With the surge in COVID-19 cases, some organizers have canceled or postponed many Black History Month events out of an abundance of caution. 

Below is a list of events still happening in SoCal that honor the cultures and contributions of Black people. While many will occur in February, institutions such as the California African American Museum showcase Black history every month.

The museum recently announced five new exhibitions that will open in the next three months, including a look at Buffalo soldiers' impact in California.

Rights and rituals: The making of African American debutante culture

Through Feb. 27, learn about the social organizations that supported Black women's participation in debutante culture, which has a long history of limiting the role and potential of Black girls. The museum's website points to a cotillion at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in November 1961, attended by President John F. Kennedy and California Gov. Pat Brown as epitomizing the emergent power of African American debutante culture. 

Prosperity Market 

On Feb. 26, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., celebrate Black farmers, chefs and entrepreneurs at the Prosperity Market pop-up at the Exposition Park museum. The market includes farmers market goodies such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus prepared food and handcrafted artisan goods. Attendees will also enjoy cooking demonstrations, a kids' corner, raffles and more. 

2022 Black History Parade and Festival 

Just days after organizers canceled the annual Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles, the city of Pasadena Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and the Black History Planning Committee also canceled the 2022 Black History Parade and Festival. The parade, which usually takes place on the third Saturday of February, last happened in 2020. Still, many more events have been planned by the Pasadena Public Library.

From a cooking class to a discussion of Toni Morrison's "Beloved," the city's local libraries will be hosting free events, many of them virtual. 

Out of the pantry: Cooking class for teens 

The cooking class will teach teens about Creole rice fritters, known as Calas, over Zoom and how to make them. The class will take place at 4 p.m. on Feb. 7. Supplies are available for pickup from the Hastings Branch Library if needed.

Take and make craft 

Paint a self-portrait in Jean-Michel Basquiat's graffiti street art style. The artist came of age in the late 1970s underground art and graffiti scene in New York and died in 1988 at age 27. Registration will begin Feb. 1 to sign up for kits while supplies last, and participants can pick them up at the San Rafael Branch Library.

Note that many of the events require registration. For complete details, visit the library's event calendar

Pasadena people, places and events shaped by African Americans

Local community members will provide a virtual tour to provide information on landmarks, educational institutions, sports, businesses and other areas impacted by Black Pasadenans, including the Jackie Robinson statue at the Rose Bowl and a bench dedicated to Ruby McKnight Williams, a civil rights pioneer who served as the NAACP Pasadena branch's president. Participants can take the self-guided tour whenever they like, but the city suggests checking back from Feb. 14 to 19

Los Angeles Black History Month Festival

The festival has been moved from February to June 19 to coincide with Juneteenth, in hopes the omicron surge has waned by then. Attendees can expect panel discussions, live performances, workshops, a kid zone and more. The festival will take place at Westchester Recreational Park, located at 9045 Lincoln Blvd.

Afro-indigenous history of the United States

The Los Angeles Public Library will also host several events for children, teens and adults during February that reflect the Black experience.

As part of its LA Made series, the LA Public Library will host a discussion with Afro-Indigenous historian Kyle T. Mays at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24. "His talk will explore the history of Black and Indigenous activism and their continued relationships through various forms of popular culture well into the present," according to the library's website. The chat, which will cover the civil rights movement and freedom struggles of the 1960s and 70s, will be streamed on the library's Facebook page and YouTube channel

Bank of finance - The history of the first African American bank on the West Coast

Learn about the first state-chartered, Black-owned commercial bank that was opened in Los Angeles. The library will stream on its social pages its discussion with Natalie Mallard, the niece of Onie B. Granville, who established the Bank of Finance in 1964, at 4 p.m. on Feb. 17.

Granville was a local real estate broker who grew frustrated by his clients' difficulties obtaining loans. After opening the Bank of Finance, he regularly provided lines of credit to people who had no other means of getting them. 

Misty Copeland, "Black Ballerinas: My journey to our legacy"

The LA Public Library will virtually host Misty Copeland on Feb. 18 from 4 to 5 p.m. Copeland made history by becoming the first African American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre in the company's 75-year history. She is also an author and will discuss her nonfiction book "Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy," followed by audience Q&A. Those attending the free virtual event will have a chance to win a copy of her book.

This story will be updated as more events are announced. 


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