Black History Month events in the LA area, February 2023

Black History Month events in the LA area, February 2023
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures hosts “Regeneration Summit: A Celebration of Black Cinema,” Feb. 3-5, that includes discussions, performances and screenings. In the file photo, more than 50 glamour photographs of movie actors at the special exhibit, “Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898-1971” now through July 16, 2023. The exhibition features achievements and challenges of Black filmmakers in the United States. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Here is a sampling of Black History Month events, museum exhibits and performances during February in the Los Angeles area.

Feb. 1

The First Deep Breath: A play by Lee Edward Colston II about an esteemed and proper church and “pillar of the community family whose secrets are going to be revealed, preview 7: 30 p.m. Minimum age: 14; adult subjects. Previews, 7: 30 p.m. Feb. 2-3, 1 and 7 p.m. Feb. 4-5 and 7 p.m. Feb. 8. Public opening night, 7: 30 p.m. Feb. 10. Show runs various dates through March 5. Tickets $30 and up for previews; $39 and up after opening. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles.

Black History Month – Pasadena: The city of Pasadena commemorates Black History Month by offering a month-long series of programs from Pasadena Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena Black History Committee, and the Friends of the Pasadena Public Library. There will be in-person and virtual programs, events and activities for all ages. All programs and events are free.

Events include

  • “Celebrating Diversity through Photography,” exhibit, Feb. 1-28 at the Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena.
  • An online tour of Pasadena landmarks and spots impacted by Black Pasadenans at
  •  A discussion of Donzaleigh Abernathy’s book “Partners to History: Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy and the Civil Rights Movement,” 2 p.m. Feb. 4. Lamanda Park Branch Library, 140 S. Altadena Drive. Details:
  • A story time about Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the traffic signal, and a craft activity, 2: 30 p.m. Feb. 9. San Rafael Branch Library, 1240 Nithsdale Road. Details:
  • Pasadena Rose poets celebrate this month with readings, 5 p.m. Feb. 9, online on Zoom. Sign up to receive the Zoom link here:
  • Pasadena Public Library celebrates Black History Month with a variety of programs and activities for all ages that honor the cultures and contributions of Black Americans. Details,

For more information on other Black History Month events in Pasadena, 626-744-7311. Details:

Santa Monica and Black History Month: View exhibits on poetry at Santa Monica City Hall and check out Black History Month-related books at Santa Monica library locations:

Feb. 2

Christian McBride’s the Movement Revisited – A Musical Portrait of Four Icons: The eight-time Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride leads a Big Band and Gospel choir concert that also includes a section dedicated to the election of Barack Obama, 8 p.m. Tickets $39 and up. The Soraya at CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 818-677-3000. Details and to purchase tickets:

Feb. 3

Setting the Path for Tomorrow Using the Lens of Today – African American Military History Event: Speakers include United State Marine Corps veteran Dave Culmer (Montford Point Marine); United States Army veteran Patsy Pitts (Otis College of Art and Design); United Sates Navy veteran D’Artagnan Scorza (executive director of racial equity), 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Register for the event: Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, 1816 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. Details and to make a reservation to attend:

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures: Special event weekend “Regeneration Summit: A Celebration of Black Cinema” with panel discussions, entertainment, screenings and workshops, today and Feb. 3-5. See the schedule here: Ongoing special exhibit: “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971,” extended through July 16. Timed advance admission tickets are available for the museum that explores the art and science of movies and movie-making. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission $25; $19 ages 62 and older; $15 students with valid ID; free for ages 17 and younger; $15 extra for “The Oscars Experience.” Location, 6067 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Fairfax Avenue), Los Angeles. 323-930-3000.

Black History and African Marketplace Celebration: The theme for the two-day event is “Strength Behind Us, Greatness Ahead of Us.” The event includes information booths, exhibits, dance and spoken word performances and vendors, 6: 30-9: 30 p.m., and 1-6 p.m. Feb. 4. Bixby Knolls Expo Arts Center, 4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach. 562-244-9324. Details on Facebook:

Feb. 4

Try/Step/Trip: A musical about an experience in a court-ordered drug rehabilitation center written and composed by Dahlak Brathwaite, 8 p.m.($40), and 2: 30 p.m. Feb. 5 (American Sign Language interpreter; $50). Minimum age: adult audience. Lovelace Studio Theater at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. and

Feb. 7

Film Club at Granada Hills Branch Library – Online: Discusses “In the Heat of the Night” (1967), 3 p.m. Watch the film in advance by using your library card to access Hoopla. Request the Zoom link in advance and by emal to (put “Film Club, Feb. 7” in the subject line). Library location, 10640 Petit Ave. 818-368-5687. Details:

Film discussion with Los Angeles Central Library – Online: Watch “Daughters of the Dust” (1991) in advance and for free by using your library card to access Kanopy ( The film is about a South Carolina Gullah community facing change. Request the Zoom link in advance from the form on the event link here:

Feb. 8

Hollywood Heritage’s Evening at the Barn: Historian Barbara C. Wingo gives a lecture on Norman Studios in Jacksonville, Florida that produced films starring black actors in positive roles, 7: 30 p.m. Following the talk, a screening of “The Flying Ace” (1926). Tickets $20 (from the website or at the door). Location, 2100 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood.

Feb. 10

Joel Ross’ Parables: The vibraphonist-composer performs, 8 p.m. (part of the Jazz at Naz series). Tickets $49 and up. The Soraya at CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 818-677-3000. Details and to purchase tickets:

Feb. 13

African Fabric Designs art workshop for adults: Learn about the meanings behind the colors and shapes in African fabrics, like Kente, 2-3: 30 p.m. Participants will make their own pattern using oil pastels (materials will be provided). Class is for adults. North Hollywood Regional Branch Library, 5211 Tujunga Ave. 818-766-7185. Details:

Feb. 15

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham: The contemporary dance company performs Abraham’s “An Untitled Love,” 7: 30 p.m. Free admission with a reservation ( Bovard Auditorium at USC, 3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles.

Feb. 16

African and African American Tales: Storyteller Michael D. McCarty spins stories from cultures in Africa and the United States, 3: 30 p.m. Minimum age: 5 and older. Registration opens at 3 p.m. Feb. 9 for this event. View Park Bebe Moore Campbell Library, 3854 W. 54th St., Los Angeles.

Feb. 18

The 41st Annual Black History Parade and Festival —  Celebrating Our Excellence, the Legacy of Councilmember John J. Kennedy: Southern California’s largest and longest-running Black History parade, 10 a.m. The parade includes bands, drill and drum teams, community organizations and dignitaries. Sportscaster Jim Hill is the grand marshal. Parade route: Fair Oaks Avenue at Mountain View Street, on Fair Oaks to Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena. Following the parade, a festival features live bands, community booths, dance performances, guest speakers and food for purchase, noon-4 p.m. 626-744-7300. Details:

Diversity Ice: Diversity Ice Foundation, a nonprofit aiming to bring diversity to ice skating, presents live skating performances from competitive skaters of color, a meet-and-greet with Olympic ice skater Tai Babilonia, a community skate — you learn how to skate — live music and food trucks, 1-3 p.m. The event is also a fundraiser with a portion of admission price going to support minority figure skaters on their Winter Olympic Games journey. Admission $30 (admission only available online). The Rinks Lakewood Ice, 3975 Pixie Ave., Lakewood.

African and African American Tales: Storyteller Michael D. McCarty spins stories from cultures in Africa and the United States, 2 p.m. Minimum age: 5 and older. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles. Email: Details:

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham: The contemporary dance company performs “Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth,” 8 p.m. Tickets $39 and up. The Soraya at CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 818-677-3000. Details and to purchase tickets:

Feb. 19

Los Angeles Black History Month Festival: Open Arms Food Pantry and Resource Center presents the event that includes a book faire, Afrikan marketplace, live performances, workshops and available social services information, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The emphasis on this year’s festival is on financial literacy and wellness. Michelle and Barack Obama Sports Complex, baseball field, 5001 Obama Blvd., Los Angeles. Details on Facebook, scroll to Jan. 3 posting:

Feb. 25

Author talk at Canoga Park Branch Library: Ghanaian American author Kwei Quartey discusses African literature and his own fictional crime series (the Inspector Darko Dawson and the Emma Djan Investigations mysteries), 1 p.m. Discussion is for adults. Program is presented by the Friends of the Canoga Park Branch Library. Location, library’s community room, 20939 Sherman Way. 818-887-0320. Details:

Feb. 26

Billie! Backstage with Lady Day: Theatrical show about Billie Holiday, written and performed by Synthia L. Hardy performs, 7 p.m. Minimum age: 15. Tickets $25. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Details and to purchase tickets: or

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Black Owned In LA: and

Black in the Valley: and


Los Angeles Public Library – Black American History Resources: Use your library card to access “The African American Experience: The American Mosaic” here: “African American ALOUD Podcasts” here: Vintage photos “Shades of L.A.: African American Community” here:

Art Gallery/Museums

Museum of African American Art: Current exhibit: “Aiseborn: From the HeArt,” art from the Inglewood-born, contemporary muralist and painter, now through April 30. Make a reservation to visit on the form here: The museum is located at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, third floor, 4005 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles. 323-294-7071.

African American Firefighter Museum: Artifacts, fire apparatus, pictures and stories about African American Los Angeles firefighters. Hours: 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Donation. 1401 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles. 213-744-1730.

California African American Museum: Ongoing special exhibit: “Adee Roberson and Azikiwe: because i am that,” through May 7 (lobby gallery; all other galleries are closed for upgrades). Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Parking $15 before 5 p.m.; $18 after 5 p.m. (in the blue structure parking lot; entrance to the blue structure is on Figueroa Boulevard at 39th Street.). Location, 600 State Drive, Los Angeles (in Exposition Park). 213-744-7432. and

William Grant Still Arts Center: “Fun and Games – 42nd Annual Black Doll Show,” with dolls, games, quilts and images that relate to historic Black American games. The exhibit also includes rare and vintage dolls donated by Sandra Campbell and artwork from contemporary artists. Gallery hours: noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Exhibit runs through Feb. 18. Location, 2520 S. West View Ave., Los Angeles. 323-734-1165. Email:

Send Black History Month calendar listings to 818-713-3708.