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.