Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, in February is an annual observance and celebration of achievements of African-Americans and the important role that they have played in our country’s history. Historian Carter G. Woodson and Minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in 1915 and it was through that organization that Black History Week was first celebrated in 1926, and then Black History Month in 1976. In 2020, Long Beach has multiple fun opportunities for people to learn about this significant month.
The City of Long Beach is hosting a Long Beach Black History Month Celebration on Feb. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and will be held at the Long Beach Civic Center. Not only will there be live performances, traditional African cuisine, and resource tables, but two new exhibits will also be unveiled. “Remembering Our Roots: A Timeline of Black History” features photos from The National Archives Catalog and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, commissioned by the office of Councilmember Rex Richardson. The other exhibit, “Hometown Heroes: Profiles in Long Beach Black History”, is curated by the Long Beach Post. Both exhibits will be available throughout the month of February.
Cal State Long Beach has a whole slew of events this month. Feb. 5 will be the Black History Month Celebration Kick-off at the Southwest Terrance at the University Student Union from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m and an African Tea Ceremony will be held on Feb. 25 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the University Student Union. For more information, please view the graphic below.
Motherland: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Black History Month Event will be on Feb. 6 – 8. Located at the Expo Arts Center, the celebration will include; Wall of Excellence honors, panel discussions, musical performances, and Duke Givens speaking about fashion throughout the years. This is hosted by the Andy Street Community Association.
Not all details for Long Beach City College’s Black History Month Celebration are finalized but there will be two kick-off events. One will take place on the Pacific Coast Campus on Mon. 10 in front of the EEG building and the other on Thurs. 13. On the Liberal Arts Campus in Quad A. Both events run from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. and include food, musical performances and a resource fair. There will be keynote speakers on both campuses’ on the 26. Check on the LBCC Black Heritage website as it’s updated for more information.
The African- American Festival will be held at the Aquarium of the Pacific on Feb. 22 and 23. From 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day. The festival will include Mardi Gras second-line dancers, hip-hop and break dancers, interactive drum circles and West African dancers. Conservation Ambassadors will also be available to teach about African animals that you will be able to meet and perhaps even touch.
Downtown Long Beach wants to celebrate Black History Month by highlighting black-owned businesses. Nominate your favorite business (even if it’s your own) and winners from each category will be posted on DTLB’s social media. Businesses will be featured starting Feb. 1 but nominations will be open until Feb. 10
Long Beach Local News would love to know how you are celebrating Black History Month, whether it’s cracking open a history book or attending one of the events listed above. Tag and mention us on social media @longbeachlocalnews
By Casey N. Wilson