Long Beach Celebrates Black History Month

Feb. 1 marked the first day of Black History Month and residents can celebrate all month long with events and activities hosted by the Long Beach community.

Black History Month was first established as a week-long celebration in February 1926, through a press release sent by Carter G. Woodson, one of the founders of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. By the 1960s, the annual Black History Week had expanded to Black History Month. 

Long Beach has several events in celebration of Black History Month for people to attend and appreciate the culture of the Black community.

The Art Theater of Long Beach will host a screening of Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche this weekend at 11 a.m. The documentary is a tribute to Poly Sterne, the first Black woman in the United Kingdom to raise a successful rock band.

For a chance to immerse in African American art and music, Long Beach residents of all ages are invited to experience The Power of Truth Black History Month celebration at the Expo Arts Center, starting Feb. 3. This free public event will feature special speakers from the Long Beach community, as well as local musicians and artists. There will also be an exhibit called “Forgotten Images” which will display authentic written works, art and African heritage artifacts dating back to the 1600s up until the Civil War era. 

Adults in the Long Beach area are welcome to dine at the R&Brunch on Sunday, Feb. 6, where brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. At noon, the day party launches, where attendees are invited to dance and drink with their friends. 

At the end of the month, there will be a Black History Month Celebration presented by PCRMO and the Outreach Ministry. On Feb. 26, performances will be given by artists including Killah Priest, Black Diamond, Banga Brownin and BRLP. 

Families and friends of all ages are invited to dance, enjoy some music, and listen to storytelling at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s 20th annual African American Festival on Feb. 26 and 27th. The winners of the African American Scholar Program will also be announced at the festival.

The Long Beach Public Library is hosting a Black History Month Scavenger Hunt every week in February from Tuesday through Saturday. 

Long Beach City College will have several of its own events for this annual month-long celebration, starting with a Black Heritage Month Kick-Off on Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information on all these events can be found here

California State University Long Beach, also has an itinerary of events in honor of Black History Month, all of which are listed on its flier.

Covid cases are still rising in the city, and everyone is encouraged to wear a mask and get fully vaccinated to best defend themselves from the virus.

If you know of a Black History Month celebration happening in your neighborhood, please let us know. Reach out to us at longbeachlocalnews@gmail.com or give us a follow on social media to share event details and to view information on future events.  

By Hannah Shields