February is Black History Month, which is widely celebrated and recognized throughout the United States. The month-long festivities include various events celebrating the achievements by black Americans and African Americans in U.S. History. Los Angeles offers family friendly cultural festivals, artistic events and live performances, a parade, and a film festival to pay tribute and honor Black History Month.

Screening & Discussion: Royal Shakespeare Company’s Afro-Bit “Hamlet”
Los Angeles Public Library West Valley Regional Branch
19036 Vanowen St.
Reseda, CA 91335
(818) 345-9806
http://www.lapl.org/branches/west-valley
Date: Saturday, February 17, 2018, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Los Angeles Public Library is eager to celebrate African American Heritage month with various programs including read alouds, discussions, book clubs, speakers and musical performances. At its West Valley Regional branch, the Valley library welcomes a screening of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2016 Afro-Brit production of “Hamlet.” Afterwards guests will be invited to participate in a discussion led by UCLA’s Dr. Arthur L. Little Jr., Associate Professor of English, who studies the history of Black Hamlets onstage & off.

The Museum of African American Art: The Civil Rights Movement exhibit
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall
4005 Crenshaw Blvd./Macy’s 3rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 294-7071
http://www.maaala.org
Date: Now through March 25, 2018

The Museum of African American Art museum is a Los Angeles gem. Located in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw mall, the museum is showcasing an impactful photo exhibit depicting The Civil Rights Movement from Los Angeles to Selma. Curated by artist Deborah Charles and Keith Rice, historian and archivist, these authentic photos offers patrons a compelling look back into history. This museum aims to support and educate its community through The Palmer C. Hayden permanent art collection as well as featured exhibits.

STAR’s 18th Annual African American Art Festival
Star Eco Station
10101 Jefferson Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
http://www.starinc.org
Date: February 24, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Head over to the STAR Eco Station this month for a fun outdoor festival honoring African American art and culture. In its 18th year the celebration pays tribute to history, diversity and culture via exhibits, poetry, music, dance and drumming. Local students, performers and artists will put their talents on display. Guests will also enjoy delicious BBQ, games, children’s art projects and local vendors.

36th Annual Black History Parade & Festival
Parade begins at Charles White Park in Altadena and ends at Robinson Park in Pasadena
Festival takes place at Robinson Park at 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
ww5.cityofpasadena.net
Date: February 17, 2018

Get ready to cheer and wave in Pasadena at the 36th annual Black History Parade. In unison with the City of Pasadena’s Black History 2018 Celebration, the parade is not to be missed. This year parade-goers can expect to see high school marching bands, drill and dance teams, motorcycle clubs and car clubs, community service organizations and various city officials. After the parade, the community is welcome to gather for an outdoor festival featuring music, art displays, kids activities and food for purchase.

STAR’s 18th Annual African American Art Festival
Star Eco Station
10101 Jefferson Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
http://www.starinc.org
Date: February 24, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Head over to the STAR Eco Station this month for a fun outdoor festival honoring African American art and culture. In its 18th year the celebration pays tribute to history, diversity and culture via exhibits, poetry, music, dance and drumming. Local students, performers and artists will put their talents on display. Guests will also enjoy delicious BBQ, games, children’s art projects and local vendors.

Pan African Film Festival
http://www.paff.org
Date: February 8 through February 19, 2018

This year marks the 26th anniversary of Pan African Film Festival (PAFF). A widely popular film festival, audience members appreciate the broad range of Black creative projects showcased in the festival. PAFF screens hundreds of films (including Oscar nominated: “The Train of Salt and Sugar,” “The Wound” and more) dedicated to reinforce positive images and help destroy negative stereotypes, and to promote cultural understanding among people of African descent. All tickets and passes can be purchased at the Cinemark Box Office. Film schedule and event schedule available on the PAFF website.

By Sheryl Craig

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