Gospel music and a parade are just a few of the activities on tap this February in recognition of African-American History Month.
California State University, Bakersfield will hold its second-annual Gospel Fest on Friday in recognition of African-American History Month. The free event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Icardo Center on Stockdale Highway.
Some of the churches that will be performing are Ebenezer Baptist Church, Greater Harvest Christian Center, Pleasant View Baptist Church and the Southwest Christian Center.
A local theater is also recognizing Black History Month with free movie screenings. The first is this Saturday, when Maya Cinemas, 1000 California Ave., will show the movie “42,” based on the real-life story of African-American baseball star Jackie Robinson. Screenings are at noon.
On Feb. 12, representatives from 25 historically black colleges and universities will visit Bakersfield College from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide information to students about the schools.
Bakersfield College will host a discussion on Feb. 20 titled "Transforming Policing: Bridging the Racial Divide" in the Fireside Room from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Criminal Justice Professor Tommy Tunson, will moderate the discussion, which will be attended by Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin and McFarland Chief Scott Kimble. Ron Seldon, a commander with the California Highway Patrol, as well as local Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Jose Moreno and Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman will also participate.
Maya Cinemas will continue its free movie screenings with a showing of “The Color Purple” on Feb. 17. The film tells the story of an African American woman living in the South who experiences racism and abuse.
On Feb. 24, the city will have it’s Black American History Parade at 10 a.m. The parade starts at 21st and V streets. Awards for the top entries will be given out following the parade at 20th and P streets. Food vendors and information booths will also be located there.
Maya Cinemas’ last showing of the month will also be on the 24th. The theater will screen “The Help,” a movie about a woman who interviews black women who serve white families.
Bakersfield College will hold one last discussion on Feb. 27 with Horace Mitchell, president of CSU Bakersfield, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the college’s Fireside Room.
“Bakersfield College encourages students and the public to celebrate African American History Month in February, and to help promote the awareness of African American heritage and history,” the college said in a press release.