February is Black History Month. Although a month is never enough to celebrate the vast contributions and achievements of Black Americans, it is a time when museums, libraries and other cultural institutions host numerous events in honor of Black History Month. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite celebrations and events in and around Los Angeles.
Celebrate Black History Month at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures with their groundbreaking exhibition, “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971.” The museum will also host a three-day Regeneration Summit Feb. 3-5 featuring live music, workshops, screenings, food vendors and more. Read about our Editor-in-Chief’s visit to the exhibition here. $15-$25. Free on Feb. 4 for SoCal Museums Annual Free for All day. academymuseum.org
The 43rd Annual Orange County Black History Parade & Unity Festival returns to Anaheim on Feb. 4 with food, entertainment, vendors, celebrities, college fair, art contest and more. The parade route starts at Anaheim and Lincoln Ave, marches to Water St. and returns to Anaheim City Hall. oc-hc.org
Learn about Underground Railroad quilt codes with the Santa Catalina Branch Library on Feb. 18. Artist Alyson Toone leads this Art Quilt Block Portraits workshop where participants will make their own textile collage. For ages 13 and up. FREE. pasadena.evanced.info
Join the Pasadena Public Library at La Pintoresca Branch on Feb. 21 for a presentation of African Talking Drums. Renowned percussionist and teaching artist Chazz Ross leads this all-ages workshop. cityofpasadena.net
Southern California Children’s Museum is collaborating with KidLit in Color all month long to highlight some of their favorite Black authors through Instagram takeovers, story times and arts and crafts. $10. socalkids.org
Aquarium of the Pacific hosts their 21st annual African-American Festival Feb. 25-26. The weekend features live music, dance, storytelling and more. Included with admission. aquariumofpacific.org
California African American Museum hosts their Black History Month Prosperity Market on Feb. 25. The pop-up event celebrates Black farmers, chefs and entrepreneurs and features food, artisan goods, live DJ, kids corner and wellness offerings like yoga and a sound bath. FREE. caamuseum.org
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is spotlighting Jordu Schell, a sculptor and concept artist who has been working in the film and television industries for over 30 years, and who is one of only a few African American creature artists in his field. He has found inspiration from the museum’s entomology and live animals collections to create some of film’s most iconic creatures. He was instrumental in the creation of the Na’vi and other creatures in James Cameron’s blockbuster film “Avatar,” shaping the designs of the characters using physical sculptures. Over the years, Schell has conceptualized creatures and characters for major projects including “Hellboy,” “Men In Black,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Predator,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and more. NHM.ORG/LAatplay
Join Parenting for Liberation on Feb. 18 at the Black-owned Blackbird flagship space in Culver City as the organization celebrates its inaugural Black Parent Innovation cohort. Fellows accepted into the program were awarded $5,000 each to ideate, experiment and hone new strategies to help their communities thrive. Learn about their projects, engage in panel discussions celebrating Black ingenuity and celebrate Black innovation. parentingforliberation.org/innovation/
Santa Monica Black Lives Association and DTSM, Inc. will host a day of music, conversation and celebration at the Celebration & Solidarity: Black History Month Festival along the Third Street Promenade from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, March 11 (this event was rescheduled due to weather).
The free festival features live musical performances by rapper Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, among many others. Attendees can enjoy delicious meals from Black-owned local restaurants and shop a variety of African American-made products from local vendors. Exhibits highlighting the contributions of African Americans in science and technology will be on display, and a celebrity panel discussion featuring former Los Angeles Laker Norm Nixon and others will explore the impact of African Americans in the entertainment industry.
To conclude Black History Month, Oak Park Brewing Co. and Peoples Beer are collaborating with The Ray Charles Foundation to release a limited edition free-of-alcohol brew celebrating the musical icon Ray Charles, that will be available during a limited-time pop-up at Fixins Soul Kitchen in DTLA.
Fixins Soul Kitchen, the full-service soul food restaurant that celebrates African American culture and traditions owned by NBA legend and 55th mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson, is inviting all to come together to celebrate the legendary Ray Charles from Feb, 23-March 31 at the pop-up, which will include Ray Charles art and a playlist curated by The Ray Charles Foundation.
A presentation and tasting of the Ray Charles Brew will take place 12 p.m. Feb. 23.