BLOOMINGTON — The City of Bloomington’s eighth annual celebration of African-American history and culture will kick off at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 in the City Hall Council Chambers. “Black History Month – Bloomington Style: Black Women in History & Culture” will bring community members together to gain an understanding of the history of African-American women and create a broader understanding how their triumphs over racism and sexism are a testimonial to our common human spirit. The keynote address will be delivered by Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Ind. Freeman-Wilson is the first woman to lead the steel city and the first African-American female mayor in the State of Indiana. Other City of Bloomington Black History Month events include: “Why I Sing Amazing Grace: The African American Worship Experience” at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Second Baptist Church, 321 N. Rogers St. Join WTIU’s Shameka Neely at for a panel discussion to examine the history of the African American worship experience and explore topics of spirituality, rituals, power and leadership in the black church. Genealogy workshop at 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at Showers City Hall Council Chambers, 401 N. Morton St. Genealogy expert Donna Stokes-Lucas will help participants find out about their ancestors and offer tips, tools and resources for completing a family tree. Black History Month Essay Reception at 5 p.m., Feb. 23 at Fairview Elementary School, 500 W. 7th St. The reception will honor young writers who participated in the City of Bloomington Black History Month essay contest. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place essayists at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The month-long celebration will be topped off with the seventh annual Black History Month Gala on Feb. 25 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 245 N. College Ave. A cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m. and the Gala starts at 7 p.m. In addition to elegant dining and dancing, the evening includes the presentation of the 2012 Living Legend Recognition to Gladys F. DeVane, a retired professor, storyteller and actress. Tickets for this event are $45 and are available at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., at http://www.buskirkchumley.org/ or by calling (812) 323-3020.