Press Release: Field Museum Welcomes Green Activist Naomi Davis to Kick off Black History Month Events

January 17, 2023 Events & Announcements

February events include dance performances and a behind-the-scenes look at Africa collections

A talk with “The Queen of Green” Naomi Davis will launch a month of events at the Field Museum celebrating Black History Month. The schedule includes panels, performances, and behind-the-scenes looks at the Field’s African collections from Sierra Leone and Liberia. The month will celebrate African and African American heritage and recognize the many connections between history and the present, organizers said.

Davis is the founder and president of Blacks in Green, an organization that stewards the design and development of green, self-sustaining, mixed-income, walkable villages in communities owned and populated by African Americans. Davis will keynote the Field’s Armour Series on Feb. 1, from noon to 1 p.m. in a hybrid format.

“Visitors won’t want to miss the knowledge being shared in conversations with Chicago’s Black women leaders in conservation and environmental justice, artists, filmmakers, scientists, and scholars connecting the rich African history and cultures represented in the museum’s collection to contemporary African American experiences and concerns as we continue exploring Black history with a different lens,” says Reda Brooks, Exhibitions Budget Administrator and part of the Black History Month planning committee at Field Museum. “Creating excitement about the Africa exhibit’s 30 years of impact and legacy will be the highlight of this year’s programming.”

Other highlights of the month include “Meet a Museum Insider” and “Meet a Scientist” events on the history of masks from Liberia (Feb. 14) and Sierra Leone (Feb. 20) and a Black History Month celebration on Feb. 20 recognizing the Africa Hall and featuring the Muntu Dance Theatre. Many of the events take place on Free Days, where basic admission is free for Illinois residents. Proof of residency is required.

Visit our Black History Month activity page for more information.

Schedule of events

Museum Free DayFeb. 1

  • Noon to 1pm, Armour Series Presents Black in STEM with Keynote Naomi Davis, Location: Field Museum/Zoom

Museum Free DayFeb. 8

  • Noon to 1pm, Armour Series Presents Black in STEM with Cheryl Johnson, Location: Field Museum/Zoom

Museum Free Day–Feb. 14

  • 10:30amStorytime with Chicago Public Library - Africa Hall
  • 2 p.m. - Virtual Meet a Museum Insider with Dr. Lester Monts: The Functional and Aesthetic Dimensions of the Sande/Bundu Mask - Facebook Live

Museum Free DayFeb. 15 

  • 10:30pmStorytime with Chicago Public Library - Africa Hall
  • Noon to 1pmArmour Series Presents Black in STEM with Pasama Cole-Kweli - Field Museum/Zoom

Museum Free DayFeb. 20

  • 11am–1pm–Meet a Scientist with Dr. Cynthia Schmidt: Sierra Leone Masks & Artifacts - Science Hub
  • 2 –3:15pm–Muntu Dance Theater Performance - Stanley Field Hall 
  • 3 –5pm–Celebrating 30th Year of Africa Hall, James Simpson Theatre. 2023 is the year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Africa Hall opening during the Field Museum’s centennial year on November 13, 1993. Join us to learn why it was revolutionary for its time and how the exhibit still educates the public today. Assistant Curator of African Anthropology Foreman Bandama, PhD, will moderate the event, recognizing the contributions of staff, valuable cultural partnerships, and the importance of community engagement for the future of the Africa Hall. 

Webinar - Feb. 23

  • 6 p.m. - “Still Searching” - An important conversation exploring community efforts to raise awareness about the ongoing and widespread concerns for missing Black women and girls in Chicago and nationally. Discussion about shared experiences by families coping and hoping to keep the memory and search for their loved ones active. Registration links are pending; visit http://fieldmuseum.org/blackhistorymonth for updates.

Museum Free Day - Feb. 28

  • 5 - 7 p.m. Changing Gateways of Science: Career Panel & Mixer - Highlighting the work of our late colleague Lynika Strozier, and the exhibit in memoriam The Changing Face of Science: Lynika Strozier, join us for a night of learning, connecting, and remembering. Teaching undergraduate students was Lynika’s dream; in her honor, the Field is holding a panel to inform students and early career professionals about the various career paths they can take in science. 

Registration links are pending;