Every February is Black History Month and Oakland joins in the celebration of our African American heritage and the role of African Americans in shaping local, national, and international history with many events throughout the month. Check out a long list of events happening around the city on the City of Oakland's site.

On February 18, 2014, Councilmember Lynette McElhaney  Black History Month Celebration introduced a resolution in celebration of Black History Month honoring local African American individuals and institutions "who Through Their Innovative, Groundbreaking Work, Have Promoted Positive Change And Uplift For The City Of Oakland In The Fields Educators To Honor And Teach About The Achievements And Unique Contributions Of Blacks In The Armed Forces, Arts, Business, Civil Rights, Education, Entertainment, Family Life, History, Humanity, Law, Literature, Medicine, Music, Politics, Religion, Science, And Sports: Napoleon Brandford - Siebert Branford Shank & Co (Business); Paul Cobb (Journalism- Oakland Post News); Dr. Alecia A. Decoudreaux (Education- President of Mills College); Margaret Gordon (Advocacy- recipient of an award from Obama, environmental work); Elihu Harris (Politics- former mayor); Tacuma King & Tarika Lewis (Art, music lessons at OUSD & Malonga center for the Arts); Dr. Michael Lenoir (Medicine- allergist, president of National African American Association of Physicians, radio show on KPFA); Dr. Wade Nobles (Humanity- Institute of ? (long name)); Rev. Eloise Oliver (Religion), Ad Ante Pointer, Esq. (Law- civil rights lawyer); Leon "Bip" Roberts (Sports); E.W. Waevwright (Music); And Glynn Washington (Entertainment)"


Also, there's a lot to learn about black history in Oakland here on the wiki! (Check out last year's events.)

2014 Events

Sculpture of Calvin Simmons at City Hall

  • Mills College has a large number of events for Black History Month - check out their schedule here.
  • "New Era, New Politics" walking tours take place throughout February to highlight local black history. More info here.
  • Saturday, February 1st, Wednesday February 5th, 10:00: African American Museum & Library at Oakland, 659 14th Street. This free, guided walking tour highlights African-American leaders who helped shape present-day Oakland. For more information, please visit www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours or call (510) 238-3234

  • February 22, 10:00 Black History tour at Mountain View Cemetery

  • Saturday, February 1, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., African American Museum & Library at Oakland Bay Area bluesman Augusta Lee 

    Collins stars in a new video, “Game,” by Jehnovah Carlisle. The video captures Mr. Collins performing original material on the streets of Oakland and in San Francisco. He and Mr. Carlisle will be on hand at AAMLO to celebrate the release of this 

    lovely new film, available on DVD. Please R.S.V.P. at (510) 637-0200. For information, please contact Veda Silva, Museum Project Coordinator, at vsilva@oaklandlibrary.org or (510) 637-0199

  • Saturday, February 1 - Sunday, March 2, Various Hours: The Fabric of our Culture: A Group Quilt Show. Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street. A celebration of African American culture in America through a group of five Bay Area quilt makers and their narrative account of Black history and its present day culture. Two special events accompany the exhibit: An Artist Talk at 7:00 p.m. on February 7 and a Black History Celebration Event and Lecture, hosted by Barbara Howard, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on February 21. For more information, please visit www.joycegordongallery.com or call (510) 465-8928. 

  • Wednesday, February 5, 10:00 Black History Month Walking Tour. African American Museum & Library at Oakland,  This free, guided walking tour highlights African-American leaders who helped shape present-day Oakland. For more information, please visit www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours or call (510) 238-3234. 

  • Saturday, February 8, noon: African American Celebration through Poetry -West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline Street. Every year – for 23 years now, and counting – the West Oakland Branch has hosted its stirring African American Celebration through Poetry. This year’s program will be a tribute to Nelson Mandela. Community members of all ages are invited to participate by reading poetry, performing, dancing and/or displaying works of art. For more information or to sign up to participate in this program, please contact Gay Ducey, Branch Manager, at gducey@oaklandlibrary.org or (510) 238-7352. 

  • Thursday, February 13, 7:00-8:30: 26th Annual African American Cultural Celebration, First Congregational Church, 2501 Harrison Street. St. Paul Episcopal School’s signature musical event is a knockout evening of music presented by all students, grades K-8. For more information, please call (510) 285-9600.
  • Monday, February 17, 930-11:30p: Tribute to Greats of Black Arts, EastSide Arts Cultural Center , 2277 International, Blvd. A Tribute to the greats of the Black Arts Movement. With the transitions of Amiri Baraka, Richard Dedeaux (of Watts Prophets), and Gil Scott Heron, we take time to celebrate our culture and Black Arts. Featuring Father Amde Hamilton (Watts Prophets), members of Gil Scott Heron's Amnesia Express Band, Marvin X, Ama Evolution, Ayodele 'Word Slanga', and more.
  • Saturday, February 15 & Sunday February 16, 10:00-4:00: Black History Weekend, Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Avenue. Enjoy puppet shows, arts & crafts, storytelling and more at this storybook theme park. For more information, please visit www.fairyland.org or call (510) 452-2259.
  • Saturday + Sunday, February 22 + 23rd - March 1st + 2nd 11am - 6pm The Art of Living Black Satellite Tours. The Oasis Gallery at American Steel Studios will feature 11 of the 50 artists highlighted in the Satellite Tours. Latisha Baker, Stephen Bruce/ Stephen B Studios , Kelvin CurryCheryl DerricotteJimi Evins,Renata GrayNannette Y. Harris-Jones, Raymond Lionel HaywoodKarin TurnerAshlei Reign Williams & TheArthur Wright


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