Celebrate Black History Month With These Cultural Happenings in San Francisco
San Francisco will celebrate Black History Month with an exciting slate of events to commemorate the contributions of African-Americans within our city, across our nation, and throughout our history. Plan ahead, purchase tickets, and gather your friends to take part in all of the excitement here in San Francisco and the East Bay. If your calendar is already looking full, don't worry; you can plan an excursion of your own to experience San Francisco's Black culture any time of year.
Exhibitions & Conversations
Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) (685 Mission St.)
MoAD is currently housing four incredible exhibitions by Black artists.
Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks, is the premier museum solo exhibition for Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo. This collection is a timely exploration into the varying strategies that Boafo uses to capture the essence of the Black figure.
Thread for a Web Begun, Billie Zangewa’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition, includes examples of the artist’s work from the past 15 years, as well as new pieces made specifically for this show. Zangewa’s labor-intensive silk tapestries deal with identity, gender, and skin tone.
Vincent Miranda: Florida jitt is the final presentation of the 2019-2020 Emerging Artists Program. Raised in a white and Afro-Latinx household in southern Florida, Miranda’s work explores the embodied tension of being caught between multiple cultural identities.
Lastly, MoAD is proud to display Sam Vernon: Impasse of Desires, a site-specific installation in which Vernon drapes the first-floor gallery and lobby of the museum with sheets of colored fabric and creates a constellation of made and found images.
MoAD will also be hosting film screenings, concerts, and spoken word performances. Some are live events and others are virtual. Visit their website for full details.
Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak St.)
Catch Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism before it closes on Feb. 27. This awe-inspiring exhibition showcases the art, film, literature, and music that imagine a future where Black ideas, identity, and culture are an essential part of progress toward a better world. You can also see the Oakland Museum's acclaimed Black Power exhibition, which tells the story of the Black Panthers and other California-based groups who fought for justice and racial equality in the late 20th century.
San Francisco Public Library (100 Larkin St.)
The San Francisco Public Library champions black history and culture with special music, dance, crafts and storytelling events at every branch in the city. “More Than a Month” features more than 80 film screenings and literary events, interactive events for teens and hands-on activities for all ages. For full details visit www.sfpl.org/more-than-a-month.
SFJAZZ: Jazz and Social Justice
A group of visionary Bay Area artists bring themes of immigration, incarceration and racial inequality into focus during this inspiring week of new works. See Destiny Muhammad on Feb. 3, Diana Gameros of Feb. 4, the Jaz Sawyer Quarter on Feb. 5, and Jon Jangtet with Paul Flores on Feb. 6.
Explore & Tour
The African-American Freedom Trail (Various Locations)
The African-American Freedom Trail tells how African-American pioneers in San Francisco changed the world. Learn about the legacies of great African-American figures such as Capt. William Alexander Leidesdorff, Mary Ellen Pleasant, Sargent Johnson and Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett. Tours are offered almost daily during February or you can take a self-guided tour of the trail.
Black History at Oracle Park (24 Willie Mays Plaza)
Baseball fans and non-sports fans alike can celebrate Black History Month right outside of Oracle Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants and hall of famers like Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. Visitors will be welcomed with a nine-foot bronze sculpture of Willie Mays at the entrance of Oracle Park and can stroll along McCovey Cove to find another larger-than-life sized statue of Willie McCovey. If you're curious to explore the ins and outs of Oracle Park, you can take a behind-the-scenes ballpark tour, offered daily.
Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (750 Howard St.)
At Yerba Buena Gardens, you'll find the United States' second largest Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. Visitors will find photos and quotes etched in glass panels that represents important moments in civil rights history, as well as a 50-foot-wide cascading waterfall commemorating the civil rights leader.