The reading is just one of many events marking Black History Month. Among the others:
Iconic images. The Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia is conducting a tour of the city's African American murals, portraying such figures as Patti LaBelle, Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois, Julius Erving, and Jackie Robinson. Mural Arts artist and teacher Ernel Martinez will be the tour guide. The program also runs a tour of African American murals on the last Saturday of each month.
The tour leaves at 10 a.m. Saturday from Mural Arts at the Gallery at Market East, 901 Market St., second level, and concludes at noon. Tickets: $30 (adults), $28 (seniors), $20 (children under 12), including admission to the African American Museum. Information: 215-925-3633, muralarts.org/tour/
Come see about the Supremes. The African American Museum is offering music, story and dance events and more this month, free with museum admission. Current exhibitions include "Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia (1778-1876)," which tells the story of African American contributions to the building of Philadelphia, and "Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection," which showcases the 1960s Motown trio.
African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St. Admission: $10 (adults), $8 (seniors, students, children ages 4-12). Information: 215-574-0380, aampmuseum.org.
A Jersey tradition.
Cherry Hill High Schools East and West and the Cherry Hill African American Civic Association are keeping up a 30-year tradition by starting Black History Month with their annual black history show, at 7 p.m. Saturday. Uptown, directed and written by 2005 Cherry Hill East grad Keisha Blount, will focus on the Harlem Renaissance era. The Sankofa Marketplace will feature local vendors during a 30-minute intermission.
Cherry Hill High School East, 1750 Kresson Rd. Admission free. Information: 856-424-2222, http://www.chaaca.org/
We the People. Tours of the National Constitution Center's main exhibit, "The Story of 'We the People,' " will underscore African American participation in the American experience. Daily programs on African American history include a look at African American leaders and the Emancipation Proclamation. The current exhibition "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" calls attention to the role of African Americans in the 1920s and changes in race relations.
National Constitution Center, Independence Mall, 525 Arch St. Admission: $14.50 (adults), $13 (seniors, students, youth 13-18), $8 (children 4-12), free (military, children 3 and under). Information: 215-409-6700, constitutioncenter.org.
Use your imagination. "Imagine Africa" at the Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) is an exhibition you can help reshape. The museum aims to tailor its African collection based on what the public wants to know about the continent. You'll have a chance through your feedback to help influence how people learn about black history. Visit this month and view a part of the collection focused on themes that include religion, strength, power, fashion, and beauty.
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South St. Admission: $12 (adults), $10 (seniors and active military), $8 (children 6 to 17 and full-time students with college ID). Information: 215-898-4000, www.penn.museum.
The Underground Railroad ran through Philadelphia. A free weekly series at the Second Bank of the United States at 420 Chestnut St., part of Independence National Historical Park, explores Philadelphia's involvement in the Underground Railroad with activities every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., starting Saturday and ending Feb. 24.
In addition, the Independence Visitor Center will host several Black History Month events:
Historian and former National Park Service ranger Joe Becton will present a free performance of Music of the Underground Railroad at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Independence Visitor Center.
At 1 p.m. next Friday, actress Alexandra Ford will portray Oney Judge, who escaped from slavery in President George Washington's household in 1796.
At 2 p.m. Feb. 16, take part in a program on the beginnings of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia, led by Jason Allen, director of interpretation at Cliveden in Germantown.
Artist Jerry Pinkney will present an illustrated program at 1 p.m. Feb. 24 featuring his depictions of the men, women, and children who traveled the Underground Railroad to freedom. A question-and-answer session, book signing, and art table for kids will follow.
Independence Visitor Center, Sixth and Market Streets. All events at the Independence Visitor Center are free and open to the public. Information: 215-597-0060, nps.gov/inde/.
African Americans in literature. Introduce your child to the gift of literature at the 21st annual African American Children's Book Fair from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at the gymnasium of Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St. The event features authors including Deborah Gregory, Eric Velasquez, Marilyn Nelson, and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich.
Information: 215-877-2012, theafricanamericanchildrensbookproject.org.
Visions of freedom. Temple University Libraries and the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection present a book talk and signing by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer, authors of Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery, in a program from 3 to 6 p.m. next Friday at Mitten Hall, Great Court, 913 N. Broad St. Their book collects 150 historical photos from the antebellum era to the 1930s.
Information: 215-204-5379, calendar.activedatax.com/temple.
Drama.The Mountaintop, whose title comes from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, is a dramatic recounting of the night before his assassination. Produced by the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the play continues through Feb. 17.
Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets. Admission: $46 to $59. Times: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Information: 215-985-0420, philadelphiatheatrecompany.org.
Women and civil rights. Find out more about women who made a difference in the civil rights struggle at a living history presentation, Women in the Civil Rights Movement, featuring actresses portraying Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Fannie Lou Hamer. The performance will be at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Blackwood campus of Camden County College on College Drive.