California African American Museum: Examination and celebration of Black Creativity, History, and Futures!

Public Programs

Thursday, February 4 | 5:00–6:30 p.m.

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019

In Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, editors Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain have assembled an extraordinary chorus of voices that includes ninety writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period in the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present. Join Kendi, a National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author, and Blain, an award-winning historian, editor, and president of the African American Intellectual History Society, along with contributors UCLA Assistant Professor Kyle Mays and Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University Martha Jones, as they discuss this new book and the importance of community history.

RSVP for Zoom instructions.


Tuesday, February 9 | 5:00–6:30 p.m.

Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll 

In Black Diamond Queens, Maureen Mahon documents the history of African American women in rock and roll between the 1950s and the 1980s. Join Mahon, Associate Professor in the Department of Music at New York University; Daphne Brooks, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Music at Yale University; Gayle Wald, Professor of American Studies at George Washington University; and visual artist Nikita Gale as they discuss the book and the ways in which the history of performance impacts the CAAM exhibition, Nikita Gale: PRIVATE DANCER. 

RSVP for Zoom instructions.


Wednesday, February 17 | 4:00–4:45 p.m.

Family Story Time and Collage Workshop

Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. highlights the groundbreaking creativity of several men who made their mark in the world of music, including Kendrick Lamar, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. In conjunction with the exhibition, CAAM is partnering with the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) to present a family story time and workshop. Enjoy a virtual peek inside the exhibition then celebrate another revolutionary man of music, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, through a librarian-led reading of his award-winning autobiographical picture book, Trombone Shorty. Next, learn how to make your own autobiographical collage. Tune into the LAPL's Facebook Live and YouTube Live channels to join.

RSVP for access instructions.


Thursday, February 18 | 4:00–5:30 p.m.

In Conversation: Quincy Troupe and Erin Aubry Kaplan on Miles Davis

Writers Quincy Troupe and Erin Aubry Kaplan discuss the life and music of trumpeter Miles Davis—one of American music’s most brilliant and influential figures—who is featured in the exhibition Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. Troupe, who collaborated with Davis on Miles: The Autobiography and also authored the candid memoir Miles & Me, is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, and former editor of Black Renaissance Noire. Kaplan is a contributing writer to the New York Times opinion page and a former weekly op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

RSVP for Zoom instructions.


Monday, February 22 | 4:00–5:30 p.m.

Talib Kweli: Vibrate Higher

Before Talib Kweli became a world-renowned Hip-Hop artist, he was a Brooklyn kid who liked to cut class, spit rhymes, and wander the streets of Greenwich Village with a motley crew of artists, rappers, and DJs. He was part of the first generation to grow up with Hip-Hop as established culture, complete with its own pantheon of heroes, rich history, and distinct worldview. Kweli returns to CAAM to discuss his candid memoir, Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story, which illuminates his upbringing and artistic success, while also giving life to Hip-Hop as a political force—one that galvanized the Movement for Black Lives and serves as a continual channel for Black resistance.

RSVP for Zoom instructions.


Thursday, February 25 | 4:00–5:30 p.m.

Screening: Body and Soul

Oscar Devereaux Micheaux, a pioneer of African American cinema, produced more than forty films during the dawn of the 20th century, including Body and Soul (1925). The silent film features the acclaimed stage actor and activist Paul Robeson. This new digital restoration, which is included in the Pioneers of African American Cinema collection, has been produced by the artist Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, who also contributed a new score for the 2015 re-release. This online screening of Body and Soul is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Enunciated Life, which includes work by Steffani Jemison, an artist whose practice is in dialogue with Micheaux’s films.

RSVP for screening instructions.


Saturday, February 27 | 2:00–3:30 p.m.

Men of Change: A Healing Circle

Conclude Black History Month with this interactive healing circle by and for Black men and masculine-identifying folks. During a short presentation, guided meditation, and discussion, participants will interrogate and deconstruct limiting cultural blueprints and psychological conditioning, and advocate for a world of heart-centered, compassionate, and connected Black men who have access to all parts of themselves. This healing circle is led by Gregory Reimoku Smith, a member of Black Boys OM Inc. and a Zen Buddhist disciple, and is presented in partnership with The Culture LP. Programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth.

RSVP for Zoom instructions.


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