Black History Month 2020: Bay Area Festivals and Celebrations

Project Level members Dakota Harris (left), Taylor Williams, Sutchat Mosley and Jasmine Corley perform during the 2019 Black History Month celebration at the Fillmore Heritage Center in San Francisco. Photo: Yalonda M. James/The Chronicle

February is a month of celebrations, conferences and performances dedicated to the heritage of African culture.

Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is celebrated in the United States and other parts of the world as a way to remember important people, events and achievements of the African Diaspora. In the Bay Area, the celebrations began as early as January 5 and continue until February 29.

Black History Festival more than a month old

the San Francisco Public Library features more than 80 film screenings and literary events for adults, interactive events for teens and hands-on activities for kids, plus exhibits, music and craft classes for the whole family. The festivities end on February 29 with a West African drumming showcase featuring local musician Keenan Webster. All events are free.

Saturday 8 February-February. 29. Free. Various times and places in San Francisco.

Black History Month Launch Event — How Can We Build, Promote and Inspire?

The Coalition of Black Excellence will facilitate a conversation about ways to build, promote and inspire within the Bay Area’s African American community. With speaker Greg Hammons, program manager at Google, and others, the event also includes happy hour at Battery’s Musto Bar and live music from Roots 2000.

6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, February 6. Free upon registration. The Battery, 717 Battery St., SF

San Francisco Black History Month 2020: Launch Celebration

the African American Historical and Cultural Society of San Francisco plans to hold a lunchtime celebration on Friday, February 7 to commemorate the month. The event will focus on the theme “African Americans and the Vote: The Movement Lives On” and is expected to feature a keynote address from Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement.

From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, February 7. Free with RSVP. San Francisco City Hall Rotunda, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, SF

First Fridays of Oakland x Black Love

This monthly event in Oakland will celebrate Black History Month with the theme of “black love.” The lineup of artists on the main stage includes host Phillip Wilson, DJ Squaropolis Ouma, Lady Sn3ak, singer Isaac Brown, dance crew Fancy, Donnie Williams and many more.

Oakland First Fridays is a free monthly event along the city’s Telegraph Avenue.

5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, February 7 Free. Telegraph Avenue, Oakland.

Former Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed chats with Lovely Hudson, 7, before the start of Oakland’s NAACP community event, Exposing Hidden Figures in Our Community, to celebrate the Black History Month at the Chimes Chapel in Oakland in 2017. Photo: Mason Trinca/Special for The Chronicle

Carter G. Woodson Dollars for Scholars Luncheon

the African American Cultural and Historical Society has been holding events to celebrate the month since 1974. This year, the organization plans to host a luncheon to raise funds for its scholarship program, which helps high school seniors pursue higher education. The organization has raised over $190,000 for scholarships to date.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, February 8. $25 to $50. Newark Community Center, 35501 Cedar Blvd., Newark.

Inside the Black Panther Archives: An Evening with Fredrika Newton

Oakland Creative Agency Wine & Bow Ties and the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation present a public conversation with Foundation President Fredrika Newton. She plans to sit down with Wine & Bowties co-founder Damien McDuffie as they review personal photos, letters and exhibit photos, and discuss their relationship with her late husband, Huey P. Newton, as well as his experience and legacy with the Black. Panther Festival.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on February 12. Free. The new Parkway Theater, 474 24th St., Oakland.

Bay Area Black Comedy Contest and Festival

The Comedy Showcase claims to be the largest and longest running live showcase for “urban comedians”. This event brings together stand-up performers from across the United States and beyond to compete for bookings, Hollywood opportunities, and thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. The festival includes panel discussions, parties and performances, with tickets to individual events starting at $25 and an all-access VIP pass available for $250.

February 13-16. $25 to $250. Various times and places in Pleasanton.

Black Family History Day 2020

Celebrate Black History Month by creating your own family tree during this special event at the Oakland FamilySearch Library. Bring a family member to share the experience, and don’t forget a USB stick to take home all the information you’ve gathered. Assistance will be available during the event.

1 to 4 p.m. on February 16. Free. Oakland FamilySearch Library, 4766 Lincoln Ave., Oakland. 510-531-3905.

Free day of culture for the community

In honor of Black History Month, arts and cultural organizations in Yerba Buena are joining forces and offering free admission on February 20 in the spirit of community building and collaboration. Participating organizations include 111 Minna Gallery, California Historical Society, Children’s Creativity Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, African Diaspora Museum, San Francisco Tourist attractions, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SF camera and the Yerba Buena Arts Center.

February 20. Various times and locations in San Francisco.

Lowell High School student Widya Batin (left) walks with other students along Eucalyptus Drive as they make their way to San Francisco City Hall to rally and protest the response to a poster hanging on the door of a library making a negative reference to black students and Black History Month in 2016. Photo: Lea Suzuki/The Chronicle

Creating a Safe Place: Healing from the Historical Trauma of White Supremacy

This seventh annual event commemorating the month includes an exhibit on African American inventors, a performance by the Sojourner Truth Youth Choir and a communal meal. The centerpiece of the event includes a workshop on racial trauma healing that promotes well-being through Africa-centered practices, such as West African drumming. The workshop will be facilitated by Kristee Haggins and Adisa Anderson. The event is free upon registration.

Noon-5 p.m. Feb. 22. Henry Ramsey Senior Center, 2939 Ellis St., Berkeley.

Black Joy Parade 2020

This family event celebrates the black experience – past, present and future. The parade begins at 14th and Alice streets in Oakland and leads to a festival at 19th Street and Broadway. The festival is expected to feature a variety of local artists, artisans, food vendors and performances. Although the event is free, donations will be accepted at the entrance of the festival.

12:30 p.m. Feb. 23. Parade through 14th and Alice streets. Festival at 19th Street and Broadway, Oakland.

APA Celebrates Black History Month at MoAD

The Northern California Chapter of the American Planning Association plans to host an event at African Diaspora Museum celebrating black culture. The event includes a one-hour private APA members-only tour ($8) of the museum’s current exhibits, followed by a public screening of the ‘Black Power & Jazz’ film series ($10) .

February 26. 4 to 9 p.m. $8 to $18. African Diaspora Museum, 685 Mission St., SF

Black History Month: A Celebration of African Heritage at EOYDC

the East Oakland Youth Development Centerr plans to hold a celebration filled with performances, activities and art. Black-owned businesses will be selling food at the event, and guests could win a 4K Smart TV in this year’s raffle. Performers at the event include the Lyrics Performing Arts Academy, Clint Collins, Ricky Bent and poet Melissa Jones, among others.

4:30-7 p.m. Feb. 27. East Oakland Youth Development Center, 8200 International Blvd., Oakland. 510-569-8088.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during the 2019 Black History Month observance at the Fillmore Heritage Center. Photo: Yalonda M. James/The Chronicle

Respect for black history

The event at the Bethlehem Temple Word of Faith Apostolic Church is a free, educational, and public celebration. This year, the discussions will focus on current issues within the black community, while recalling the origins of African-American culture.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Napa Police Chief Robert Plummer are expected. The event will include plays, poems and performances telling stories from black history in new and creative ways. The evening will end with a free multicultural buffet.

7:30 p.m. Feb. 28. Bethlehem Temple Word of Faith Apostolic Church, 1521 Derby St., Berkeley.

Kim Nalley sings Black Broadway

Learn the history of Black Broadway with performances by singer Kim Nalley and a live band, playing covers of beloved songs by Paul Robeson, Fats Waller, Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Nancy Wilson, Juanita Long Hill, Diahann Carol, Pearl Bailey, Leslie Uggams, Melba Moore, Stephanie Mills, Nell Carter and Phyllis Hyman.

8 p.m. Feb. 29. California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St., Berkeley.


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