Black History Month is here! For those who have trips to Walt Disney World Resort planned this month, there are several ways to experience Black History Month on your vacation. In February, Epcot is home to several special Black History Month events at the American Adventure pavilion. Special events include historical displays, unique food options, intriguing artifacts, book signings, and other events. Not going in February? Some of these Black History Month additions will continue to be featured after the month is over!
EPCOT is the hub of Walt Disney World’s Black History Month celebration. There are a variety of activities and exhibits packed into this February’s 29 days. In the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, African American history is showcased. Along with a kaleidoscope of 11 nations (and the African outpost), the World Showcase is the place Walt Disney World celebrates cultural heritage, arts and entertainment.
5 Ways Walt Disney World Celebrates Black History Month:
- Meet Living History. Going to be at Epcot this weekend? Meet esteemed author and a living member of history, Terrence Roberts. Mr. Roberts was one of the “Little Rock Nine” who integrated Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. He is the author of “Lessons from Little Rock”. He will meet Epcot guests this Saturday, February 27, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.
- New Legacy Portraits. Explore the portraits of African American historical figures in the American Pavilion Rotunda. They join the images of other influential American men and women who contributed to the progress of America. The new display features figures such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice; Ronald Erwin McNair, the second African American to fly in space; and Bessie Coleman, the first African American (and Native American) female pilot.
- Enjoy Southern Cooking. For those looking for a decidedly un-theme park dish, indulge in Mrs. Fisher’s Peach Cobbler, available at the Liberty Inn at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot. Mrs. Abby Fischer was one of the first African American authors to publish a cookbook. Her cookbook, dating back to 1881 was called “What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking.” The cookbook includes 160 Southern-style recipes, including her peach cobbler recipe.
Additions to Epcot’s Kinsey Collection. For the last three years, philanthropists Bernard, Shirley and their son Khalil Kinsey have shared some of their vast personal collection of artifacts spanning 400 years of history in the “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” at the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot. This collection of pieces includes an extensive assortment of rare art, documents, books and artifacts all of which can be attributed to African American history. Three new pieces have been recently added to the exhibit and will continue to be exhibited after February’s 29 days are over. The collection comes to life with touch screens and guest-activated lanterns with narration by Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Sawyer and other celebrities. The three new pieces include:
- “Banneker’s Almanack and Ephemeras” by Benjamin Banneker. This is the mathematical and mechanical work of Benjamin Banneker. His almanac was first published in 1771. Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State, read and approved of Banneker’s work.
- “My Bondage and My Freedom” by Frederick Douglass. This first edition book is an autobiography recounting Frederick Douglass’s life which started out in slavery and ended as one of the most important abolitionists, speakers, and authors in American history. It was first published in 1855.
- “Survivor” by Elizabeth Catlett. This beautiful Linoleum block print was inspired by a photograph taken by Dorthea Lang titled “Ex-slave with a Long Memory.” The print was created in 1983.
Author visits. Earlier this month, African American authors visited Epcot and met with guests. Authors included Chef G. Garvin, author of “Turn Up The Heat With G. Garvin: More Than 200 Incredible Recipes from the Chef Who Keeps it Super Simple”, Terry McMillan, author of many books include “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and her most recent work,”Who Asked You?”, and Patti LaBelle, recording artist, TV star and acclaimed author of several books including her newest “Recipes for the Good Life”. They mingled with Epcot guests and signed copies of their books in the American Adventures pavilion.
When visiting Walt Disney World this month, guests can take some time to stroll through the pages of America’s history as well as learn about the influence of African-American culture on our country. After American history is experienced, guests are encouraged to take some time to walk around the 1.3 mile promenade encircling the 40 acre World Showcase Lagoon and explore the best contributions from a variety of other cultures.
Want to know more about special events at Epcot? Read the article by Tara Settembre, VIP TravelingMom, on how the new Colortopia Exhibit at Epcot provides learning for all ages. Also check out the helpful tips from Heather Lee, 7 Continents TravelingMom, about how to enjoy Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival with kids.