Wednesday, February 27, 2013

African American History: Beyond the Month of February

The California African American Museum currently has African American
Military Portraits from the American Civil War.
Pictured: Unidentified African American Soldier in Union uniform with
wife and two daughters. From Library of Congress.
February may be African American History Month, but this doesn't mean that you can't continue the exploration of African American history, stories, and culture throughout the year.  Check out these events and destinations to keep the experience going!

  • American Theatre Experience at Center Theatre Group - Join Center Theatre Group this spring for the African-American Theatre Experience! Center Theatre Group celebrates art and culture with an inspiring combination of live theatre including:
    • Apr 24 - June 9: August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, directed by Phylicia Rashad
    • Apr 25 - May 5: Fela!, back by popular demand with Michelle Williams from Destiny's Child
    • Apr 28 - June 2: The Royale - a world premiere inspired by the legacy of Jack Johnson 
    • May 21 - June 3: The Scottsboro Boys, Kander and Ebb's final song and dance.
  • California African American Museum (CAAM) - Current CAAM exhibitions include "Sampling the Microscopic Artwork of Willard Wigan" (through March 17th); "Go Tell it on the Mountain" (through April 7th); "African American Military Portraits from the American Civil War" (through April 14th). In addition to the museum gallery exhibitions, CAAM also has some great programs, including books signings, film screenings, discussions/interviews, performances, and workshops. Open year-round with FREE admission.  
  • Dreamgirls - DOMA Theatre Company opens its second all-musical season with Dreamgirls at The MET Theatre.  The hit musical features the story of a black girl group making it in the music industry as they struggle with the challenges of their rising stardom and their musical and cultural identities.  Runs until April 7th
  • The Ethical Dimensions of Medical Discovery: Lessons from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - A Lecture by Rebecca Skloot - Rebecca Skloot, award-winning science writer and author of the debut book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, discusses her work in this lecture at USC Health Science Campus.  Her book "tells the story of a young black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951, and left behind an inexplicably immortal line of cells known as HeLa."  These cells were harvested without her (or her family's) knowledge or consent, but have contributed to scientific research and advancement.  Occurs April 4th at 4PM.
  • Be Young, Gifted, and Black - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun) comes to life in this play featuring selections from her plays, diaries, lectures, and letters.  Runs through March 17th. 
  • Voices - Griot Theatre of West Valley presents Les Weider's Voices.  In this play, Lena, with her Black Nationalist upbringing, struggles with having a relationship with a white man.  Her struggles become further complicated as she explores the National Archive's recordings of emancipated slaves. Previews March 21-22. Runs on select dates March 23-April 14th
-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Editor 

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