Updated February 6th, 2024

Celebrate Black History Month at the 2nd Street Market

Originally conceived by African American historian Carter G. Woodson and prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland, Black History Month was created as a way of celebrating and remembering the history of Black Americans and their often-forgotten roles in the history of our country.    

In 1915, a half century after the ratification of the 13th Amendment abolished slavery, Woodson, a Harvard graduate, and Moorland formed an association, currently known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Under its umbrella, the two dedicated their lives to researching and promoting achievements of Black Americans and other Americans of African descent.  

As the civil rights movement pioneered rights for Black Americans nationwide, and the movement for equal rights grew, President Gerald Ford established February as Black History Month in 1976.    

This year’s theme, according to ASALH, is African Americans and the Arts, a month to highlight how African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory, as well as for empowerment.  

The 2nd Street Market, a Five Rivers MetroParks location, has celebrated Black History Month for many years. The Market is hosting programs with a focus on celebrating and supporting Black members of our community, including small business owners, artists, creatives and more. All programs are free and suitable for all ages.   

Music at the Market 
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.   

  • Feb. 3: LYD plays their own musical creations, plus great hits from the 60’s, 70’s, ’80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.  
  • Feb. 24: Edde Osborne plays smooth jazz and R&B. 

Sunset at the Market
Thursday, Feb. 8
5:30 to 8 p.m. 

Support the Market’s Black-owned vendors by shopping at the 2nd Street Market on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for Sunset at the Market. This event will have a special focus on honoring Black culture. The Distinguished Men of Dayton will present “History in Motion,” a showcase of dance moves popularized by the Black community, including Chicago Stepping, the Electric Slide and Urban Ballroom. Learn these dances or just enjoy the show while you shop.  

International Students at the Market
Sunday, Feb. 11 

New American students from the International School will display artwork that they have created, tri-fold boards of Black Heroes, a poem reading and much more. 

Book Club at the Market
Sunday, Feb. 11
1:30 to 3:30 p.m. 

Join vendor-owner Larry Gates (Invoke) as he celebrates Black History Month and leads the discussion on chapters two through six of the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.  

Learn about Charles Young
Sunday, Feb. 18
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Visit with the National Park Service (NPS) and learn about Charles Young, a Buffalo Solider who graduated from West Point in 1889. Young served in the segregated U.S. Army and was one of few black military officers. 

You can also support your community during Black History Month by visiting the many Black-owned businesses at the 2nd Street Market, where local growers, culinary specialists, artisans and shoppers fill a charming historical freight house in downtown Dayton.  

The full-time Black-owned small businesses at the Market include:  

Choice Juice Boxx 

Choice Juice Boxx offers fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices with an aim to create a healthy and natural product that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Owner Donna Wilson creates exciting flavor combinations and includes ingredients with a variety of health benefits for you to choose from.  

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Invoke™ offers New Modern American Cuisine that is locally and seasonally prepared. Born in Dayton, Lester and Larry Gates are a small part of the rich history the city has to offer. They currently offer vegan and vegetarian options alongside their classic dishes. Come in and speak with them to discuss new culinary trends and protein alternatives. 

Missing Peace 

Missing Peace Art Space uses creative arts to enhance awareness of the need for peace. They offer African earring cards, greeting cards decorated with beads and embroidery, hand-etched boxes and picture frames, art tiles with miniature easels, rolled paper necklaces, and miniature prints from Dayton artists. Missing Peace is a nonprofit organization that operates under the Unitarian Fellowship for World Peace.  

Mrs. Ernestine’s Pound Cake 

Using family recipes perfected and passed down by her great-grandmother, Mrs. Ernestine’s Pound Cakes is a fourth generation baking business that values quality, local ingredients and keeping tradition alive. Shoppers will find up to five different pound cake flavors including seasonal rotations, tea cakes, fruit pies and cobblers. Mrs. Ernestine offers gluten-friendly treats, too.  

Ninjtaro Jewels 

Ninjtaro Jewels creates accessible high-end jewelry for those who want to own artisan, one-of-a-kind pieces. Charmé Austin’s pieces cater to a wide variety of shoppers, with prices ranging from $5 to $250. While she is currently focused on wire wrapping, silver-smithing and Kumihimo weaving (a Japanese form of braiding jewelry), she also has collections of holistic healing jewelry. In fact, she is one of very few jewelers in the tri-state area to offer holistic jewelry options. 

Sweet P’s Ice Pops 

Sweet P’s Handcrafted Ice Pops has an ever-changing seasonal menu with pops made from whatever fruits, vegetables and herbs are fresh and available. The menu consists of over 300 flavors, including dairy-based, water-based, fruit-based and Paleo-style ice pops based on Mexican paletas. They are a family-run and operated business, with each family member playing an important role.  

Vegan It IZ Eats 

Vegan It IZ Eats helps the community live a life full of energy and wellness through plant-based meals. Born and raised in Dayton, owner Rhea Adkins adapted a plant-based lifestyle after going on a spiritual fast in 2017 and a cancer scare with her mother. While eating plant-based foods she noticed an increase in energy and overall health. She then began to research and pilot her plant-based food products. Rhea’s desire is to see everyone live their best life full of energy.  

Vegan It IZ Eats will also provide a four-course dinner for the Valentine’s Dine & Skate on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  

For a full list of vendors at the 2nd Street Market, including other part-time Black-owned businesses like Guided by Mushrooms and Peace on Fifth, visit metroparks.org/2nd-street-market. 

To learn more about Black History Month, visit the ASALH website. 

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