The Guide to Black History Month Events in Los Angeles

LA events and cultural attractions are celebrating Black History Month throughout February

Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé and Anika Noni Rose in "Dreamgirls"
"Dreamgirls" (2006) | Photo: Academy Museum

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their important role in U.S. history. The event was originally the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Following is a list of Los Angeles events and cultural institutions participating in Black History Month.


Presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), African American Heritage Month is a City of Los Angeles cultural celebration that runs concurrently with Black History Month. Many DCA events are included in the Black HIstory Month list - for a complete schedule of African American Heritage Month online and in-person events, visit the DCA website.

Bahia Reverb: Artists and Place - Art + Practice (through March 2, 2024)

Founded by artist Mark Bradford, philanthropist and collector Eileen Harris Norton, and community activist Allan DiCastro, Art + Practice (A+P) is a nonprofit foundation based in Leimert Park Village. A+P supports the needs of South LA foster youth and provides the community with access to museum-curated contemporary art.

As part of a five-year collaboration with the California African American Museum, A+P presents Bahia Reverb: Artists and Place, now on view through March 2. Bahia Reverb features the work of ten former fellows at the Sacatar Institute in Bahia, Brazil - all from North America and of African descent - to reflect on how Bahia, an epicenter of the African diaspora, has fueled their work and changed their understanding of themselves.

KAOS Kids | Photo: Eventbrite

KAOS Kids - Leimert Park (February 2024)

KAOS Kids creative space is held on Saturdays and one Sunday a month during the Leimert Park ArtWalk. Taking place from 2pm to 5pm, it's an afternoon filled with fun and educational activities for the whole family! Sankofa City is a community design project that aims to envision the future of urban spaces, such as Leimert Park, through technology, STEM, transportation, and culture.

Free admission, RSVP at Eventbrite.

Los Angeles Public Library (February 2024)

In collaboration with DCA, numerous branches of the Los Angeles Public Library are presenting events for African American Heritage Month, including Book Club readings, movie screenings, arts & crafts, and panel discussions.

Highlights of in-person and online events hosted by the historic Central Library in Downtown LA include:

  • SBA Resources for Black-Owned Businesses (YouTube, Feb. 7)
  • Quotes on a Tote Vinyl Cutter Demo (Feb. 10)
  • Virtual Film Discussion: "Chameleon Street" (Kanopy/Zoom, Feb. 13)
  • Genealogy Garage: California Reparations (YouTube, Feb. 16)
  • World Cinema Series: "Beat the Drum" (Feb. 17)
  • Martin Miller's Drums (Feb. 17)

For a complete list of events, visit the LAPL Calendar.

"Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit" at the GRAMMY Museum
"Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit" | Photo: GRAMMY Museum

"Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit" - GRAMMY Museum (through Sep. 4, 2024)

The GRAMMY Museum celebrates the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit. Now on view through September 4, the 5,000 square-foot exhibit delves deep into the world of hip-hop through expansive exhibits on hip-hop music, dance, graffiti, fashion, business, activism and history, providing visitors with an immersive experience that explores the profound impact and influence of hip-hop culture.

On display is an incredible array of artifacts, including the Notorious B.I.G.’s iconic red leather pea jacket, LL Cool J’s red Kangol bucket hat, Slick Rick’s rose gold eye patch, bejeweled crown, and handwritten lyrics for “Children’s Story”; and much more. Additionally, the exhibit features a one-of-a-kind Sonic Playground, featuring five interactive stations that invite visitors of all ages to unleash their creativity through DJing, rapping and sampling.

InFocus: Black Cinema - South Park Center (Feb. 10, 2024)

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) hosts its February Monthly Film Festival and annual InFocus: Black Cinema program, spotlighting Black stories and emerging Black talent in front of and behind the camera. Taking place at the South Park Center on Saturday, February 10, the festival also features a selection of short film highlights from NFMLA’s ongoing monthly program; and the LA premiere of Michael Lewis Foster’s feature narrative, To Fall In Love.

Exterior of the African American Firefighter Museum in Downtown LA
African American Firefighter Museum | Photo: @LAFDTalk, X
Exhibits at the African American Firefighter Museum
Photo: African American Firefighter Museum, Facebook

Sundays at the African American Firefighter Museum (February 2024)

Every Sunday, the whole family is invited to enjoy an afternoon at the African American Firefighter Museum, with special surprises for future firefighters!

Take a 40-minute guided tour filled with stories and little-known details about the African American firefighter legacy in Los Angeles. Explore the grounds of historic Fire Station No. 30, which operated as a segregated firehouse from 1924 to 1955. Experience a real fire truck up close and enjoy a Kid’s Corner creative space and fun photo ops.

Free admission, RSVP at Eventbrite.

"Here: Arts & Culture Along the K" at the Museum of African American Art
"Here: Arts & Culture Along the K" | Photo: MAAA

"Here: Arts & Culture Along the K" - MAAA (through Feb. 24, 2024)

The Museum of African American Art (MAAA) is a hidden gem located at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The nonprofit museum exhibits the work of world-renowned artists as well as emerging local artists, while ensuring that its art experiences are free and accessible to the public.

The museum is currently exhibiting in a temp space across from TJ Maxx on Level 2 of the mall. On view through February 24, Here: Arts & Culture Along the K is a multimedia art exhibition that showcases the art program of the Metro K Line.

"Stories of Sugar Hill" map of West Adams
"Stories of Sugar Hill" map of West Adams | Photo: DCA

Stories of Sugar Hill - West Adams (Feb. 13, 2024)

Presented by FORT, Stories of Sugar Hill is a seven-stop self-guided Trail map accompanied by in-depth research that celebrates the influential legends, icons and trailblazers of West Adams’ Black history. This project supports the neighborhood’s efforts in collecting, archiving, and sharing the stories of West Adams by working with residents of the area. The experience is told through the neighborhood’s historic and unique architecture and is led by narrative accounts and reflections of the residents themselves.

The accompanying map and research will be accessible for download at 9am on Tuesday, February 13 on the FORT website. Participants can log onto the website and download the material for FREE, and take the self-guided tour at their leisure.

2024 Black History Month Festival at Pan Pacific Park
Black History Month Festival | Photo: Open Arms Food Pantry and Resource Center

Black History Month Festival - Pan Pacific Park (Feb. 18, 2024)

Open Arms Food Pantry and Resource Center presents the 8th Annual Black History Month Festival, taking place from 11am to 6pm on Sunday, February 18 at Pan Pacific Park. This year's event will highlight "Children & Family" as well as focus on the "Health & Wellness" of the African American Community. Along with headliner RoJames and other live performances, the festival will feature an African marketplace, concessions and a community forum on topics that affect health, mental health and other issues related to the African American community.

Free admission, RSVP/donate to Open Arms at Eventbrite.

Zimkhitha Nyoka in "Vaya"
Zimkhitha Nyoka in "Vaya" (2016) | Photo: Academy Museum
Denzel Washington in "Malcolm X"
Denzel Washington in "Malcolm X" (1992) | Photo: Academy Museum

Echoes of Africa & Oscar Sundays - Academy Museum (February 2024)

Presented in partnership with the NAACP, the Academy Museum invites you to embark on a cinematic voyage through time! Programmed by filmmaker Mo Abudu, Echoes of Africa sweeps audiences into Africa’s diverse histories at pivotal junctures by weaving together a tapestry of African experiences, triumphs, dreams and realities.

Screening in the Ted Mann Theater from February 1-9, the films featured in Echoes of Africa range from poignant narratives of unwavering love and resilience to gripping sagas of individual victory.

  • The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (Feb. 1)
  • Sambizanga (Feb. 2)
  • This is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (Feb. 3)
  • Timbuktu (Feb. 7)
  • Vaya (Feb. 9)

Taking place every Sunday evening in the David Geffen Theater, Oscar Sundays is an ongoing series that celebrates films that have been recognized at the Academy Awards.

February screenings include:

  • Malcolm X in 4K (Feb. 4)
  • Dreamgirls in 35mm (Feb. 11)
  • Ray in 35mm (Feb. 18)
  • 12 Years a Slave with Steve McQueen (Feb. 25)

Tickets to Echoes of Africa and Oscar Sundays are on sale at the Academy Museum website.

Martin Luther King Jr. and others marching in Selma, Alabama ca. 1965
L to R: John Lewis, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Rev. Martin Luther King, Ralph Bunche, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Selma, Alabama | Photo: ©1965 Matt Herron, Courtesy CDEA

"This Light of Ours" - Skirball Cultural Center (through Feb. 25, 2024)

Now on view at the Skirball Cultural Center through February 25, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement exhibits more than 150 images taken by nine Civil Rights Movement photographers of various ethnic, racial, religious, and geographic backgrounds who documented not only highly visible events but also day-to-day organizing across the South. Primarily associated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), these photographers captured photos of everyday people working together within a broad and inclusive coalition of activists and allies to produce a revolution in social justice that still inspires civil rights efforts today.

"Black Cypress Bayou" at the Geffen Playhouse
"Black Cypress Bayou" | Photo: Geffen Playhouse

"Black Cypress Bayou" - Geffen Playhouse (opens Feb. 7, 2024)

On a hot summer night in Texas, Vernita Manifold summons her two daughters down to the bayou with a secret too big to keep. The richest, meanest man in town is dead, and the Manifold women know more than they’re saying. As secrets begin to surface, the bonds between the women, their town, and the legacy of their ancestors all come to a head. Making its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, Black Cypress Bayou is a hilarious, suspenseful story about loyalty, healing and comeuppance.

Poetry Uncut: Part II - The Nimoy (Feb. 10, 2024)

Presented by CAP UCLA, GRAMMY Award-winning artist J. Ivy hosts the second program in the Poetry Uncut series. Taking place at The Nimoy Theater in Westwood, the showcase includes performances by poet, activist and Pew Fellow Ursula Rucker; accompanied by electronic musician Wendel Patrick and Abiodun Oyewole, founding member of the legendary Harlem-based Last Poets. The evening opens with LA’s own Get Lit, a non-profit that encourages students to embrace their voice via poetry.

Poetry Uncut: Part III featuring Def Sound and Sunni Patterson at The Nimoy
Poetry Uncut: Part III featuring Def Sound and Sunni Patterson | Photo: CAP UCLA

Poetry Uncut: Part III - The Nimoy (Feb. 17, 2024)

Spoken-word artist J. Ivy hosts the third program in CAP UCLA's Poetry Uncut series, taking place at The Nimoy on Saturday, February 17. Born and raised in South Central LA, Def Sound traverses the worlds of hip-hop and poetry. Sunni Patterson explores the poetic and spiritual traditions of her native New Orleans. Get Lit opens with raucous spoken word. The evening is scored by Emmy Award-winning DJ Niena Drake.

Pan African Film & Arts Festival (Feb. 6-19, 2024)

Now in its 32nd year, the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) will take place in-person February 6-19 at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills & XD and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. PAFF is renowned as America’s largest Black History Month event and the largest Black film festival. Each year, the festival screens more than 200 films made by and/or about people of African descent from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Latin America, Europe and Canada, and increasingly Asia.

For the full slate of features and short films, visit the PAFF website.

The Kinsey Collection Experience at SoFi Stadium
The Kinsey Collection Experience | Photo: SoFi Stadium

The Kinsey Collection Experience - SoFi Stadium

Considered one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of its kind, the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection is the inspired work of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey.

Opened at SoFi Stadium in February 2022, the Kinsey Collection Experience is a 100,000 square-foot exhibition that features fine art, sculptures, photographs, rare books, and letters spanning the 16th century through the years of slavery and emancipation to the civil rights movement and the present day. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.

Gravely Celebration Experience at Battleship IOWA
Gravely Celebration Experience | Photo: Battleship IOWA

Battleship IOWA: Gravely Celebration Experience

There is no better place in Los Angeles to celebrate and commemorate the impact African Americans have had in the United States Navy and to this country than Battleship IOWA, located at the L.A. Waterfront in San Pedro. The “Battleship of Presidents” is the same ship where Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, the first African American to command a Navy warship, served during his illustrious Naval career.

Each year, local high school students are invited to the Gravely Celebration Experience - a special luncheon featuring a panel of diverse individuals discussing their inspirations and motivations to break through societal barriers and find success. The panel is moderated by Tanya Acker, co-host of CBS’ Hot Bench and host of The Tanya Acker Show podcast. The event includes a Q&A session during which students may directly engage the panel speakers. Participating students receive a free box lunch and beverage to enjoy during the panel.

2024 event info TBA.

African American Festival at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Photo: Aquarium of the Pacific

African American Festival - Aquarium of the Pacific (Feb. 24-25, 2024)

The Aquarium of the Pacific will host its 22nd annual African American Festival on Saturday and Sunday, February 24-25. Celebrating the richness and diversity of African American and African cultures, the weekend will feature live entertainment, arts & crafts, and more. Featured performances include hip hop and breakdancers, Mardi Gras second line dancers, live jazz, interactive drum circles, West African dance and cultural storytelling.

The festival is taking place from 9am to 5pm on both days and is included with paid General Admission and free to Aquarium members.