonian exhibit, The Negro Motorist Green Book, will open on May 13, 2023. In collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and award-winning author Candacy Taylor, The Negro Motorist Green Book will offer an immersive look at the reality of travel for African Americans in mid-century America and how the annual guide served as an indispensable resource for the nation’s rising Black middle class.