Celebrate Black History Month

Every February, the United States pays tribute to African Americans whose struggles and triumphs are woven into the fabric of America’s story. This month-long celebration, initiated by Harvard-educated historian Carter G. Woodson in 1925, was created to acknowledge the ignored contributions from artists and activists, academics and craftsmen, writers and poets, and people in service.

In the past year, there has been profound awareness and development of the Black Lives Matter movement as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the nation bringing the need for continued work to light. Let’s take time to celebrate the important people, events and achievements that have touched Black history and continue to do so. While most live events have gone virtual due to the ongoing pandemic, there are still activities to be enjoyed while many we offer are to view from wherever you may be.

Editor's Note: Please wear a mask and keep a physical distance of at least six feet while riding the trains or at an in-person event. Before you travel on BART, use our Trip Planner to get estimated arrival and departure times. See BART's 15-step plan to safely welcoming riders here.

Black Panthers at Visit OaklandHistory of the Black Panthers is a strong part of Oakland's fabric. Photo courtesy of Stephen Shames.

Explore the Black Panther’s History in Oakland | Virtual

Take a trip through Oakland and view the locations of the Black Panther movement with a visit to Visit Oakland’s “Black Panther Party’s History in Oakland” online tour. Though the party formally disbanded in 1982, the legacy and presence remain in Oakland and across the nation to this day. In this tour, see the Bay Area locations where the party made local history.

Black Power at OMCAVirtually visit the Black Power exhibition at OMCA. Photo courtesy of OMCA.

Black Power at OMCA (through Feb. 28) | Virtual

Uncover the history of the Black Power movements in California with a compelling addition to the Gallery of California History at the Oakland Museum of California. In response to the widely popular 2016 exhibition All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, this new installation will illustrate the creative ways black anti-racist activists in California supported their communities and challenged the U.S. government. Focusing on the example of the Black Panther Party, Black Power will bring to light the tensions between a culturally and socially progressive California and examples of economic racism and oppression in the state. While the museum remains closed due to the pandemic, the exhibition has been made available to be viewed online.

African DiasporaView Art of the African Diaspora all month long virtually and in-person. Photo courtesy of Hunger TV. 

Richmond Art Center | Art of the African Diaspora (begins Feb. 11) | Virtual and in-person

Art of the African Diaspora is a group exhibition featuring work by over 110 artists of African descent highlighting their work, bios and artist statements. This year the exhibition will be a hybrid online/in-person series of events at venues throughout the Bay Area with the online exhibition to run Feb. 11 through to May 16. For full list of events, locations and activities, visit Art of the African Diaspora and Richmond Art Center.

Black Joy ParadeBlack Joy Parade celebrates this year with a series of experiences. Photo courtesy of Black Joy Parade.

Black Joy Parade | Virtual and in-person

The fourth annual Black Joy Parade won’t take place as it has traditionally by heading down Broadway in Oakland this year but offers up a different kind of celebrating through a series of experiences. Check out their website that offers a place to shop and support Black owned businesses, go to an online workshop or even go on a Treasure Hunt (safely and only with your bubble). As the month progresses, activities and new experiences will be added to the celebration recognizing the black experience past, present, and future.

Micheal Morgan Oakland SymphonyMichael Morgan, Music Director of the Oakland Symphony, plays the harpsichord at his home. Photo courtesy of Paul Chinn for The Chronicle.

Events that celebrate and honor Black Culture | Virtual and in-person

While researching Black History Month offerings for our BARTable readers, the discovery of numerous sites with events to honor and celebrate all month long were found to be abundant. In addition to those listed above, Eventbrite has curated a collection of events to energize, educate, and entertain, while also showcasing Black excellence in its many forms; food, film, comedy, music, literature, and more.

The San Francisco Chronicle Datebook has also published a listing of Bay Area Black History Month events and celebrations, both virtual and in-person, offering something for everyone to learn and honor the past and present. As an added treat, if you haven’t seen American Poet, Amanda Gorman, present her “The Hill We Climb” poem at last month’s Presidential inauguration, please take a moment to view it here and enjoy!

How are you honoring Black History Month?

Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (virtual) events, places to eat (grab take out from) and have fun (outside) around the Bay.

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