Best Ways To Celebrate Black History Month 2013 In The East Bay

February 4, 2013 5:00 AM
Black History Month 2013 in the East Bay means celebrations of the lives and achievements of many individuals. Black success stories include chefs like Sarah Kirnon and vintners, international documentary subjects and dancer, actor and activist Josephine Baker to a pioneering female journalist for the Oakland Tribune. Get your dose of black history with any of these suggestions. The experience will be priceless.

African Film Festival
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 642-0808

Dates: Now through Feb. 5

The annual African Film Festival hosted by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive presents contemporary documentaries and features about Africa and the African diaspora including some works of fiction and psuedo-fiction. Some directors use the sociological style of telling a larger political story through the experience of one individual while others take a broader approach. Director Clemente Bicocchi in “Black Africa, White Marble” tells the story of an Italian-born explorer of Central Africa using archive material and animation. Guetty Felin in “Broken Stones” observes life resuming to the ruins of a once-beautiful cathedral after the earthquake in Haiti. Charlie Vundla of South Africa directed a film noir caper called “How to Steal Two Million.” Ahmad Abdalla of Egypt with “Microphone” filmed the street world of skateboarders, musicians and artists.

Related: Best Venues to Catch Dinner and a Concert in the East Bay

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Oakland’s Ronald Dellums Federal Building, as seen on the tour (Credit, Cindy Warner)

New Era, New Politics Walking Tour
Starts at African American Museum and Library
659 14th St.
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 238-3234

Dates: Feb. 6 and Feb. 23

The City of Oakland walking tours will include a special route called “New Era, New Politics.” The City of Oakland tour features Josephine Baker, Delilah Beasley, Lionel Wilson and the Dellums family, among others, who all influenced the SF Bay Area and California. Beasley worked for the Oakland Tribune as a columnist, the first black woman to be published regularly in a major paper. Beasley wrote about black pioneers in California in her books “Slavery in California” (1918) and “The Negro Trail Blazers of California” (1919). Beasley used the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley for research about blacks in California history, discovering through diaries, biographies, photographs, legislation, court cases and conversations with pioneers. She never married but wrote about women’s clubs, social events, churches, literary societies and politics, promoting a positive image of blacks.

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Chef Sarah Kirnon and partner Sajad Shaterian opened Miss Ollie’s in Old Oakland in December 2012 (Credit, Cindy Warner)

The Oakland Jazz Brunch
SF Noir hosting at Miss Ollie’s
Old Oakland
901 Washington St.
(510) 285-6188
Oakland, CA 94607

Date: Feb. 24 

The Oakland Jazz Brunch by SF Noir will be part of SF Noir’s food festival for Black History Month. SF Noir celebrants of American culture and avid foodies will visit the East Bay, home to a restaurant renaissance as well as black and southern eateries. SF Noir hosts at the brand new Miss Ollie’s in picturesque Old Oakland. Join the jazz brunch with chef and founder Sarah Kirnon, who recently opened her Caribbean restaurant across from District Wine Bar, the SF bar’s new location in Oakland. Executive chef Sarah Kirnon, originally from Barbados, comes from The Front Porch in San Francisco which serves soul food.

Related: Best Free Art Activities On The Peninsula

Black History Month Showcase
African American Student Development

247 Cesar Chavez Student Center
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 643-0442

UC Berkeley’s African American Student Development center hosts a Black History Month Showcase on campus. If you love live performances, members of the San Francisco Bay Area community showcase black struggles, accomplishments and expression with creativity. Highlights of black culture are shown through the fashion show, drama, dance, music and spoken word. It’s educational entertainment.

Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on

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