Things to Do This month and Beyond to Celebrate Black History
From books and movies to family-friendly activities, there are a ton of ways that you can learn more and celebrate Black History not just this month but all year long.BHM Activities | Activities & Attractions | Books | Black-Owned Wine & Spirits
Cultural Activities and Attractions
Activities Happening this Black History Month
- African and African American Stories and Song – Tuesday 2/22, 11 AM Courtesy of the San Mateo County Public Libraries, This virtual event features folktales, legends and history told with music, dancing and movement as well as the spoken word. Free Admission. Register: https://smcl.bibliocommons.com/events/61fb06dfcf849841006a74ec
- Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism – Now Through 2/27 This exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California features the works celebrating the Black imagination, from Octavia Butler's science fiction to the costuming for the Dora Milaje from Black Panther. Admission: $12- $21. Youth ages 13-17 are invited to enjoy free admission to the exhibit through February 27. Buy tickets: https://buy.acmeticketing.com/events/492/detail/60df71f56622576d79055a5e?_ga=2.37304931.25970325.1645154846-112581671.1643759579
- Fairyland's Black History Month Celebration – Saturday 2/26 & Sunday 2/27, 10:30 AM – 4 PM Storyteller Kirk Waller will perform at the Emerald City Stage at Children's Fairland in Oakland. Free with park admission. Reserve Tickets: https://childrensfairyland.brushfire.com/fairyland
- Village Rhythms Drumming Performance – Saturday 2/26, 11 AM join on the lawn at North Branch for African drumming, songs, dancing, and stories with Onye Onyemaechi of Village Rhythms. All ages are invited to come out and dance! Free Admission. North Branch Public Library 1170 The Alameda, Berkeley.
- Find your next film for movie night via the Black Film Archive. Lovingly curated by Maya Cade, the Black Film Archive is a living register of Black films from 1915 to 1979. Where applicable, some films listed in the archive not only provide a synopsis and still image, but their promotional trailers and links to stream them.
- Take a self-guided tour or view archival material at the African American Museum and Library of Oakland. Researcher's dream, this library has over 160 archival collections, including a collection of recorded oral histories and documents on microfilm. Guided tours are also available by request.
- Visit the Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, which of course has several special events occurring this month but also hosts unique cultural events and exhibits all year round.
Read Contemporary Work by Black Authors
When discussing Black history, there tends to be an emphasis on events and figures from the past. Wonderful and important though they may be, classic novels and autobiographies can feel intimidating or less accessible for the contemporary reader. At the same time, Black and African American writers have new works for you that can entertain, inspire, educate, and even thrill you. Find your next favorite book at Marcus Books in Oakland, the oldest bookstore that specializes in African American literature, history and culture in the United States.*
Grown up readers have a plethora of newer works to choose from. Lovers of poetry may enjoy Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman, the young poet who delivered a poem at President Biden's inaugural ceremony. Fantasy readers will enjoy Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone, the first in a trilogy of West African lore-inspired novels soon to be adapted for film. Comic enthusiasts can immerse themselves in heroic stories like the Black Panther: World of Wakanda series by Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates, with illustrations from Alitha Martinez and Afua Richardson. Enjoy fiction set in the Bay Area such as the cozy Sophie Katz Mysteries by Kyra Davis and Jasmine Guillory's romances The Wedding Date, The Wedding Date, and While We Were Dating. One last local book recommendation: both an homage and cultural critique, Ishmael Reed's Blues City: A Walk in Oakland is a collection of essays illustrating a year in the life of our incredible city.
*If you can't make it to Marcus Books, we recommend patronizing your local independent bookstore and/or ordering from Bookshop.org, an online bookstore that sources from and financially supports independent bookstores.
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Enjoy libations prepared by Black-owned beverage companies:
Unwind with premium wine and spirits made by Black and African American-owned companies. The list below is far from exhaustive. If you want to learn of more such companies to patronize, we recommend checking out the Association of African American Vintners, this list of Black-owned breweries, and this list of Black-owned spirit brands
- Brown Estate - Napa, CA This family business was made possible when Basset and Marcela Brown purchased land in Napa Valley in 1980. The family rehabbed the previously neglected land and planted zinfandel vines, selling to established winemakers for over a decade. Founded in 1995 by the Brown's children, Deneen, David & Coral Brown, Brown Estate produced its first Napa Valley zinfandel in 1996 and decided to move the winemaking in-house. Make an appointment to sample their varietals at the only Black-owned tasting room in downtown Napa: https://www.exploretock.com/browndowntownnapa
Find the estate's second label House of Brown in stores or at restaurants: https://houseofbrown.wine/#locate
- McBride Sisters, Black Girl Magic Wines & SHE CAN – San Luis Obispo, CA Over time, McBride Sisters has grown into what is not only the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States, but one of the most inclusive, accessible, socially aware, and sustainable. Offerings include the original McBride Sisters Collection; the eco-friendly SHE CAN canned wine collection, inspired by “the endless pursuit of all women who are making their dreams a reality and breaking barriers daily”; and the Black Girl Magic collection, an ode to the sisters' culture and story, as well as the magic and resilience of Black women, to be enjoyed by all. Find their wines or join their wine club: https://www.mcbridesisters.com/Find-Our-Wines
- Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey – Lynchburg, Tennessee Uncle Nearest is the fastest-growing independent American whiskey brand in U.S. history. The name honors Nathan “Nearest” Green, a former enslaved Black man who mentored Jack Daniel. Though Nearest was the first known African American master distiller, his story hadn't been told outside of Lynchburg, Tennessee, where the Jack Daniel Distillery is based. To revive his legacy, founder Fawn Weaver created the whiskey brand encompassing his story, and she brought on Victoria Eady Butler, Nearest's great-great granddaughter, as master blender. Find bars that serve Uncle Nearest or local stores that sell the whiskey: https://unclenearest.com/#buy
- KARIBU by Wachira Wine Lounge – Alameda, CA KARIBU wine lounge is the home of Wachira Wines. Wachira Wines was founded by Kenyan-born Dr. Chris Wachira. In California, she “fell in love with the science of winemaking,” and was inspired by the sense of community that can come from sharing a bottle of wine. KARIBU is a Swahili word that translates to mean “you are welcome”. Wachira and her team curated a tasting room collection celebrating a diverse wine from underserved wineries. KARIBU is located in the heart of Alameda, at 1419 Park Street. Plan a visit to the tasting room or shop online: https://karibulounge.com/
- Longevity Wines – Livermore, CA Longevity Wines is a family-owned, urban winery and certified minority-owned business based in the Livermore Valley wine region of Northern California. Founders Debra and Phil Long opened Longevity in 2008 when their winemaking hobby outgrew their garage. Debra came up with the Longevity name as a play on their last name that also expresses their enduring love for each other, for wine and for doing things together. Phil and his son, Assistant Winemaker Phil Long Jr., produce approximately 3,500 cases of Longevity Vintner Select wines in Livermore Valley using local grapes. Plan a visit to the tasting room or shop online: https://www.longevitywines.com/