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Black History Month Events in San Francisco

2013: Emancipation Proclamation's 150th anniversary, jazz, genealogy & more


February is Black History Month, and in San Francisco it's marked with a fun and inspiring mix of drama and music performances, scholarly talks, food and wine tastings and a blood drive. The Bayview Opera House is highlighting 2013 as the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, admission is free to the Museum of the African Diaspora on February 10 and 23, and kid-friendly activities are happening at the San Francisco Public Library and its branches around the city. This guide lists month-long programs first, and then events in chronological order.

Not a Genuine Black Man
February 1- 23; Fridays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 5 pm
For Black History Month, actor Brian Copeland revives his funny and insightful solo show about his African-American family’s move in 1972 to San Leandro, CA--which was then one of the most racist suburbs in the country.
At The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco. Tickets $25-35, 50.

From These Roots: 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
February 2-23
An art exhibit about the history of U.S. slavery includes photos, paintings and posters from President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Live performances of drama, dance and jazz, spiritual and world music are scheduled on weekends.
At Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rd St., San Francisco 94124. Exhibit free; varying ticket prices for performances.

Free Day - Celebrating Black History Month
February 10, at 12-5 pm
MoAD offers free admission. Special events: Clayborne Carson discusses his recently-published memoir about his life’s connection to Martin Luther King, Jr.—from participating in the March on Washington as a teen-ager to editing the civil rights leader’s voluminous papers as director of Stanford’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. Plus a talk about contemporary dance music in Cuba, with a DJ spinning music for salsa and timba dancing.
At the Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St., San Francisco 94105. Free.

African Drumming
February 19, at 4-5 pm
Drummer and folklore specialist S. Kwaku Daddy performs.
At Chinatown/Him Mark Lai Branch Library, 1135 Powell St., San Francisco 94108. Free.

Jazz with M. B. Hanif
February 20, at 7-8 pm
Local jazzman Hanif leads his trio in playing swing, bebop and other jazz styles.
At Parkside Branch Library, 1200 Taraval St., San Francisco 94116. Free.

Buffalo Soldiers of the Presidio
February 20, at 7-8:30 pm
Buffalo Soldiers, based at the Presidio, worked in Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, patrolling, building trails and doing tasks that rangers would later do. Park ranger Frederik Penn shows historic photos and talks about the Buffalo Soldiers’ work and African-Americans’ roles after the Civil War.
At Merced Branch Library, 155 Winston Dr., San Francisco 94132. Free.

Black Literary Festival: Steps to Financial Independence
February 20 & 27, at 6:30-8 pm
Terrance Amen, author of Black Unity: The Total Solution to Financial Independence and Happiness, leads a book group discussion about African-Americans’ spending patterns and explains that spending more in their own community will increase employment, self-sufficiency and financial independence and help solve other problems. Materials are provided. Part of the San Francisco library’s Black Literary Festival.
At Western Addition Branch Library, 1550 Scott St., San Francisco 94115. Free.

Celebrating Black History Month
February 21, at 4-5 pm
Drummer S. Kwaku Daddy delivers music, folk tales and dance from Ghana and other African countries.
At Ingleside Branch Library, 1298 Ocean Ave., San Francisco 94112. Free.

sf|noir Wine & Food Event
February 21-24
A four-day spotlight on black cuisine from Africa, the Caribbean, South America and the U.S. There’s a cocktail-filled evening and a wine-tasting session with Bay Area connoisseur and consultant Omar White. Saturday’s gala serves food from Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles, Pican, Farmer Brown and other local restaurants and wines from the Bay Area to South Africa. The finale is a Sunday jazz brunch at Miss Ollie’s in Oakland, with music by the Marcus Shelby Trio.
At various venues in the Bay Area. Ticket prices vary.

Blood History, Our History Blood Drive
February 23, at 10 am-3 pm
Nearly all sickle cell anemia patients, who often need regular blood transfusions, are African-American. During this Black History Month blood drive, each donor will receive a T-shirt and an autographed photo of former San Francisco 49er Bubba Paris, who will be present. Entertainment includes a raffle with prizes, live music, a magic show and art workshops.
At RTF Educators’ Institute, Jack London Square, 525 4th St., Oakland. Free.

Family Free Day - Connections, Origins and History
February 23, at 11 am-4 pm
Free admission to MoAD. Make a clay bone to show solidarity with victims and survivors of conflicts in Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere; the bones will be part of an installation at the National Mall in D.C. Other special activities: museum tours, and a storytelling hour of African diaspora folktales.
At the Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St., San Francisco 94105. Free.

Meet Jerri Lange
February 24, at 2-4 pm
Lange, a former professor, San Francisco Chronicle reporter and television host, is in her 80s but is still learning and roaming the world (recently, Zen Buddhism and Japan). Learn about her remarkable career and ongoing exploration. The event also includes music and readings by poets and writers. An exhibit of Lange’s photos of Japan is at the library’s African American Center through May 2, 2013.
At the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco 94102. Free.

February 28, at 4-5 pm
Through games and role-play, kids are introduced to capoeira, a dance/martial art/game/philosophy that includes percussion, song and response. For ages 5-12.
At Bayview Branch Library, 5075 3rd St., San Francisco 94124. Free.

Free Your Mind: A Revolution In Words Black Literary Festival
March 2, at 11 am-5 pm
The culmination of the library’s Black Literary Festival is a busy day that includes storytelling for kids, a how-to workshop on researching African American genealogy, a reception with Bay Area authors and a panel discussion about revolutionary writing. Activist and San Francisco State University professor emeritus Oba T’Shaka (formerly Bill Bradley) gives a keynote address about San Francisco’s civil rights movement.
At the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco 94102. Free.

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