What: The Buffalo Riders 

Where: Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum (Free and open to the public)

When: 10 am


Join us as we celebrate the legacy of the Buffalo Riders, the designated African-American unit from 1866 – 1951.  Meet Ken Wright, President of the Buffalo Riders of Hampton Roads as he discusses how this group of troops has impacted the local area and nationwide through his research and images.


What: Porte Towne Magic Orchestra

Where:  Main Branch Library: 1 pm (Free and open to the public)


Join the fun as the Porte Town Magic Orchestra performs favorites old and new for all ages.  




What: Safari – Tales of the Griot

Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia (Presentation is included with admission)

When: 11:30 am & 1:00 pm


The Hurrah Players bring vignettes from their February production, Safari – Tales of the Griot to the Children’s Museum of Virginia.  Each 20 minute performance will feature songs, dances, dialogue, and costumed animal characters from the actual stage play.




What: The Not-Just-For-February Players

Where: Emanuel AME Church (Free and open to the public)

When: 10 am


Come out and celebrate Black History Month and enjoy a moment in time with The Not-Just-For February Players as they portray local African-Americans and their struggles to prosper.  The program is being held in the historical Emanuel AME Church on North Street in historic Olde Towne Portsmouth.  This program is sponsored by the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth. 


What: Oney Judge  

Where: Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum (Free and open to the public)

When: 11 am


Sheila Arnold Jones, master storyteller will be presenting a program based on the life of Oney Judge.  


What: Keepin’ Heritage Alive

Where: Portsmouth Main Library (Free and open to the public)

When: 2 pm


Sheila Arnold Jones,  master storyteller will be presenting Keepin’ Heritage Alive. 




What: Neighborhood Black History Sidewalk Parade

Where: Effingham and King Streets

When: 10:30 am


Wear your favorite costume representing an African-American, past, present, local, city, state, national or international.  To register contact Joyce White Tasby at 202-812-2804.  Registration fees are $10.00 for an individual and $50.00 for 10 or more.  The line-up begins at 10:30 am at Effingham and King Streets.


What: STEMulating Minds with Little Bits Workshop

Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia (Included with Museum admission)

When: 10 am, 1 pm & 4 pm


Let Little Bits be a spark of imagination for your young inventor while they learn a little about influential black scientists and inventors.  Bits are electronic building blocks that allow inventors to make amazing things, both big and small. 




What: Black History Expo

Where: Churchland Branch Library (Free and open to the public)

When: 5:30 – 7:30 pm


A choral performance by Portsmouth Public Schools with a presentation, author talk and book signing by Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander.  Newby-Alexander is the author of Virginia Waterways and the Underground Railroad. 




What: A Salute to African-Americans in the Military

Where: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (Free and open to the public)

When:  11am - 4 pm

A.    United States Colored Troops, 35th Regiment of New Bern – Tryon Palace’s United States Colored Troops, 35th Regiment of New Bern will provide living history demonstrations of African-American soldiers’ lives in the Union Army during the Civil War (1863-1865).  The presentation will include raising and striking of the United States’ flag, the regimental colors, marching drills, camp songs, and demonstration of camp supplies that the 35thRegiment of New Bern, NC used after being founded in June of 1863. 

B.    Marvin Greer, Yorktown Reenactor – Mr. Greer will present living history demonstrations as he recounts the American Revolutionary War as James Armistead La Fayette, an African-American spy who aided in George Washington’s and the Marquis de La Fayette’s  defeat of the British at Yorktown.  Mr. Greer’s presentation will feature period clothing and a black powder musket demonstration.

C.    Howard Baugh, Vietnam Pilot – Mr. Baugh will present stories, photographs, collectible items, and airplane models from his father’s days of service as a Tuskegee Airman.  He will also contrast his own days of service in the United States Air Force as a pilot during the Vietnam Conflict with those of his father’s. 


Copyright 2016 City of Portsmouth, VA
website by Arengee

904 Elm Avenue, Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8983, ext. 20
Mailing Address: 521 Middle Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
The Portsmouth Community Library served black patrons from 1945 until 1963, when the main library was integrated. The small, one-story brick building was originally located on South Street near Effingham Street. The land at this new location was purchased with donations made by Portsmouth citizens, black and white.