At FitPros, we believe that diversity is one of the best parts of living in American society, but in this political climate our differences have been thrust into the spotlight. This gives us two options, try to deny that different groups of people have different experiences living in the same country or embrace that fact and really lean into learning about, understanding, and building empathy and community around those differences. Just because we are different does not mean that we can’t get along and what better time than Black History Month embark on this community-building endeavor?
With that in mind, we at FitPros have taken the time to compile a list of notable Black History Month events in major cities. The list itself is not comprehensive in any way but is meant to be a starting point for those seeking knowledge.
San Francisco Bay Area
Oakland Museum of California's Question Series: Black Males Exhibit
- Running Through February 25th
"Hailed as one of the Bay Area’s Top Exhibitions by the San Francisco Chronicle, Question Bridge: Black Malesreturns to the Oakland Museum of California’s Gallery of California Art. Immerse yourself in intimate videos—woven together and arranged to simulate face-to-face conversations between participants—among a diverse group of over 160 Black men across the United States. Hear these men answer each other’s questions with exceptional honesty and vulnerability, and share stories, beliefs, and values in a personal portrayal of their lives. Encompassing themes of family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, and wisdom, Question Bridge: Black Males presents nuanced portraits of past, present, and future of Black men in American society. Listen, watch, learn, and start your own conversations with this profoundly moving installation."
Oakland's Black Joy Parade
"In February the Black Joy Parade will fill the streets of Oakland. We welcome all types of individuals and organizations to join the procession and be a part of the 2nd annual Black Joy Parade.
Beyond the need to travel 8 blocks, there is no limit to what you can create! We encourage participants to bring their unique flavor of Black Joy from floats and marching bands, to costumes, dance, art and more. Be creative. Be positive. Be energetic and free!"
Visit the San Francisco's Museum of African Diaspora
"MoAD, a contemporary art museum, celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora."
New York City
Target First Saturdays
"Every month, Brooklyn Museum opens its doors for a free evening of talks, music, art workshops and curator-led tours of exhibitions. This "Soul if a Nation" installment features live performances from percussionist Winard Harper and singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon, talks with prominent artists, pop-up poetry readings, a screening of the 2018 film Mr. Soul and more."
Brooklyn Historical Society
"Brooklyn Historical Society’s Black History Month festivities begin January 30 with a discussion about a notable postwar civil rights case. Subsequent events include a book talk on Separate: The Story of Plessy v Ferguson led by author Steven Luxenberg (February 19) and a conversation among Obama-era White House staffers (February 28). One of the museum’s long-running exhibits, Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom, is on show through March 24."
The Symposium: Academic StandUp *Blackademia Takeover*
Sunday, February 10th, 6:30PM
"This evening of "interdisciplinary, intersectional research–inspired stand-up comedy" features researchers, teachers and comics dropping knowledge on an intellectually-curious audience. Come laugh and learn as performers break down life as a black astrophysicist, microaggressive health care, racist museums and woke laws. It's funny (and also kinda not) because it's true."
California African American Museum
"Located at Exposition Park in Downtown L.A., the California African American Museum (CAAM)exists to research, collect, preserve and interpret the history, art and culture of African Americans. The museum's permanent collection houses 4,000 objects that span landscape painting and portraiture, modern and contemporary art, historical objects and print materials, and mixed-media artworks."
PAN AFRICAN FILM & ARTS FESTIVAL (FEB. 7-18, 2019)
"Now in its 27th year, the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) is the largest Black film festival and largest Black History Month event in the United States. PAFF is taking place Feb. 7-18 at the Cinemark Rave 15 Theatres and the adjacent Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The 12-day festival will feature more than 170 new films and 100 fine artists.
This year's Opening Night is a red carpet screening of Amazing Grace, the long-delayed documentary of Aretha Franklin's sessions for her double album of the same name. Recorded live over two nights at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Amazing Grace was released in June 1972 and became the best-selling live gospel album of all time.
PAFF was founded in 1992 by award-winning actor Danny Glover, Emmy Award-winning actress Ja’net DuBois, and Executive Director Ayuko Babu."
For more events and information please visit the website for the NAACP.
If you need help finding more resources, or if you want to bring some educational programs on-site to your workplace, FitPros is happy to help with our roster of great speakers – send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help get the discussions started!