Black History Month is always a special time in New Bedford.  It serves as a celebration of the city's abolitionist movement, the emergence of Frederick Douglass, and many other people of color who contributed to New Bedford's history and culture.

The New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park seeks to honor those contributions with four programs during February.

Park Ranger Rufai Yussif Shardow and volunteer Judy Rodriques stopped by Townsquare Sunday this week to talk about the programs.

"This year we are celebrating Black History and Art, using local artists and performers to highlight some of that history," Shardow says.

All four programs in February will be held on the four Saturdays of the month, starting at 1 p.m. in the Corson Theatre, 33 William St. The programs are free and open to the public. Here's a brief description provided by the National Park staff:

Saturday, Feb. 3, 1 p.m.: Join Iva Brito (also known as Iva B), a mother, artist, poet and award-winning author as she shares her art and inspiration.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 1 p.m.: Join Eden Soares of trigrfx (pronounced "try-graphics") as he shares his work through murals and other arts. He has captured the essence of New Bedford’s culture and history in colorful and captivating murals.

Saturday, Feb. 17, 1 p.m.: Join the 1850s Ladies, aka Ruth and Abby, as they explore Boston's and New Bedford anti-slavery societies and how they used crafting to raise money to support the abolitionist cause.

Volunteer Judy Rodriques is a member of the 1850s Ladies, along with Lucy Bly of New Bedford. "We learned about the crafting fairs in Boston and New Bedford while searching through old newspapers," says Rodriques. "What Lucy and I do is gather things that might have been sold, shawls, aprons, caps and collars, and put them on display and explain how the fair works and what the money went for."

Saturday, Feb. 24, 1 p.m.: Join the screening and discussion of the Academy Award-winning movie 12 Years A Slave, an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom directed by Steve McQueen.

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly community affairs program, heard every Sunday at 6 and 11 am on 1420 WBSM, 99.5 FM, and Sunday at 6 am on FUN 107.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420