We are surrounded by significant historical markers of African American history in the Bay Area. Not only did the Black Panther movement begin in Oakland, but the migration of African-Americans north to work in the shipyards of Richmond, Oakland and San Francisco during WWII had a lasting impact on the Bay Area.
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Below are just a few of the events happening during the month to celebrate the African American experience.
African American Museum & Library at Oakland
659 14th Street Oakland, CA
Visit AAMLO’s impressive archival collection on the history of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area. In addition to its extensive archives, currently on exhibit is “Today’s Victory is Tomorrow’s Legacy: Ruby Bridges’ Victory Made a Difference for All” telling the story of integration of an all-white Elementary School in 1960. The exhibit features the facsimile of a 1960s classroom and artifacts that tell the story of the integration of classrooms in the Oakland Unified School District.
“A Rap on Race” by Spectrum Dance Theatre
February 9th and 10th, 2018
Cal Performances UC Berkeley
Based on a 7-1/2 hour conversation between African-American author James Baldwin and white anthropologist Margaret Mead, this new dance-theater work brings that epic cultural moment to life. Written by renowned playwright Anna Deavere Smith and staged by choreographer Donald Byrd, “A Rap on Race” evokes a “nation caught in the cobwebs of history.”
Black History Month Film Series
81st Ave. Branch Library, Oakland Public Library
What is more moving than sharing the experience of a compelling drama in a room full of community? Below are films in this series:
“Selma” Saturday, February 10th 2pm
The breakthrough film that illustrates the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery that propelled the movement forward unstoppably.
“13th” Saturday, February 17th 2pm
Acclaimed filmmaker Ava Duvernay directs this documentary exploring the 13th Amendment banning slavery and how systemic racism continues to impact America today.
“Fences” Saturday, February 24th 2pm
The much-praised film by and starring Denzel Washington, based on the award-winning play by August Wilson.