San Francisco Museums Celebrate Black History Month With a Series of Virtual Events

More than a month.

During Black History Month, museums across the state highlight special programing on Black representation in the arts, history and culture. Some, however, dedicate their space to honoring that experience year round.

According to 7×7, the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco sees every month as an opportunity to engage with the wide diversity of histories and culture representing the peoples of the African Diaspora. “The events at MoAD this month especially will build upon the roughly 170 digital programs the museum has hosted since it closed its physical doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A huge difference,” Dr. Elizabeth Gessel, Director of Public Programs, observes, “is that even though we’ve always been a museum that attracted people and tourists from out of town, you still had to physically be in the location to attend the programs.” Now that the virtual programs reach many viewers outside of the United States, however, “that’s another level of accessibility. In some ways it allows us to fulfill our mission as a museum of African Diaspora in a way that we never were able to before.”

“Two series are this month’s focus at MoAD. First up on February 16th is “Blatant”—a forum hosted by guest curator Ashara Ekundayo in conversation with Yoruba Richen and Maori Holmes—to provide “a conversation, in many ways, that is for and about Black people.” It is one way, Gessel continues, that MoAD seeks to build community and advance its mission “to have challenging conversations and to push people to think about things in a harder and deeper way.” Richen will also join the African Diaspora Film Club on February 21st for a discussion of her recent film, How it Feels to be Free, a documentary telling the story of six iconic African-American female entertainers. Turning MoAD’s viewing events into book club–style discussions is one of the many ways that MoAD is diving deeper at this time.”

Read more about Black History Month-related events in San Francisco here.

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