Explore African American influence and culture throughout Orlando during Black History Month and beyond, including notable landmarks like the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park (pictured).

Updated Feb. 12, 2024

February is Black History Month, and Orlando is ready to help you celebrate with engaging events, exhibitions, and live performances. And that’s not all — you can discover Orlando’s rich African American heritage, history and cultural influences year-round throughout our neighborhoods, Black-owned restaurants, permanent galleries and museums, like the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts in Eatonville.

Discover: African American History & Culture in Orlando

Additional reporting by Lily Denneen.

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Black History Month Events & Exhibits in Orlando

Clock in downtown Winter Garden
Historic Winter Garden

Reflections of Time II in Historic Winter Garden (Jan. 6 – Feb. 29, 2024)

Explore the journey of African American artists from Central Florida and beyond at this limited-time exhibition, available at Winter Garden City Hall through the end of the month. Reflections of Time II will feature artwork of varying disciplines, all dedicated to Black excellence and the preservation of time.

Discover: Things to Do in Winter Garden

The Winter Garden Heritage Museum, housed inside the 1918 Atlantic Coast Line Depot, is another fantastic place to celebrate Black History Month. Along with exhibits on Winter Garden’s Native American, early settler and citrus days, the museum boasts a permanent collection honoring the legacies of notable African American community members like Mildred Dixon, the first African American to serve on the city commission. Winter Garden is 20 minutes from our main tourism districts.

An african american man holding an open book.
Discover African American Stories and Heritage in Orlando

Black History Month Events at Orange County Libraries (Feb. 1 – 29, 2024)

Libraries throughout Central Florida will celebrate Black History Month with family-friendly crafts, live music and storytelling, trivia, playtime, and more incredible events. It all starts with the 34th Annual National African American Read-In on Feb. 1, featuring authors of African American literature, and continues all month long. Highlighted events include Orisirisi African Folklore, Black History Science Smart, Motown Movin’, Black History Month Heroes, A Trip to Africa, Explore Space with Mae, and more.

Discover: Things to Do in Orlando With Kids

MLK Concert: Through the Storm, I Need You to Survive! (Feb. 2, 2024)

Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 9th Annual MLK Concert: Through the Storm, I Need You to Survive! This popular gospel spectacular will be hosted at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in downtown Orlando. The event is free to attend, and advance registration is required.

African Americans and the Arts Exhibit at the Orlando City Hall Terrace Gallery (Feb. 2 – March 31, 2024)

Celebrate the rich contributions of Orlando’s African American community at the Orlando City Hall Terrace Gallery in downtown Orlando’s City District. The African Americans and the Arts gallery will feature art pieces of all mediums, celebrating Black influence on visual arts, performing arts, literature, film, music and cultural movements.

Discover: Things to Do in Orlando’s City District

For an ever deeper look, you can join the exhibition grand opening on Feb. 5. Or, meet the people behind the art and enjoy coffee and donuts from local Black-owned businesses during a special Meet the Artist Reception on Feb. 12.

No longer member, let expire
Orange County Regional History Center

History Alive: Bessie Coleman Aviation Adventure (Feb. 3, 2024)

Reach for the skies with Bessie Coleman, the first known African American and Native American female pilot, at the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando. Coleman, who received her license in 1921, was well known for her daring in-air tricks and flying performances. She also gave speeches, taught flight lessons, and encouraged African Americans and women to soar to new heights. Discover her story and learn more about Central Florida aviation history through themed hands-on activities for the whole family during History Alive: Bessie Coleman Aviation Adventure.

Black female Singer Performing on stage
Judson's Live at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Celebrate With Live Music at Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts

The Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in downtown Orlando will honor African American history and culture with an array of ticketed events, including several at Judson’s Live, a brand-new space opening on Feb. 6, 2024. Inspired by legendary listening rooms around the world, Judson’s will offer a sophisticated, intimate musical experience complete with craft cocktails and from-scratch small plates. African American performers during Judson’s grand opening celebration include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Selwyn Birchwood, Keb’ Mo’, Roosevelt Collier, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Joshua Redman.

Discover: New Things to Explore in 2024

Parramore Historic Bus Tour (Feb. 8, 2024)

Join City Commissioner Regina I. Hill and the City of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board on a historic bus tour of Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood. You’ll learn about the positive contributions, culture, and heritage of our African American residents along the way, before enjoying free admission to the Wells'Built Museum of African American History and Culture.

Sanford Jazz Ensemble: Salute to Black History Month Concert (Feb. 11, 2024)

The Sanford Jazz Ensemble will perform their highly-anticipated Salute to Black History Month Concert at the historic Ritz Theater in Sanford, 30 minutes north of downtown Orlando. Tap your toes and dance in the aisles to Motown beats from Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops and The Temptations, along with songs from Michael Jackson, Grover Washington, Tower of Power, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

History Alive: Galactic Trailblazers (Feb. 13, 2024)

Learn about notable African American Galactic Trailblazers who are charting a course for the stars at this family-friendly learning experience at the Orange County Regional History Center.

Culinary Curiosities: Exploring African American Culinary Contributions (Feb. 15, 2024)

Participate in hands-on cooking experiences, gain historical insights, and engage in interactive discussions at Culinary Curiosities: Exploring African American Culinary Contributions. Hosted by Edible Education Experiences, this class will explore the intersection of Southern Cuisine and Black History. Pricing: $70 adults 18+.

Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience (Feb. 16, 2024)

Performed by the longest-running Michael Jackson cover band, Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience will feature toe-tapping songs from the expansive catalog of the unrivaled King of Pop, performed at House of Blues at Disney Springs®.

Timucua Arts Foundation amina scott quartet
Amina Scott Quartet at Timucua Arts Foundation

Timucua Amplifies Black Voices Weekend (Feb. 16 – 18, 2024)

In Orlando’s SODO District, Timucua Arts Foundation will host an electrifying range of jazz, soul, contemporary classical, R&B and choral performances during Timucua Amplifies Black Voices Weekend. The intimate concert space is home to some of the most diverse, inclusive and accessible performances in Orlando, with a one-of-a-kind acoustic control system to match. Enjoy unforgettable performances from Solomon Jaye: With a Twist, Britton René Collins, Jarred Armstrong Trio, DeAndre Lettsome Quartet and Brandon Martin throughout the weekend.

Discover: Inside Timucua Arts Foundation

Honoring Black Heritage & Culture at the Orange County Regional History Center (Feb. 17, 2024)

All are welcome at the 2nd annual Honoring Black Heritage & Culture event at the Orange County Regional History Center. This free event will include live performances, speakers, an artist showcase, and activities for all ages, all to celebrate the impact of Black Americans on visual arts, music and cultural movements.

Kevin Harris’ Joy-Filled Noise: A Musical Celebration of Black History (Feb. 23, 2024)

Timucua Arts Foundation will also host Kevin Harris’ Joy-Filled Noise: A Musical Celebration of Black History on Feb. 23. Explore original arrangements, stirring performances and stellar harmonies in a survey of Black American Music, from the South African hymn “Siyahamba” to African American spirituals, jazz, blues, and gospel songs old and new.

City of Orlando’s Black History Month Community Celebration Event (Feb. 20, 2024)

Join Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer at Camping World Stadium for a free Black History Month Celebration of Black culture, heritage and unity, featuring the Standing Ovation dancers, City of Orlando Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome, saxophonist James Johnson, and the City Beautiful Voices in their musical debut. Several city commissioners will also be present for this spirited celebration.

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ZORA! Festival in Eatonville

ZORA! Festival Season Events

Twenty-five minutes north of Orlando in the town of Eatonville, the annual ZORA! Festival honors African American writer Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God and other classic pieces of literature. The celebration, now in its 35th year, begins in January with an Outdoor Festival of the Arts, museum exhibitions, historical tours, stage performances and more, with additional events throughout the year.

Discover: ZORA! Festival Season

February events and exhibitions include Voices: The Art of Louise Deininger at the Hurston, A Farewell to Artist Louise Deininger (Feb. 22, 2024), a virtual Zora Neale Hurston book club meeting, and ongoing cultural heritage tours (reservations required).

Black History Month at Disney Springs® (Throughout February)

Throughout February, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World® Resort will celebrate Black History Month with special events, entertainment, activations and decor, plus exclusive drinks, dishes and merchandise at select venues.

Discover: Things to Do at DISNEY SPRINGS

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African American Culture & History in Orlando

Orlando is a diverse melting pot of people and cultures. One of the most important — not just to Central Florida but to the American Civil Rights movement — is our African American community, whose influence can be felt throughout the area.

Mural of Zora Neale Hurston in Eatonville, Extended expiration date, currently being used on the website. Requested by Nate
Zora Neale Hurston Mural in Eatonville

Historic Eatonville

Just 25 minutes north of Orlando’s main tourism districts, the historic town of Eatonville was one of the first self-governing, all-Black municipalities in the U.S. — and the oldest still in existence today. Established two decades after the end of slavery in the United States, Eatonville served as a haven for newly emancipated African Americans with the motto, “The Town That Freedom Built.” The childhood home of Zora Neale Hurston, Eatonville hosts the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts, several vibrant murals, and the annual ZORA! Festival.

Discover: Things to Do in Eatonville

Influencer Katrina Dandridge visits Wells’Built Museum
Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture in Orlando’s Parramore District

Parramore District & West Lakes Market Street District

The oldest and largest African American neighborhood in Orlando, the Parramore District is an area rich in culture, heritage and heart. Discover the area’s history through a fascinating collection of African art and artifacts, displays of the Civil Rights movement, and memorabilia of Orlando’s African American community at the Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture, then explore the district to see how Parramore residents are creating their own modern legacies.

Discover: Things to Do in Orlando’s Parramore District

One of the district’s newest additions, Luminary Green Park, shines a light on individuals who made outstanding contributions to the Parramore-Holden community throughout their lifetime, honoring them with 12 luminary art installations. Located in the heart of downtown Orlando’s Creative Village, Luminary Green is the perfect place to stop and reflect on the past while looking forward to the future. The Monroe, named for Dr. William Monroe Wells of Wells’Built fame, is ideal for drinks and light bites, should you feel hungry.

Discover: Eat & Drink in Orlando

Nearby in the West Lakes Market Street District, Tinker Field History Plaza marks the former site of Tinker Field baseball stadium, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a moving Civil Rights speech in 1964. It’s located next to Camping World Stadium and the newly renovated Lake Lorne Doone Park.

Discover: Things to Do in Orlando’s West Lakes Market Street District

Influencer Katrina Dandridge visits Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park

Hannibal Square

A short drive west in Winter Park is Hannibal Square. This historic neighborhood began as a community of African American laborers and domestic workers, whose lives and contributions are now preserved at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art, the center honors Winter Park’s African American heritage through a series of classes, festivals — including the annual Unity Heritage Festival and Hannibal Square Heritage Center Folk & Urban Art Festival — and exhibits dedicated to topics like the African American experience, Black heritage, cultural preservation and Southern folklore.

Discover: Hannibal Square Heritage Center

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Black-Owned Restaurants & Businesses in Orlando

Get a taste of Orlando’s rich culinary artistry at Black-owned restaurants throughout the city. Start at The District GastroBar in the Parramore District for modern fare with a vintage ambiance and a seriously cool history. The eatery was once featured in The Green Book, an annual guidebook created first published in 1936 to help African American travelers safely navigate a segregated country. Outside, murals honor legendary icons like Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Count Basie, all of whom performed in the area, for an unbeatable mix of history and flavor.

Additional options include The Licking Orlando, House of Mac, Streetwise Urban Food, DaJen Eats, Chicken Fire, Chick’n Cone, Sister Honey’s, Selam Etriopean, Brick & Spoon, Vitality Bowls Orlando, Oley’s Kitchen, Nikki’s Place, Brappin’ Crabs, Smoke Made Meats and many more tasty picks throughout the destination.

Discover: Black-Owned Restaurants in Orlando

If it’s shopping you’re after, Three Masks Orlando in the West Lakes Market Street District sells one-of-a-kind art and goods sourced from Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of Africa. You can also find Black-owned businesses throughout Orlando, including Pretty Peacock Paperie in College Park, Naked Bar Soap Co. in Longwood, Miscellaneous Market in the Ivanhoe Village district, and more.

Discover: Orlando Neighborhoods

African American history, arts and culture are key parts of Orlando’s rich tapestry, and there’s lots more to explore while you’re here. Take advantage of our free planning tools and other resources to unlock an Orlando getaway that’s perfect for your family!

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Map of Black History Month Events & Exhibits in Orlando

Use this interactive map to track down all of the Black History Month events and exhibitions featured in this blog.

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