Celebrating Black History Month in LA
Black History Month is a time to recognize, celebrate, and honor the rich and diverse history and important contributions and achievements of African Americans. We are spoiled for choice with fine art, community festivals, music and film events around the city. Read on for our must-sees this month.
2020 Black History Month Community Festival
Lauren Halsey at the David Kordansky Gallery
David Kordansky Gallery in Mid-Wilshire presents an exhibition of new work by acclaimed LA-based artist, Lauren Halsey. Featuring sculptural painting installations, the show is Halsey’s first at the gallery, filling it with a vivid, “mythopoetic hauntscape” of South Central Los Angeles. These latest works continue Halsey’s exploration of monuments, memorials, and public space, particularly her reckonings with gentrification and the threatening economic displacement of Black and Latino/a stores and shops.
LA Public Library
Branches of the Los Angeles Public Library across the city are hosting events for African American Heritage Month, including movie screenings, family storytime, arts & crafts, and panel discussions. Highlights include: a screening of Love and Basketball at Central Library (Feb 15th), Harlem Renaissance Stories: Songs & Crafts at West LA Library (Feb 20th) and The Very Best of Eddie Murphy Film Festival at Hyde Park (Feb 29th). For a complete schedule, visit the LAPL calendar.
California African American Museum
CAAM is one of the pre-eminent African American museums in the country with a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects that span landscape painting and portraiture, modern and contemporary art, historical objects and print materials, and mixed-media artworks. To celebrate Black History Month, they have put together a slate of programing that includes: Free Black Women’s Library Book Swap and Art Workshop (Feb 15th), Men in Fashion and Entrepreneurship (Feb 19th) and Animate Space with Debbie Allen Dance Academy DADA Ensemble (Feb 23rd). Also, make sure to check out their blockbuster fashion exhibition, Cross Colours: Black Fashion in the 20th Century. For more details, visit https://caamuseum.org/.
Pan African Film & Arts Festival
Now in its 28th year, the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) is the largest Black film festival and largest Black History Month event in the United States. Featuring more than 150 new films and 100+ fine artists from around the world including Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the South Pacific and Canada. Held at Cinemark 15 at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, the Festival runs until Feb 23rd.