Plan an excursion throughout the city or join in the many celebrations programmed to celebrate Black History Month this February, as these events commemorate the amazing contributions of African Americans throughout the United States. Plan ahead, purchase tickets, gather your friends and take part in all of the excitement via these cultural happenings in San Francisco and beyond!
Experience the Power of an Anointed Sound
Meditate to the music and wisdom of legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane
An american jazz saxophonist and composer, John Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and was later at the forefront of free jazz. He led at least 50 recording sessions during his career, and appeared as a sideman on many albums by other musicians, including trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. Celebrate Coltrane’s genius by experiencing A Love Supreme Meditation which will help calm your mind and tune into the spirit as visitors are guided through a meditation on the testimony and music of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Saint John Coltrane Church, 1286 Fillmore St., every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
EXHIBITIONS & CONVERSATIONS
San Francisco African-American Historical and Cultural Society Celebrates Black History Month
Kick-Off Black History Month at San Francisco’s City Hall
In conversation with Oxford University Press historian John William Templeton, learn about the society’s role in maintaining the legacies of great African American figures such as Capt. William Alexander Leidesdorff, Mary Ellen Pleasant, Sargent Johnson and Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett and how its founders supported African liberation leaders during the founding of the United Nations. And during Freedom Week (Jan. 31 – Feb. 7), SFSoul Shuttle offers four tours daily of the California African American Freedom Trail. Black History Month Kick-off Event: Feb. 5, 2016 at San Francisco’s City Hall Rotunda, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., 12 – 1 p.m.
Who Among Us … The Art of Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle
Featuring artwork from three projects that Hinkle worked on concurrently over the past six years
Interdisciplinary visual artist, writer and performer, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle presents Who Among Us as a tool to undo the imaginings placed onto the colonized body and its movements throughout space and time. Hinkle’s work remixes and re-imagines these perceptions and seeks to invent new possibilities of engaging visually with the black female body respectively. Concerned with the historical present, Hinkle’s research based practice is a collision of mediums. Through April 3, 2016 at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), 685 Mission St., Mon. – Tue. Closed; Wed. – Sat. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sun., 12 – 5 p.m.
I Am San Francisco
Capturing the home and soul of native Black San Francisco
Created and curated by Kheven LaGrone and hosted at the African American Center at San Francisco’s Main Library, the I Am San Francisco exhibition collects the personal stories of several African Americans from San Francisco featuring stories that were assigned to various artists, from various places, to interpret using various media. “An African American born in San Francisco? I’ve never met one before. You must have been one of the few,” a native Black San Franciscan often hears. For many, these type of questions conjure up the feelings of marginalization and the loss of home and remind us that African Americans are being written out of San Francisco’s past and present. Through March 10, 2016 at the African American Center, San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., Sun. 12 – 5 p.m.; Mon. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Tues. – Thurs. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday 1 – 6 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Pop-up Talk: Judy Juanita on Virgin Soul and the Black Panther Party
Reflecting on Black Panther History
Join the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) for a Black History Month-inspired pop-up talk with guest speaker Judy Juanita, a novelist and playwright based in Oakland in the Gallery of California Art. Juanita is a former member of the Black Panther Party, one-time editor of the Black Panther Party newspaper and was an instructor in the first Black Studies program in the nation at San Francisco State University. Juanita’s talk will draw upon her novel titled Virgin Soul which is set in Oakland and reflects upon Panther history. Included with Museum admission and happening during Friday Nights @ OMCA, from 5 to 9 pm, admission is half-price for adults, free for ages 18 and under. Oakland Museum of California, Feb. 19, 2016, 7 – 7:30 p.m.
Satchmo at The Waldorf at The American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)
Witness an unforgettable glimpse into the heart and soul of one of history’s most iconic jazz legends
Satchmo at The Waldorf, a richly imagined autobiographical one-man show featuring a collision between two jazz titans, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, who are both magnetically channeled by America’s “greatest classical actor” (New Yorker) John Douglas Thompson. This acclaimed off-Broadway hit details Armstrong’s meteoric rise, as well as his fateful relationships with his manager and with Davis. A tale of ambition, artistry, and overreach set just four months before Armstrong’s death in 1971. Through Feb. 7, 2016 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., 2 p.m. matinee performances; 8 p.m. evening performances.
The Colored Museum at the African-American Shakespeare Company
A poignant, socially-conscious, satirical comedy that will delight audiences of all colors
The Colored Museum is a depiction of black culture in America, which is especially relevant in today’s world of “Black Lives Matter.” The African-American Shakespeare Company has enlisted Tony Award-winning playwright, George C. Wolfe, to take audiences on a journey of black culture with a take no prisoners satire that electrifies, unsettles and delights audiences of all colors. The Colored Museum redefines our ideas of what it means to be black in contemporary America as the various exhibits depicts old and new stereotypes. Feb. 13 – March 6 at the Buriel Clay Theater, African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., Sat. 8 p.m. and Sun. 3 p.m.
Paula West at Feinstein’s at The Nikko
Winner of Three New York Nightlife Awards for Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist
A Bay Area favorite known for her rich, powerful contralto voice, Paula West will present an all new show backed by a four-piece band and an eclectic set list with her unique interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan, Glen Campbell, Pearl Bailey, Ethel Waters and more. West has performed nationally and internationally at prestigious venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Maison de la Musique and the White House. Feb. 11 – March 6, 2016 at Feinstein’s at The Nikko, Thurs. – Sun.; times vary, check the events calendar.
The 12th Annual Black Choreographers Festival
Engage in a celebration of African and African American Dance and Culture
The Black Choreographers Festival is an annual event celebrating African and African American dance and culture, featuring award-winning Bay Area choreographers and companies. The Next Wave Choreographers Showcase: New Voices | New Works celebrates the diverse artistic expression within the context of African and African American dance and culture featuring premieres by Dazaun Soleyn, Joslynn Mathis, Erik Lee, Cherie Hill, Phylicia Stroud, Pat Taylor, Chris Evans w/ Byb Chanel Bibene, and more. Feb. 20-21, 2016 at the Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th Street, 7:30 p.m.
FOOD & DRINK
sf|noir Wine & Food Festival
Prominent chefs offering their interpretations of soul food and African American-inspired dishes
The sf|noir Wine & Food Festival returns for Black History Month celebrating the best in black and Southern-inspired cuisine from prominent Bay Area chefs. The festival honors the region’s best in black cuisine from throughout the Diaspora, including: soul food, Southern-inspired cooking, Caribbean and Pan-African dishes, BBQ and more. Taking place around the Bay Area, it includes popular events, such as the Shrimp & Grits Taste-Off, a Sunday brunch, cooking demonstrations, live jazz performances and more. Feb. 26-28, 2016, Various locations and times.
Sips with Soul at 1300 Fillmore
An evening featuring eclectic wine, delicious food and live music
Sips with Soul at 1300 Fillmore brings together the wine from African American Vintners with soulful hors d’oeuvres from 1300 Fillmore’s chef David Lawrence. Enjoy the company of members of the Association of African American Vintners and network amongst other foodies and wine lovers. Vintners who will be featured include: Esterlina, Sharp Cellars, Black Coyote, Vision Cellars, Rideau Vineyards, Longevity Wines, McBride Sisters, Brown Estate, Stover Oaks, Marke Wines, Indigene Cellars, Sosabe and L’Objet Noir. Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 at 1300 Fillmore Restaurant, 1300 Fillmore St., 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Black History Month Programming with the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Stand on the stern of Balclutha, face west to feel the fresh wind blowing in from the Pacific Ocean
Located in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Pacific Coast maritime history. African Americans have played a major role in maritime history, from the earliest days of our nation to modern times, they have built, crewed and captained ships; fought in wars; invented tools and created maritime music. Join the San Francisco Maritime National Park in celebrating African American History Month with special programs throughout the month, including:
- African Americans and the Alaska Packers Association, Feb. 14, 2016
- The Great Migration in Alaska: African Americans, the Alaska Packers Association, and the Politics of Race at Sea, 1896-1929, Feb. 21 and 28, 2016
- Chanteys: The African American and Caribbean Connection, Feb. 27, 2016
San Francisco Maritime National Park, Visitor Center, 499 Jefferson St. at the corner of Hyde St.
Download an Audio Tour Featuring the Black Panther Party
Visit the intersection where the Black Panthers became the first crossing guards to carry shotguns
Detour, the producers of mobile app audios curated and narrated by people who live here, offers a downloadable audio tour featuring the Black Panther Party and the Oakland neighborhood where the Black Power revolution took root. Produced by Oakland residents Jason Jakitis, Mwende Hahesy and Ian Davis, the tour walks through North Oakland’s Santa Fe neighborhood and allows listeners to hear directly from original Panthers such as Emory Douglas and Bobby Seale. Downloading the tour requires purchase of the Detour Application for iOS and Android.