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Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood is loaded with cultural gems and vibrant murals -- not to mention engaging events during Black History Month throughout February. Credit: Zol87.

By Jennifer Olvera

Black History Month is celebrated throughout the month of February nationwide. In Chicago, the park district is one of many entities to usher in honorary events. What’s more, it’s a great time to celebrate the every day contributions of Chicago’s African-American visionaries, from blues, gospel and soul music performances to stops at culturally rich gems in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Conveniently, you find a plethora of cheap Chicago hotels this time ofyear.

Consider swinging by the Ashaki Black History Month Celebration at picturesque Washington Park on Feb. 24 ($3), when the field house morphs into a Ghana, Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria, Egypt and Somalia-inspired gathering, complete with live entertainment, African artifacts and edibles as draws. Also appealing are the park’s walking trails, picturesque (though frozen-over) lagoon and — if you can bear it amid whispering winds — playgrounds.

You might also entertain a trip to Fuller Park, where community-driven photo exhibit “Focus on Fuller” — a collective by Marcus Robinson, Giovannyce Rudolph and Larry Baldwin — is on display, free of charge, from Feb. 5-25.

Alternately, there’s Ubuntu at Garfield Park on Feb. 18 and 19. Visitors can immerse themselves in African dance, spoken word and music. The event, which includes performances by Najawa Dance Corps, M. A.D.D Rhythms and Africa International House, nods to Dr. Margaret Taylor Burroughs and the experience of Africans in the Americas and Caribbean. Admission is $5.

While you’re in town, take time to grab a bite at Bolat African Cuisine in the Lakeview neighborhood (the jollof rice and goat pepper soup are boss). And consider a stay at the centrally located Best Western Grant Park, since it’s perched in convenient proximity to all you’ll want to experience.

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Jennifer Olvera is a Chicago-based author, editor and food enthusiast, who travels often – usually in search of her next great meal.

Tagged: City, Events

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