Feb 5, 2024 - Things to Do

Celebrate Black History Month in San Diego

Illustration of the state of California lit by red, green and yellow lights.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Check out events around San Diego throughout the month to honor, educate and celebrate Black history, life and culture.

Of note: We'll be adding to this list, so please send your recommendations.

ğŸŽ™ï¸ "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill"

Celebrate the life of jazz icon and blues singer Billie Holiday with a musical that puts the audience at her final cabaret show before her death in 1959.

  • When and where: Shows begin at 7pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2pm weekends at the Cygnet Theatre in Old Town through Feb. 18.
  • Cost: Tickets are $44+

ğŸŽ· Henry Threadgill's Dirt...And More Dirt

Composer and jazz legend Henry Threadgill will coach and perform excerpts from his album "Dirt...And More Dirt" with UC San Diego Music graduate students and faculty.

  • When and where: Feb. 6 at 8pm at Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater on campus.
  • Cost: Free, but RSVP here.
  • Plus, there are other Black culture events at UCSD.

🗣️ The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir

This concert features traditional and contemporary gospel music by a talented nonprofit group that raises money for educational grants for local performing-arts students.

ğŸŽ­ Generational Black Pioneers show

This multimedia theater performance, set in the 1960s, shares the stories of Oceanside's Black "firsts" in schools, politics and business.

🏳️‍🌈 Black History Drag Queen Storytime

Bring your kids to PRIDE storytime, featuring Friidae to celebrate Black history, diversity and individuality through age-appropriate stories and songs.

  • When and where: Feb. 17, 10:30-11:30am, at San Diego Public Library's Skyline Hills branch in Bay Terraces.
  • Cost: Free.

ğŸŽ¤ The Greatest Love of All

Enjoy Whitney Houston's greatest hits in this critically acclaimed tribute performed by Belinda Davids.

  • When and where: Feb. 22, 7:30pm, at the Epstein Family Amphitheater at UC San Diego.
  • Cost: Tickets are $20-$65.

ğŸŽ¶ Tribute to the Reggae Legends Festival

Immerse yourself in reggae at the 43rd annual event featuring local and international artists, including Johnny Clarke with the Soul Syndicate Band.

🏃🏿‍♀️ BLK LUV 5K

Run, walk or bike in celebration of Black love at a community 5K or 1.5-mile race and meetup from Fit, Black, and Educated, Inc.

  • When and where: The race and meetup are Feb. 25, 7:30-10am, at WorldBeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park. There's also a virtual option.
  • Cost: $15-$25.

📖 Fearing the Black Body Author Talk

Join author Sabrina Strings for a discussion of her book, "Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia," as part of the annual Black History Month author talk.

  • When and where: Feb. 25, 1-3pm, at San Diego Central Library, ninth-floor Shiley Special Events Suite.
  • Cost: Free, but register here.
  • Plus: Check out other Black History Month events for adults and kids sponsored by public libraries throughout the month.

Nathan Harrison: Born Enslaved, Died a San Diego Legend

Learn about the legendary African American San Diego homesteader Nathan Harrison through this interactive and virtual exhibit.

  • When and where: The exhibition is at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park, open Wednesdays-Sundays, 10am-5pm.
  • Cost: Free, but donations are encouraged.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios San Diego.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More San Diego stories

No stories could be found

San Diegopostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios San Diego.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more