The Wisconsin Historical Society will be hosting free events open to the public during the month of February to celebrate Black History Month.

“We are excited to bring programming about some of the untold stories through our collection and programs; that will help increase the awareness of under-represented communities and cultures in Wisconsin,” said Tanika Apaloo, adult education coordinator for the Wisconsin Historical Society. “The Society is taking an initiative to share stories of the many diverse cultures that can be found all across the state.”

The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories.

The first program will take place on Saturday, February 3, at the Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N Carroll St., Story Saturday will feature two books, “The Quickest Kid in Clarksville,” by Madison-based author, Pat Zietlow Miller, tells the timeless story of dreams, determination and the power of friendship. This story is presented in partnership with the Madison Reading Project.

The second featured story will be, “I am F.A.T.: Based Upon Real-Life Events,” (2:30 – 3:30 pm) by local 10-year-old author, Jaia Davis. Jaia will share how she coped with bullying and she will provide tools to help everyone, young and old, deal with bullies. A book signing will follow the program. The Story Saturday programs are free and geared towards ages 3-12.

Jaia Davis

On Thursday, Feb. 15, the Wisconsin Historical Society will host a Black History Month Open House, at their headquarters on 816 State Street from 4-7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Christy Clark-Pujara, Associate Professor of History in the Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison will discuss Black Suffrage in Wisconsin in the auditorium from 4-5 p.m.

The reading room will be open for visits where the public can see original documents and images related to African-American history from 5-6 p.m. and from 6-7 p.m., a reception will be held in the lobby and will feature catering from Melly Mel’s. The evening will also feature the Mount Zion Baptist Church Choir, a STEP presentation and spoken-word poetry

The final program will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 12:15-1 p.m. at the Wisconsin Historical Museum (30 N. Carroll St.), History Sandwiched In: Black Suffrage in Early Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin – Madison Associate Professor Christy Clark-Pujara examines attempts to achieve black male suffrage in early Wisconsin. Clark-Pujara will share how the efforts of black Wisconsinites resulted in Wisconsin becoming the first state to enfranchise black men.

The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit For more information on these and other events, click here.