Updated February 1, 2022 - 10:55 am
From art exhibits to cultural programs and even a softball game and a fish fry, this year’s celebration of Black History Month is as varied as Southern Nevada’s African American community. Here are a few of the ways in which Black History Month will be celebrated around the valley.
The legendary Tuskegee Airmen are being honored in “Blanket of Protection,” an exhibit at Left of Center Gallery in North Las Vegas. Artists include Harold Bradford, Lolita Develay (whose father was a Tuskegee Airman) and Joseph Watson. The exhibit runs through March 26 at the gallery, 2207 W. Gowan Road. For more information, visit leftofcenterart.org.
Broadway in the H.O.O.D will present “The Color Purple – The Musical” Friday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 5, at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. Performances will be at the West Las Vegas Library Performing Arts Center, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Admission is free, and the show begins at 7 p.m. For more information, call 702-507-3989.
“Seeing/Seen,” an exhibition at UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art curated by Las Vegas writer Erica Vital-Lazare, combines found images, slides, videos and photos to explore, according to the museum, “the contemporary and historical presence of Black women in their joy, leisure, work, resilience, and infinite spaces of memory and possibility.” It runs until Feb. 26.
The Mob Museum will host a panel discussion, “Leaders in Law: Celebrating Nevada’s Black Legal Trailblazers,” Tuesday, Feb. 1. The program begins at 7 p.m. at the museum, 300 Stewart Ave. Seats were sold out at press time, but the program also is to be livstreamed. For more information, visit themobmuseum.org.
Music and dance
Stop the Madness Productions is presenting “The Razzle Dazzle of the Cotton Club and the Moulin Rouge Era,” a program of music and dance from the ’20s through the ’60s, Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65 ($45 for those 55 and older) and can be obtained by calling 702-278-0340.
“A Focus on Portraits,” an African American Heritage Exhibition featuring the work of Las Vegas artists, will run through April 14 at the Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery, 495 S. Main St., second floor. The exhibition, which features the work of several Las Vegas artists, is free and open to the public. For information, visit ArtsLasVegas.org or call 702-229-ARTS (2787).
The African American Trailblazer Service Awards, which honors African American leaders who have made significant contributions to the city, will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1. The ceremony will be in the Las Vegas City Hall chambers, 495 S. Main St. (second floor). The event is free and open to the public, but an advance RSVP is required by calling Hallema Bailey West at 702-229-3401.
The Sixth Annual Generation-2-Generation Old School Ball Game is scheduled for noon on Saturday, Feb. 5, at Kianga Isoke Palacio Park, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. This year’s softball game will feature the youth of East Palo Alto Pitching taking on a group of adults. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served, and the game is free and open to the public. For more information, call Savonta Manor at 702-229-1642 or Stephanie Lowery at 702-229-6125.
Art gallery reception
A Feb. 17 reception will be held to celebrate exhibits at the Sahara West Library galleries: “Obsidian and Neon: Building Black Life and Identity in Las Vegas” by Erica Vital-Lazare and Jeff Scheid; “Have a Seat in my Chair” by New Vista Ranch; and “Bold and Beautiful” by Lee Lanier. Guests will be able to meet the artists at the reception, which will run from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara Ave.
A Good Time Catfish Fry is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at Doolittle Senior Center, 1930 N. J St. Cost is $10 per lunch per person. Space is limited, so register in advance at 702-229-6125.
The second annual “Sharing the History of Black Firefighters in Southern Nevada” a multi-jurisdictional celebration of the contributions Black firefighters have made to the valley, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at Doolittle Senior Center, 1930 N. J St. The program will include a 30-minute educational forum, unveiling of a photo exhibit and unguided tours of the photo gallery. Refreshments will be served during the forum. Free. For more information, call 702-229-6125.
A VIP and Me Dance will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St. The event is recommended for, but not limited to, children ages 4 to 11 and their adult VIPs. Participants are encouraged to dress in their fanciest outfits for the event. The cost is $20 per couple and $10 for each additional child.
The 43rd annual Mid-Day Inspirational Showcase and Luncheon, featuring singing, dancing, poetry and guest speakers, will be held Feb. 15 at the West Las Vegas Library Theatre, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. The free showcase will begin at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. A soul food brunch at Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St., will follow. Luncheon tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 702-229-6125 until Feb. 8.
“Supreme Diva: A Diana Ross Tribute,” featuring vocalist Alyssa Harris and songs from Ross’ Motown days through her feature film days, is scheduled for Feb. 18. The show is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. at Summerlin Library, 1771 Inner Circle Drive.
Entries for this year’s Heart of Black History student essay/media contest are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 18. Entrants may write an essay, submit a storyboard, or create a diorama, painting or PowerPoint presentation to highlight the person from Black history who has most inspired them. Free and open to students ages 5 to 18. For more information and entry form, call the East Las Vegas Community Center at 702-229-1515.
The ninth annual Black Weekend: Kemet in the Desert Lecture Series, in recognition of Black History Month, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, and Saturday, Feb. 19, at the West Las Vegas Library Theatre, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Dr. Jollie Harris, Friday’s keynote speaker, will discuss “God’s Way to Heal a Virus.” Saturday’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Anthony “Tony” Browder, who will discuss “Remembering the Giants: John Henrik Clarke, Frances Cress Welsing, Asa G. Hillard and Patricia Newton.” There also will be a tribute to Dr. Runoko Rashidi. Free. For more information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787) or visit ArtsLasVegas.org.
Youth talent showcase
Talented local youths and young adults will perform in the Night of Expressions Youth Talent Showcase, scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 19 at Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza, 720 Twin Lakes Drive. Participants will include singers, dancers and spoken word artists. Free.
A Sankofa Communiversity Program about the contributions of the father of Black history, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 26 at the West Las Vegas Arts Center, 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd. For more information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787) or visit ArtsLasVegas.org.
Contemporary West Dance Theatre will present works by African American choreographers Bernard H. Gaddis, founder and artistic director of the company, Avree Walker, Ulysses Dove and Milton Myers at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the West Las Vegas Library, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd.
Vegas City Opera will present “Voices of Women: Maya Angelou — Caged Bird,” an examination of the artistry and influence of poet and activist Maya Angelou. The presentation will include music and poetry, as well as work from local poets influenced by her work. The free program begins at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 at Summerlin Library, 1771 Inner Circle Drive, and 2 p.m. Feb. 27 at West Charleston Library, 6301 W. Charleston Blvd.