Celebrate Black History Month in SOCAL

February is Black History Month, the month where we celebrate African American’s achievements and contributions but also their history and culture. It is a month to educate, create empathy, and connection.

This year’s theme is Black Resistance, which recognizes the perseverance and tenacity that Black people have shown throughout history despite struggle and oppression.

Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, Barack Obama, Kamala Harris…. the list goes on. For centuries, thousands of Black people have stood up against injustice and advocated for equal opportunities.

Reasons to Celebrate

  1. It celebrates diversity. We are not talking about bringing awareness, we are talking about the beauty of being different and being able to coexist as one. And actually, enriching our lives through those differences
  2. Beyond the books. Along with learning about MLK and other notable African Americans who have changed the world, this is a great time to honor and share the stories of lesser-known figures who have also contributed to our community, as well as those leaders who are shaping history now.
  3. Create awareness on disparity. Use this time to have conversations on the issues that Black people still face today. These conversations are not easy, but they are important to bridge the gap. Continue talking about it even after Black History Month.

Black History Month Events Happening in SOCAL

Los Angeles

  • Long Beach Black History Celebration

Long Beach Civic Center, 411 W Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

February 4 at 3:30 p.m.

There will be a program with live performances and community resource tables, followed by the unveiling of two exhibits: “Hometown Heroes: Profiles in Long Beach Black History” curated by the Long Beach Post and “Remembering Our Roots: A Timeline of Black History”, a compilation of images from The National Archives Catalog and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

  • 2023 Black History Month Celebration

Inglewood Rogers Park Community Center, 400 West Beach Avenue, Inglewood

February 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Guests gain exposure to the organizations who advance the efforts and specific concerns of the African American community. Event guests include community/civic leaders, key business owners, cultural icons, and SCE leadership.

  • The Los Angeles Black History Month Festival

Historic Leimert Park Village Art Walk, Crenshaw Blvd. and 43rd Street, Leimert Park

February 16 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This is one of Los Angeles’ largest Black History Month celebrations, taking over two city blocks with over 5,000 expected attendees. For more information visit: lablackhistorymonthfestival.com

  • Black History Month Trivia Competition in Los Angeles

Edendale Branch Library, 2011 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

February 18 at 4 p.m.

Teens are invited to join us to test their knowledge in a trivia competition honoring Black History Month. For more information visit: lapl.org

  • Afro-Latinx Festival at MOLAA

Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) located at 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach

February 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate cultural diversity and the African influence in Latin America at MOLAA’s Afro-Latinx Festival. Learn about the many ways in which the African influence has permeated Latin America and how we experience these firsthand through music, dance, food, and even martial arts. Teens are invited to join us to test their knowledge in a trivia competition honoring Black History Month. For more information visit: molaa.org

Inland Empire

  • MLK Jr. Park Celebration

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, Pomona

February 29 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

This one-day cultural event will host African dance, keynote speakers, music, and other artistic celebrations of the African spirit. For more information visit their account on facebook.com.

  • Word Circus: Celebrating Black History Month with Spoken Word

Inlandia Institute, 3581 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside

February 6 at 7 p.m.

Join poets Romaine Washington and Eric DeVaughnn for a night of spoken word, self-guided writing activities, shorter reading sessions, and open mic. This event is free and open to the public. It is supported by the Friends of the Riverside Public Library.

  • 41st annual Riverside Black History Parade and Expo

Downtown Riverside

February 8 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The event includes a parade through Downtown Riverside, a car show featuring performance vehicles, a cultural heritage crafts display and a food truck expo at City Hall Mall. For more information visit: adcrfoundation.org

  • Annual Black History Celebration

Janet Goeske Foundation & Senior Center, 5257 Sierra Street, Riverside

February 19 at 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Black History program is an annual luncheon that encourages the local senior community to join together, celebrate diversity, and learn about the African American culture. All guests are invited to wear their favorite African attire. For more information visit: jgc4seniors.com

San Diego

  • Black History Month Contest

Showcase your talents and creativity by submitting an essay, poem, visual artwork, song, rap, or other creative work that represents a Black historical figure or an event in Black American history that has influenced your personal life or shaped the world.

Contest is open to students in 4th – 12th grade. All entries must be received by February 28th.

FREE gift for all entrants! Contest prizes include $150 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place and $50 for 3rd place. This opportunity is generally sponsored by the Friends of the Malcolm X Library. Click here for contest details and submission form.

  • AAACE Black History Month Film Screening

Join us for a film screening and discussion of Black History, Black Freedom & Black Love from MasterClass.

Poway Branch Library located at 13137 Poway Road Poway, CA 92064

February 25 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

  • 2nd Annual Black History Celebration Brunch
  • Harding Community Center, 3096 Harding St, Carlsbad, CA 92008

    February 15 at 11am

    Join the North County NAACP for an afternoon of food and entertainment. Enjoy a hearty brunch while watching a variety of performances including singing, dancing, and spoken word. For more information visit: https://nsdcnaacpyouthcouncil.ticketleap.com/2nd-annual-black-history-celebration-brunch/

    “There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.”

    Lonnie G. Bunch III, educator and historian, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.