20+ ways to celebrate Black History Month in the Bay Area (2023)

February is Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, an annual observance dedicated to recognizing the triumphs and struggles of African Americans and the greater Black experience throughout U.S. history. How you honor this legacy may take many forms, encompassing everything from education to entertainment, so take a look at this diverse sampling of Bay Area Black History Month-inspired happenings to choose from.

The Bridge at History San Jose: 5:30 to 7 p.m. every Thursday in January and February, History Park, 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose. History San José and the African American Heritage House are presenting this weekly workshop series using WRAP (wellness recovery action planning) methodologies and the principles of Kwanzaa as a framework to explore Black history and culture, culminating in a Black History Month celebration on Feb. 24. Free. historysanjose.org/programs-events/

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Black History Month at MoAD: Through February, 685 Mission St., San Francisco. The Museum of the African Diaspora is celebrating Black History Month with a month of special programs including film screenings, fashion and food. Event prices vary, but on Feb. 11, admission is free to all. moadsf.org/programs-events

Black History Month at Children’s Fairyland: Through February, 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. Fairyland is celebrating the ingenuity, contributions, triumphs and culture of Oakland’s African-American community by transforming the plaza into a spectacular visual display highlighting important people, time periods and movements of this rich history. You’ll become familiar with compelling figures and facts you never knew you never knew, from Black Cowboys to Black Panthers and so much more in between. $15. fairyland.org

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Oakland First Fridays – Black Love: 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 3, 2633 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. The city of Oakland is home to Black families with roots all over the globe, with some who go back generations and some who just landed. We’ll celebrate them all at the Black Love edition of Oakland First Fridays, a monthly street festival that hosts local art, food, drink and retail vendors, 73% of whom are Black and Brown owned. Free admission. www.oaklandfirstfridays.org/

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Black History Month Celebration and Drumming Workshop: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3, Epacenter, 1950 Bay Road, East Palo Alto. Celebrate Black History Month with an evening of Black food and arts. Join a hands-on, in-person drumming workshop led by master percussionist and Grammy-nominated artist James Henry. Learn new rhythms inspired by African beats and drums from around the world, and discover how to create using your body, mind and soul (music). Free. https://bit.ly/BHMdrumming

Walk & Talk with Caminata Y Charla: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Feb. 4, 300 Copeland St., Petaluma. Petaluma Blacks for Community Development will present award-winning, international storyteller Diane Ferlatte for a Black History Month Walk & Talk. Diane and her musical sidekick, Erik Pearson, will be at Petaluma River Park for interactive and family-friendly storytelling . Free. petalumariverpark.org/events/

Lunar New Year x Black History Month — A Celebration of Black & Asian Solidarity: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 4, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 Ninth St., Oakland. Join in a community celebration to strengthen, heal and empower AAPI and Black communities. This event will spotlight musicians, dancers, storytellers and other performers who celebrate Black and AAPI arts and culture in Oakland. Free admission. oacc.cc/event/lnyxbhm/

The Black Child Book Fair: 12 to 5 p.m. Feb. 4, African American Museum and Library, 659 14th St., Oakland. This national event promotes black literacy across the country by bringing African-American children’s authors with positive stories and characters for Black children to learn from and identify with. Free admission. https://bit.ly/BlackChildFair

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Celebrating Black History Month — Who We Are: Past. Present. Future: 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 4, Marina Lounge, 700 Main St., Suisun City. Learn about the past and present realities of Black life and history at this Black History Month celebration featuring inspirational speakers, spoken word, health screens, a children’s book giveaway, live music and great food. Free admission. https://bit.ly/BHMWho

Kid Makers Celebrates Black History Month: 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 4, Downtown Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City. Celebrate Black History Month in the Makerspace with a variety of crafts and take home a free copy of “Nigel and the Moon.” Free. bit.ly/3HiyY2M

Black History Month Gospel Brunch: 12 to 2 p.m. Feb. 5, 141 Industrial St., San Francisco. In honor of Black History Month, Calvary Hill Community Church will host a Gospel Brunch complete with food, giveaways and a surprise musical guest. $25. https://bit.ly/BHMCalvary

Dreaming Forward — A Celebration of Black Joy, Power and Excellence: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 9, The Commonwealth Club, 110 Embarcadero, San Francisco. This day-long conference will celebrate past Dream Keeper Initiative accomplishments and feature special guests including award-winning journalist April Ryan of TheGrio and CNN. Hear conversations on leveraging tools from our past to accelerate our future and grantee-led sessions that showcase the work in action. Free. https://bit.ly/BHMDreaming

Afro Soca Love — Black Owned Marketplace and Carnival: 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Feb. 10 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 11, 341 13th St., Oakland. Come out Friday night for the 21+ Night Carnival, a culturally immersive music experience featuring the sounds of soca, Afrobeat, reggae, salsa, reggaeton, hip hop and rhymth and blues. The Saturday marketplace features Black-owned food, drink and retail vendors, plus live music and DJs. Free marketplace admission, carnival tickets $5-$150. afrosocalove.com/shop/oakland-2023-02-10

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Black History Month Point Pinole Stroll: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 11, Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, 5551 Giant Highway, Richmond. Celebrate Black History Month with a stroll around Point Pinole. Learn the local history of Parchester Village while exploring Dotson Family Marsh and learning about that family’s legacy. Free. baynature.org/event/

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Black History Month Celebration: 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 12, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. The choir will celebrate its eighth annual Black History Month celebration with exquisite harmonies and stirring gospel repertoire. $26-$30. www.oigc.org/

Black Girls Tea Party: 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 18, Veterans Memorial Hall, 968 23rd St., Richmond. Enjoy an afternoon of tea, pastries and culture in honor of this year’s Black History Month. This event is about the girls, but feel free to bring any gentlemen to accompany you! $35. https://bit.ly/BlackGirlsTea

African-American History Bowling Event: 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 18, Sea Bowl, 4625 Coast Highway, Pacifica. Both Sides of the Conversation (BSOTC) is hosting its second annual African-American History Bowling Event. Come out to celebrate with your community and enjoy a bowling contest, food, drinks, music, billiards, arcade games. raffle prizes, goody bags and a Mexican fiesta bar. Free. https://bit.ly/HistoryBowling

‘The Black Kung Fu Experience’ Film Screening: 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 19, The Great Star Theater, 636 Jackson St., San Francisco. Celebrate Black History Month with a screening of this film about a group of African American pioneers who became respected masters in a subculture dominated by Chinese and white men. Enjoy in-person demonstrations and a Q&A with Sifu Donald Hamby and Sifu Troy Dunwood, who will speak about their success as internationally recognized martial arts masters. $15. https://bit.ly/BlackKungFu

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Black History Month Tribute to Richmond’s Sports Leaders: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 23, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond. The Richmond Public Library will host this special tribute to Richmond’s Black recreation and sports leaders, Charlie Reid, Eural McKelvy and C.A. Robertson. These individuals created a healthy and winning environment, serving as role models for the Black community and beyond. Free. https://bit.ly/BHMSportsLeaders

CoBiz Richmond Black History Celebration: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 25, 1503 Macdonald Ave., Suite A, Richmond. Celebrate Black History Month with libations, drumming and a variety of vendors selling everything from soul food to African art. Guest speakers include author, historian and researcher of African and African American History, Professor Manu Ampim, as well as “Morgan-Frazier Family Clan. Chronicles of a Black Family” author, Dr. Vern J. Cromartie. Free admission. https://bit.ly/CoBizRichmond

Black Centric Showcase: 3 and 7 p.m. Feb. 25, Odell Johnson Performing Arts Theatre, 900 Fallon St., Oakland. The third annual showcase features performances honoring where we are from, where we have been and where we are going, with talent that includes poetry, skits, readings, raps, song and dance, as well as a stage production of “Unapologetically Black: Here For Facilitating Harm Reduction Services To Those In Need, Inc.” $25. www.puturplayon.com/productions

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Black Joy Parade: 12 to 7 p.m. Feb. 26, 20th St. at Franklin St., Oakland. Come out for the sixth annual parade and festival to celebrate the past, present and future of the Black experience, featuring more than 200 Black-owned vendors, two stages of Black performances and activities for the whole family at Lil Joy for kids, Games n’ Grooves and Healing Village, as well as the largest Black Joy Parade procession in the country. Free admission. https://bit.ly/JoyParade

Discover the History of the Black Panther Party in Oakland: Explore at any time. The Black Panther Party has serious roots in Oakland, and there are many local spots you can visit to delve deeper into this past. Explore the various sites on your own or book a private, professional tour with the Black Panther Party Alumni Legacy Network at bppaln.org/bpp-tour.

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