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20 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month In And Around Los Angeles

Seeing a performance by the Lula Washington Youth Ensemble is one of the great ways to celebrate Black History Month in Los Angeles. #LosAngeles #BlackHistoryMonth

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February is recognized as Black History Month, and here in Los Angeles, there are many ways to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans in the United States. Celebrating the heritage and achievements of Black Americans is something that doesn’t need to be limited to just one month, especially here in Los Angeles.

Seeing a performance by the Lula Washington Black Youth Ensemble is one of the great ways to celebrate Black History Month in Los Angeles. #LosAngeles #BlackHistoryMonth

The Lula Washington Dance Youth Ensemble will perform at the Baldwin Hills Branch Library to celebrate Black History Month. (photo courtesy of the Lula Washington Dance Theatre)

African American Heritage Month Events
Los Angeles Public Library System
multiple branches

The Los Angeles Public Library System is hosting many events throughout the month in honor of African American Heritage Month. Some of the planned activities include story times, workshops, documentary screenings, live performances, and much more. Check the website for a detailed list of events.

California African American Museum (CAAM)
600 State Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90037

The California African American Museum is located within Exposition Park. The collection here consists of over 4,000 items dating back to the 1800’s all the way up to the present. The Museum’s collection includes paintings, historical documents, sculptures, films, artifacts, and photos. “CAAM aims to represent the diverse contributions of African Americans in the United States, but also to interpret how the past has affected identity in the present.” The Museum hosts a number of special events and programs throughout the year, including family-friendly programs. Check the website for a schedule of upcoming events. Admission is free; parking is $12. The Museum is closed on Mondays as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Black History Month Events
County of Los Angeles Public Library
multiple branches

The County of Los Angeles Public Library system is celebrating Black History Month all throughout February. Some of the planned activities include family art activities, live dance and musical performances, documentary screenings, story times, and more. Check the website for a detailed list of events.

Forgotten Images: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, a Black History Month Celebration
Expo Arts Center
4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA 90807

Families can attend Forgotten Images: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, a Black History Month Celebration beginning Thursday, February 1st through Saturday, February 3rd. This free event has different activities planned each day. Saturday, February 2nd may be the most “kid-friendly” day to attend. There will be food, music, entertainment, a health pavilion, and special activities for kids. The event is free. Details on each day’s activities are available on the website.

Oh Freedom! The Story of the Underground Railroad
Lewis Family Playhouse
12505 Cultural Center Dr., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739

The Lewis Family Playhouse invites families to Oh Freedom! The Story of the Underground Railroad, a play with music based on historical events. The performance combines “stories of the men and women who were active in the fight against slavery with songs of the period.” The production is recommended for children 10 and older. Performances are scheduled for January 27th, February 3rd, February 4th, February 10th, and February 11th. Tickets and showtimes are available online.

African American Heritage Month Events
Los Angeles Public Library System
multiple branches

The Los Angeles Public Library System is hosting many events throughout the month in honor of African American Heritage Month. Some of the planned activities include story times, workshops, documentary screenings, live performances, and much more. Check the website for a detailed list of events.

Black History Parade and Cultural Faire
Anaheim, CA

Anaheim hosts an annual Black History Parade and Cultural Faire on the first Saturday in February (this year, February 3rd). The events are held rain or shine, and begin at 10:00 am and end at 4:00 pm. Check the website for details and the parade route.

Rosa Parks Day
Zimmer Children’s Museum
6505 Wilshire Blvd. #100, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Rosa Parks was born on February 4th, 1913. On Sunday, February 4th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, the Zimmer Museum will “honor and celebrate her bravery and life-long commitment to fight injustice.” Children will create a related project in the Zimmer’s Art Studio. The event is included in Museum Admission of $7.50 each.

26th Annual Pan African Film + Arts Festival
Cinemark Baldwin Hills and XD
4020 Marlton Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90008

The 26th Annual Pan African Film + Arts Festival is happening February 8th through February 19th. The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) was established in 1992 and is “dedicated to racial tolerance through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression.” The Festival highlights both new and old films, as well as fine art and crafts. A variety of events are planned, and ticket information is available online.

Celebrating James Baldwin: Here and Now
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

The Skirball and Beyond Baroque, L.A.’s oldest literary arts organization, present an afternoon Celebrating James Baldwin on Sunday, February 11th at 2:00 pm. Activist, actor, and producer Alfre Woodard hosts this special event that will focus “on the life, contributions, and legacy of writer-activist James Baldwin.” Tickets are available online and are $15.

37th Annual Black Doll Show: Jubilee, Celebrations in Color
William Grant Still Arts Center
2520 W. View St., Los Angeles, CA 90016

Families can visit the 37th Annual Black Doll Show now through February 17th. The Doll Show serves as a “celebration of events that are monumental and small, ordinary, and extraordinary, events that depict Black life in all its facets.” Admission is free.

African Dance Competition LA 2018
California African American Museum
600 State Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90037

The African Dance Competition is a special Black History Month event happening on Saturday, February 17th from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Families will watch 15 finalists competing for $5,000 in cash prizes! The competition “is in recognition of our youth’s efforts to promote and preserve African culture through dance and other art forms.” Tickets are available online and begin at $15.

36th Annual Black History Parade and Festival
begins at charles White Park and ends at Robinson Park, Altadena, CA

The 36 Annual Black History Parade and Festival is happening on Saturday, February 17th. The parade begins at 10:00 am. After the parade, the Black History Festival will continue from 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The Festival features food, music, displays, fun activities for kids, and more.

African American Firefighter Museum
1401 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA

The African American Firefighter Museum (AAFFM) opened in 1997. It is recognized as the “only free standing African American Firefighter Museum in the United States.” Families will view vintage fire apparatus, photos, artifacts, and much more. The AAFFM is located in historic Fire Station #30 which was once a segregated firehouse. The Museum is open Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and on Sundays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Passing the Torch – From Selma to Today
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

The Skirball hosts Andrew Young, Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr., and Dr. Clarence B. Jones, three important figures of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, as they discuss and reflect on the Selma March as well as other important actions which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The discussion on Thursday, February 22nd at 7:30 pm will also include strategies to consider for transforming “racist and unjust public policy today.” Tickets are available online and are $12.

African American Heritage Celebration
Angelus Plaza, 4th Floor Auditorium
255 S. Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Angelus Plaza is the site of the African American Heritage Celebration on February 23rd from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm. This free event includes poetry, live musical performances, and celebrations. African artifacts (such as kente cloth, handmade masks, and more) will also be on sale as well.

16th Annual African-American Festival
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

The Aquarium of the Pacific hosts its annual African-American Festival on Saturday, February 24th and Sunday, February 25th (from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day). This special event celebrates “the rich diversity of African-American and African cultures.” Families will enjoy live musical and dance performances, arts and crafts, storytellers, and more. The Festival is included in general Aquarium admission.

The Museum of African American Art
Macy’s 3rd Floor – Baldwin Hills Crenshaw
4005 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008

Many Los Angeles residents may not even realize the Museum of African American Art exists. But it’s time to change that. Currently on display is The Civil Rights Movement: Los Angeles to Selma, a photo exhibit. The exhibition will be on display until March 25th. The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm each day.

African American Family Day
Gardena Senior High School
1301 W. 182nd St., Gardena, CA 90248

Los Angeles Unified School District invites families to its African American Family Day happening on Saturday, February 24th from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. Families will enjoy motivational speakers and workshops, attain support related to the college application process, get in touch with valuable resources, and more. There will also be refreshments, student performances, and more.

The Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum
4130 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230

The collection at the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum (MCLM) “contains over two million rare books, films, documents, photographs, artifacts, and works of art related to the history and culture of African Americans in the United States, with a special focus on Southern California and the American West.” Guided tours are available by appointment. Self-guided tours are available Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Saturdays from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Leimert Park Artwalk
3333 43rd Pl., Los Angeles, CA 90008

Families can participate in the Leimert Park Art Walk on Sunday, February 25th beginning at 1:00 pm. (The Art Walk is scheduled for the last Sunday of each month). Families will enjoy art, music, culture, and good company at this free event.

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