Celebrate African American History at These Six Spots

By Michael Berick

black history month

Drum up some fun at the Aquarium of the Pacific. PHOTO COURTESY AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC

Since 1976, February has been designated as African American History Month (or Black History Month) and there are a number of opportunities to celebrate it around Southern California.

STAR Eco Station (10101 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City; www.ecostation.org) will host its 17th annual African American Art Festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 11. This free event is filled with singing, dancing, drumming, poetry and educational exhibits.

The 15th annual African-American Festival at the Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach; www.aquariumofpacific.org), taking place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 25-26, includes performances by jazz musicians, Mardi Gras second-line dancers, interactive drum circles, breakdancers, storytellers, arts and crafts and food. Admission is $29.95 adults, $17.95 ages 3-11.

From 1-3 p.m. Feb. 5, the California African American Museum (600 State Dr., L.A.; www.caamuseum.org) hosts a family program entitled “Larger Than Life” where visitors can learn more about the people depicted on the museum’s courtyard banners – including Langston Hughes, John Outterbridge and Ella Fitzgerald. RSVPs are requested online or by calling 213-744-2024.

Throughout February, tours of The Battleship Iowa (250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro.; www.pacificbattleship.com) will include “Celebrating the American Spirit – Battleship Iowa Salutes Black History Month,” which spotlights pioneering black servicemen through news clippings, artifacts and photos. Tours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and cost $17.95-$19.95 adults, $9.95-$11.95 ages 6-11.

At Kidspace Children’s Museum (480 N. Arroyo Blvd. Pasadena; www.kidspacemusuem.org) families can enjoy an interactive African dance program at 1 p.m. Feb. 4. Museum admission is $13 ages 1 and older. The museum’s Feb. 7 Free Family Night from 4-8 p.m. will explore African Americans’ contributions to our nation’s history and feature a storytelling performance at 6 p.m.

“How Would You Defeat Racism?” is the topic of the February Art Without Walls drop-in family workshop from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; www.hammer.ucla.edu). The program will also take place from 2-4 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Felipe de Neve Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library (2820 W. 6th St., L.A.). Admission is free.

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