NEW BEDFORD - Several events and exhibits will mark Black History Month 2018 in New Bedford throughout the month of February, with added events to honor the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass.

To honor Douglass, the New Bedford Historical Society and New Bedford Free Public Library will give out free copies of the book “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself,” to the first 200 New Bedford library cardholders interested in February. Copies will be available at each branch, as part of the New Bedford Historical Society’s Douglass Project 2018.

Throughout the month, City Hall hosts an art exhibit celebrating Black History Month in the Ashley Room, by artist and curator Alison Wells. The opening reception for the exhibit, with refreshments and an opportunity to meet the artist, is during AHA! Night on Thursday, February 8, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The New Bedford Historical Society hosts its 18th Annual Frederick Douglass Read-a-Thon at the First Unitarian Church at 71 Eighth Street on Sunday, Feb. 11, from 2-6 p.m. Douglass, a noted abolitionist who escaped from slavery himself, arrived in New Bedford in 1838 at the age of 20, shortly after his escape, and found a welcoming community in the city.

Other events include a 200th Birthday Celebration for Frederick Douglass hosted by the Frederick Douglass Unity House at UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 4-6 p.m. as well as a Cultural Connections Concert with the African Children’s Choir, South Coast Children’s Chorus and New Bedford Public Schools’ Carney Academy Select Chorus at Keith Middle School on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. Concert tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for students/seniors.

More information about the events as  well as ongoing Douglass Project 2018 events throughout the year are available at or

-City of New Bedford