Whether you want to attend a festival or just a meet up, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Black History month in Orange County!

African-American Festival
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 590-3100
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org

This marks the 16th year of the African-American Festival at The Aquarium of The Pacific. This event is a celebration of African-American culture, including hip-hop dancers, Second-Line dancers, storytellers, and interactive drum circles. In other words, it has something for everyone. This festival is February 24 and 25 from 9 until 5. Admission to the festival is free for Aquarium members. Non-members can buy tickets at the Aquarium website.

Shades of Afrika
1001 E. 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 436-2210
http://www.shadesofafrika.com

Shades of Afrika is something of a cultural center for things African-American. Here you’ll find books by African authors and art by Afrian artists, which is how this store got its start. This place goes far beyond art and books, however. You’ll also find hair products, oils, incense, and clothing. You’ll even find weekly events like meditation and yoga (every Sunday) and an open mic an poetry reading (every Saturday evening). IF you’re looking to celebrate Black History Month, this place offers everything you could want.

The Importance of Black History for Everyone
Mackey Auditorium, Ruby Gerontology Center
Fullerton, CA 92831
(657) 287-2446
http://www.news.fullerton.edu

A lecture may not be the first way you’d think to celebrate Black History Month, but this promises to be a thought-provoking lecture about a topic that seems particularly poignant at this point. Jerry Hunter is the Chancellor Emeritus for the North Orange County Community College District and will present this topic that is sure to prompt some good discussion. You can hear this lecture on February 27 from 10 to 11:30.

Black Long Beach
235 E. Broadway, Suite #800
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 600-0049
http://www.meetup.com/BlackLongBeach

Black Long Beach is a Meetup group for African-Americans to get together and explore the fine city of Long Beach. One event in February is Black History Paint Night. At this event on February 16, artist Lajon will take the audience through the act of recreating a unique piece of black art. Black Long Beach also meets regularly (including February 17) for Mimosas at The Federal Bar at 1:00. This is a great networking opportunity.

Black in Orange County
http://www.meetup.com/Black-In-Orange-County

Black in Orange County is a Meetup group that hosts regular events for people to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Every month the group does a hiking trip somewhere locally. Each hiking trip is a great way to meet people as well as a way to get outside. In February, this meetup will also get together for the release of Black Panther. If watching movies is good, then watching them with a fun group of people is even better.

By Gary Schwind

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