Black History Month may officially only last for the 29 days of February, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate it all year long! Here in the Bay Area in particular — a region with considerable Black cultural roots — there are plenty of places you can visit and things you can do to celebrate Black history all year long. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start.
Visit the Museum of the African Diaspora
Located just a few blocks from the Montgomery BART Station in San Francisco, the Museum of the African Diaspora is one of the few museums in the world focused solely on the culture of the African diaspora. Through contemporary art, the museum “celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.” Admission for students is just $5, so there’s no reason not to check it out!
Visit the African American Museum and Library at Oakland
If a trip across the bay is too much for you, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland features archives, a reference library and rotating museum exhibits right in Downtown Oakland. Tours of the space are offered every Saturday at 4 p.m., and the museum also hosts various community events and presentations.
Volunteer with Uhuru Foods and Pies
Uhuru Foods and Pies is one of the many institutions of Black Star Industries, aiming to give Black people the ability to grow, produce and distribute their own food. Uhuru does this by selling food and pies at the Grand Lake Farmers Market in Oakland every Saturday morning and is always looking for volunteers to help out!
Check out the African American Art & Culture Complex
As the only city-owned arts and cultural center in San Francisco, the African American Art and Culture Complex plays an integral role in building community through performance, visual and digital art. In addition to checking out its standing exhibits, you can attend one of the center’s many community events and programs.
Attend a show by the Black Repertory Group
Since its founding in 1964, the Black Repertory Group is located in Berkeley and has been providing access to the dramatic arts to the underprivileged and underserved. The group aims to be “Keepers of the Culture” by promoting and preserving its theatrical arts. You can support this goal by attending one of the many productions the organization is staging this spring.
History is at our fingertips, and we’re lucky enough to live in an area that is rich in places where we can learn about it! Black history and culture helped shape the Bay Area we know and love today, but it is too often overlooked and pushed aside for other narratives. We hope that this list has inspired you to go out and explore some of these places well after Black History Month ends!
Contact Beatrice Aronson at [email protected].