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Black History Month in San Francisco


For updated info, check our guide to 2013 Black History Month events in San Francisco.

Black History Month in February 2012 is observed with film screenings, activities tailored to children, talks, musical performances and exhibitions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of them are at the San Francisco Public Library at Civic Center and its branches around the city, and are free. This guide lists month-long black history programs first, and then events in chronological order.

Black History Month at MoAD

Throughout February 2012
MoAD celebrates Black History Month with 2-for-1 admission through Feb. 29 (must present MoAD e-flyer at admission desk to qualify). Besides exhibits, the museum is presenting special films, author talks and concerts.
At the Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St. Most events free with museum admission.

Thursday at Noon Films

Tureeda Mikell introduces African folktales and rhymes to kids. Photo courtesy of SFPL.
Thursdays in February, at 12-2 pm
San Francisco Public Library's film series this month features black movie musicals such as Sparkle (loosely based on the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes), Krush Groove and Dreamgirls.
At San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St. Free.

African Film Festival 2012

Various dates through Feb. 29
Films made in Africa and/or by Africans--including features about Beethoven fans and gang-bangers in Kinshasa (in two separate films) and Tuareg immigrants in Italy, and a startling documentary about the painful history of the Congo.
At the Pacific Film Archive Theater, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. Ticket prices vary.

African American Quilting Tradition

Feb. 15 at 4-6:30 pm at Merced Branch Library; Feb. 18 at 2-4:30 pm at Richmond Branch Library
The African American Quilt Guild of Oakland talks about the African American quilting tradition and guides kids in making patch-work potholders. For ages 7-12. Free.

Malcolm X

Then-teenager Claudette Colvin refused to give her bus seat to a white person. Photo courtesy SFPL.
Feb. 15, at 4-7 pm
Spike Lee's film is shown.
At Mission Bay Branch Library. Free.

Freedom Riders

Feb. 17, at 7 pm
A documentary about the 1960s black and white activists who risked their lives to challenge segregation in the South. The screening is sponsored by the Freedom Socialist Party.
At New Valencia Hall, 747 Polk Street. Requested donation $3-5.

They Were First: African Americans in Sports

Feb. 18-April 12
This exhibit highlights pioneering African American athletes, such as the first African American to win a medal in any winter Olympics (bobsledder Vonetta Flowers), the first black to play major league baseball, and the first African American winner of the Kentucky Derby (Oliver Lewis).
At the African American Center of the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St. Free.

Folktales Across the African Diaspora

Saxophonist M. B. Hanif. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Public library.
Feb. 18, at 2-4 pm
Storyteller Diane Ferlatte, with drummer Moshe Milon, presents trickster tales, folk legends about Why the Sky is so High, the story of Sundjata, the Lion King, and other stories from Africa.
At the Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St. RSVP to http://folktaleswithdianeferlatte.eventbrite.com/. Free with museum admission.

We Wear the Mask: How to Define and Control the Black Image Through Casting

Feb. 18, at 2-4:30 pm
Hollywood Shuffle, about black actors in Hollywood, is shown, followed by a panel discussion about how casting a black person in the lead can change dynamics and perceptions.
At Western Addition Branch Library. Free.

Krip-Hop Nation Presents Broken Bodies

Feb. 19, at 1:30-3:30 pm
Hip-hop artists and other musicians with disabilities (including the Krip-Hop Nation group) have created a mix-tape CD and a documentary about police brutality that targets disabled people. This session includes performances by some of the participating artists, a panel discussion and a sneak preview of the documentary.

At San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St. Free.
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