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FunTimes Magazine

The Heart Of Black History Month

Feb 06, 2024 12:00PM ● By FunTimes Staff

Photo courtesy of Mighty Writers

FunTimes Magazine ‘Culture + Entertainment,” Week of February 5, 2024


What a great month this February is, a time when Black History Month shares a bright spotlight with Valentine’s Day. From virtual Valentine’s workshops to book–discussions, go out, pucker up, and plant a kiss in February. But not too many kisses. Don’t forget: When event-going, please take precautions, especially when in groups and indoors, with the current COVID variants and other infectious health threats on the rise. Check with the event organizers about their safety protocols, and also any changes due to inclement weather.


Buy your roses…

Valentine’s Day February 9, 2024. Valentine’s Day comes in many shades of red. Like pink. We here declare pink as the color for singles. So, in that same spirit, we cordially invite you to join FunTimes Presents Living Single: Navigating Valentine's Day. It’s our no-pressure, welcoming Instagram Live powwow that singles out singles – in a good way. Lavonne Nichols, a multi-media host, self-help author, singer, and entrepreneur, will lead the heart-to-heart discussion. Hear from seasoned experts who know all about the nuances of singling and mingling. The distinguished power panel will be Funmi Saheeb, educator and social media influencer; Donavan West, media personality and social media influencer, and Jennifer Harris, counselor and motivational speaker. They will discuss fun ways -- standard as well as creative-- to approach and ultimately celebrate the day that has been blatantly and traditionally known for coupling and all that sappy stuff. Valentine’s Day is for lovers of living! Our thinking is that dates are nice, but our dates will be just as sweet in that decadent box of chocolates that we buy and share with like-minded friends. Hollah! Free, 3 p.m. EST. 215-954-6300 or FunTimes Magazine Instagram  or

Educator Mister Boom Boom

Celebrate Black history with jazz, workshops & art 

Wednesday, February 7, 2024. Observe Black History Month at the Please Touch Museum. Black history-makers are featured in the museum’s Black History Walk throughout February. Check out African-American pioneers adeptly painted onto mirrors, allowing you to see your reflection while viewing these inspirational individuals. Learn about James Baldwin, Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, and other champions from various walks of life (the arts, education, science, entertainment), eras, and stages of the struggle for social justice. The portraits embody perseverance and courage. Also highlighted will be an interactive African dance performance by the Living Arts Dance Studio and a dazzling show by music educator and entertainer Mister Boom Boom. Tickets are discounted at $2 per visitor on Wednesdays, from 4 p.m. EST to 7 p.m. EST, 215-581-3181 or

Radio hit parade keeps the beat alive

Every day during Black History Month, WXPN Radio (88.5 FM in the Greater Philadelphia area) will showcase famous artists, from Muddy Watters and Nina Simone to Janelle Monáe and Prince. The musicians represent all genres including soul, funk, blues, jazz, and R&B. 

Those in the upcoming spotlight will be: Curtis Mayfield (February 8), Prince (February 9), Stax/Volt Monday (February 10), Janelle Monáe (February 13,) and enjoy a little “For Your Love” with Steve Wonder on Valentine’s Day (February 14)., on-air at 88.5FM in Philadelphia.

Get all sappy…

Saturday, February 10, 2024. If you need a unique Valentine’s gift, there’s probably nothing sweeter than maple syrup or maple candy. For a sugary treat, go get some sap on tap, and head to the Maple Sugaring Demonstrations at the Wissahickon Environmental Center. And you’ll learn a lot, too: Did you know that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup?; that now is prime maple sugaring season, which drips through March? Get all outdoorsy, and learn to identify sugar maples and tap trees, boil sap, make syrup, and enjoy sap and syrup tastings. And you don’t have to B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Pancakes). Afterward, warm your buns by a campfire. Hosted by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. Campfire and sap-syrup tastings: 11 a.m. EST to 3 p.m.; EST maple sugaring demonstrations: 11 a.m. EST and 1 p.m. EST. Free but register in advance for the campfire and sap syrup tastings. Wissahickon Environmental Center, 300 W. Northwestern Ave. Register at: For details: or


Love that jazz

Friday, February 9, 2024. Let your hair down and check out a cool jazz concert, the best way to preview Valentine’s Day. The show is called Second Friday Presents Cornell Rochester & The North Philly Jazz Project. Drummer Rochester, pianist Joseph Block, saxophonist Dylan Band, guitarist Gene Terramani and bassist Jamaal Adeen Tacuma will light up the stage. $30, 7 p.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST. Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Ave. 215-387-1911 or


Hands-on Valentine’s hike

Sunday, February 11, 2024. Love comes in many forms. Like one’s love of nature. Decompress with a guided Valentine’s hike and meditation with Lenape-language keeper Krista Nelson. Take in the sights and sounds of winter over two miles with hilly trails. “A deeper relationship with nature is good medicine for everyone,” notes instructor Nelson. Join her on the historic Trolley Trail and the Chamounix Creek in Fairmount Park for a meditation session next to the calming water’s edge. Water gives way to fire, as the hike ends at a historic picnic pavilion for a fireside celebration with more of a man-made touch -- hot chocolate, s’mores, and other snacks. Organized by Fairmount Park Conservancy.10 a.m. EST to 12:30 p.m. EST, $15, pre-register. Friends of Chamounix Tennis Courts, 50 Chamounix Drive. 215-988-9334 or


Fritters from the Diaspora

Tuesday, February 13, 2024. Black-eyed peas and rice-based cuisine from Senegal and various areas of West Africa were brought from the Motherland to the United States. Chef Tonii will prepare Savory Black-eyed Pea Fritters, or Akara, and Sweet Rice Fritters called Calas to celebrate the cultural contributions and significance of Africa throughout the diaspora. The cooking demonstration, Fritters: West Africa to Diaspora, is inspired by High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Dr. Jessica B. Harris and season 2 of the Netflix series, High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America. Free, but register in advance. 3 p.m. EST. Free Library of Philadelphia/ Widener Library, 2808 W. Lehigh Ave. 215-685-9799 or or Register at:


 Trudy Haynes Scholarship may be right for you

In 1965, Trudy Haynes emerged as a trailblazing African-American TV reporter in Philadelphia when she landed a job at KYW-TV/Channel 3 Eyewitness News in Philadelphia. That was the year that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a march of more than 2,600 protestors in Selma, Alabama demonstrating against voter registration, and when U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed into the law the Voting Rights Act ensuring Blacks the right to vote. Haynes would conduct separate interviews with King and Johnson. But Haynes carved her history. Before that, in 1963, she became the first Black TV reporter and weathercaster at WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Michigan. The pioneering Haynes amassed a remarkable 30-year career at KYW TV in Philadelphia before semi-retiring in 1988. Haynes was Philadelphia’s Barbara Walters interviewing news and entertainment celebrities such as President Johnson, the Rev. King, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington, and Tupac Shakur. She hosted numerous public affairs programs. A native of New York City and a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., Haynes, born Gertrude Daniels, was inducted into the prestigious Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's "Hall of Fame" in 1999. The career of Haynes, who died at age 95 in 2022, is being celebrated, as CBS Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists will award the annual Trudy Haynes Scholarship of $10,000 to a college student interested in a career in communications. There is no better role model than the irrepressible Haynes, who covered events and produced/hosted her independent TV programs up until her death. But hurry up: For rules and to submit the application form by Monday, February 12, 2024. or