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February marks Black History Month In an effort to educate all people about the vast contributions made by African American men and women throughout history, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson originated Negro History Week in 1926. He selected the second week of February as two prominent figures in African American history – Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln – were born in that month. In 1976, the event was extended to a full month and Black History Month was born. Below is a sampling of Black History Month events in Oakland throughout February. An * after the event name indicates free admission. All area codes are (510) unless otherwise indicated. For additional events and information, please visit oaklandnet.com/celebrations. New Era/New Politics Tour* Wednesday, Feb. 3, 10 to 11:30 a.m. African American Museum and Library at Oakland, 659 14th St. Highlights the African-American leaders who helped shape present-day Oakland. Learn how Lionel Wilson, Delilah Beasley, Byron Rumford and others changed the city and Bay Area. www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours or 238-3234

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Reclaiming Nature: A Panel Discussion with Outdoor Afro and Urban ReLeaf* Wednesday, Feb. 3, 4 to 6 p.m. Mills College Student Union, 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Rue Mapp and Kemba Shakur will discuss connections to the natural world and how blacks and people of color can claim and hold space in ensuring access and stewardship. http://www.mills.edu/academics/undergraduate/eths/blackhistorymonth.php or 430-2080

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26th Annual Celebration of African American Poets and their Poetry* Saturday, Feb. 6, 1 to 4 p.m. 6 p.m. West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St. Community members of all ages are invited to participate by reading poetry, performing, dancing and/or displaying works of art. This year’s theme is “#blacklivesmatter: The Politics of Blackness,” although all themes are welcome. If you’re interested in being featured, call 238-7352. http://oaklandlibrary.org/events/west-oakland-branch/26th-annualcelebration-african-american-poets-and-their-poetry or 238-7352

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The Walking Blues Tour (Oakland Blues Walk of Fame)* Saturday, Feb. 6, 2 to 4 p.m. West Oakland BART Station, 1451 7th St. (Meet at Center Street behind the station) Come to the first official Walking Tour of “The Music They Played on 7th Street/Oakland Walk of Fame” and learn about the accomplishments of African Americans who made the music of 7th Street in West Oakland famous all over the world. Other highlights will include meeting some of the recipients who are on the Walk of Fame. www.westcoastbluessociety.com or 472- 8800

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Mindful Drumming for Healing and Community Building Saturday, Feb. 6, 3 to 6 p.m. Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc., 3278 West St. Mindful Drumming is a transformative learning process that offers individuals opportunities to experience diversity through rhythm and sound. Participants will utilize the twin concepts of rhythm and sound as a way of raising awareness and consciousness for a rich experience of joy and peace. There will be drums available. Kokomon Clottey, author of “Mindful Drumming: Ancient Wisdom for Unleashing the Human Spirit and Building Community,” will facilitate this gathering. www.ahc-oakland.org or 652-5537

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Speeches of a Dream* Monday, Feb. 8, 6 to 8 p.m. New Parkway Theatre, 474 24th St. Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St. Annual open mic night including poetry, art and music. www.mccatheater.com or 238-7217

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The Black Mozart: Enlightening the Enlightenment* Tuesday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Mills College, Music Building, Room 271, 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Scholar Nalini Ghuman sets the record straight on the contributions of black classical musicians. In this special session of her course on music in the Classical Era, she explores the remarkable life and music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the son of a slave who ended up being one of the finest violinists, composers and swordsmen in Europe. He also led the first all-black regiment during the French Revolution against the king, whilst teaching music to Marie Antoinette. http://www.mills.edu/academics/undergraduate/eths/blackhistorymonth.php or 430-2080

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Founders Dinner Wednesday, Feb. 10, 6 to 7 p.m. Mills College, Founders Common, 500 MacArthur Blvd. A fun celebration of African American history through food with entertainment by Hip Hop for Change. $10.75 per person. Free for children 3 and under. http://www.mills.edu/academics/undergraduate/eths/blackhistorymonth.php or 430-2080

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African American Oakland* Wednesday, Feb. 10, 6 to 7 p.m. Main Library, Bradley C. Walters Auditorium, 125 14th St. In observance of Black History Month, Oakland History Room librarian Dorothy Lazard will present a talk on the early history of African Americans in Oakland. She will share stories of early pioneers and the movers and shakers who helped establish the East Bay’s largest African American community. A slide show will accompany her talk. www.oaklandlibrary.org/events/main-library/african-american-oakland or 238-3222

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“Blue-Eyed Soul Brother” When Bobby Kennedy Blitzed Oakland* Thursday, Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m. to noon North Oakland Senior Center, 5714 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way A talk featuring rare photos and videos on the blitz of East, West and North Oakland by New York Senator Robert F. Kenney’s inspiring 1968 presidential campaign. The presentation by historian Paul Lee will show the remarkable relationships that he established with African, Asian, Latino and Native American residents a week before his tragic death. RSVP as space is limited. 597-5085

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Say Her Name: Black Female Bodies in the Breach* Thursday, Feb. 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mills College Student Union, 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Our labor, our bodies, our lives are valuable. A conversation with activists and organizers of Say Her Name and Black Lives Matter. The conversation will focus on centering issues of black women and how their bodies become targets for institutional, structural and physical violence in America. The conversation will cover the data in the report “Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women.” $3 for non-Mills students. http://www.mills.edu/academics/undergraduate/eths/blackhistorymonth.php or 430-2080

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Write Out Loud: The Importance of Telling Our Stories Saturday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Mills College, Mills Hall, Room 318, 5000 MacArthur Blvd. A hands-on writing workshop where participants explore how to write their stories using narrative nonfiction and fiction. This interactive workshop will focus on learning to write about issues facing black women and contextualize them in personal essays and short stories. Faith Adiele, noted memoirist and essayist, will lead this session. $10 for non-Mills students. http://www.mills.edu/academics/undergraduate/eths/blackhistorymonth.php or 430-2080 ■

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February 2016 Oakland Business Review