Thursday, January 23, 2014
Berkeley Black History Month Celebration
Having successfully produced twenty-seven Juneteenth Festivals, Berkeley Juneteenth Association, Inc. (BJAI) will expand its reach by hosting the First Annual Black History Month Celebration in Berkeley on Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 1:00-6:00pm at the Berkeley Community Theater.
Admission is free and open to the public.
The theme is HARAMBEE! A COMMUNITY COMING TOGETHER: AFRICAN, THEN AMERICAN. The music of artists Kev Choice, Zulu Spear, Afrofunk Experience, and Akayaa Atule will be woven into the edu-tainment musical which will include poetry, drums, song, dance, video, and narrative. Berkeley filmmaker Doug Harris will present an excerpt from his current documentary film entitled FAIR LEGISLATION: The Byron Rumford Story, about Northern California's first Black Assemblyman from Berkeley. The film presentation will take a close look at Berkeley's Black history from a socio-economic and political perspective. Some of the documentary's cast include: Elihu Harris (former assemblyman and Oakland mayor), Belva Davis (news reporter and political journalist), Jerri Lange (television host and author), and William Rumford Jr. (Byron Rumford's son), all of who grew up in Berkeley. Berkeley civic icons will also be honored with civil rights awards.
Programming at the First Annual Black History Month event is a collaboration with the following organizations: Berkeley NAACP; Berkeley High School -African American Studies Department; Peace & Justice Commission; Parents of Children of African Descent(PCAD), and Berkeley Unified School District. Event sponsors are the City of Berkeley and Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union.
BJAI was established in 1986 for the purpose of celebrating Juneteenth in Berkeley and "to promote greater societal growth and community cohesiveness in the City of Berkeley and surrounding environs through educating and involving people of color in historical, family, economic business, and cultural activities.” With the addition of Black History Month, BJAI will now host two yearly events in February and in June. This year’s 28th annual Berkeley Juneteenth Festival will be held on Sunday June 15, 2014.
For more information about the Black History Month Celebration or the Berkeley Juneteenth Festival