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Making Black America: A Black Heritage Celebration

Making Black America: A Black Heritage Celebration

Maisie Vilchis
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Celebrate Black History Month dressed in your favorite 1920s-1970s attire this Saturday with live music performances, guest speakers, movie screenings, and food at the African American Cultural Center of Long Beach (AACCLB). 

     After a long hiatus due to COVID-19, the AACCLB is reintroducing itself into Long Beach’s community with events like donation-based West African drum classes, Pan Afrikan study groups, and their latest project which they have partnered with PBS SoCal, Making Black America. The event will be a social celebration highlighting black joy through music, dance and community. Fill your ears with the sound of jazz by trombonist Ryan Porter, most known for being a founding member of the West Coast Get Down and touring with famous musicians like Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Lauren Hill, and Stevie Wonder. 

     With swing dance holding deep roots in black culture and history, AACC LB will host performances by the LA Swing Dance Posse, a non-profit organization that has dedicated themselves to educating the public through dance styles dating all the way back to the 1800s. There will also be discussions about jazz’s lasting influence by on-air radio personality Rhonda Hamilton and famous dancer and choreographer Chester Whitmore who has choreographed scenes in the Oscar-winning film La La Land and multiple other Hollywood movies. 

    There will also be a screening of the PBS Series: Making Black America: Through the Grapevine. This is a four-part series hosted by Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr and follows Black social groups and organizations throughout America’s history and their involvement in the black experience.

     If you are interested in learning how to dance there will be lessons available in the main room for all ages to learn the Lindy Hop, a swing dance move developed by Black communities in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. Along with that, the main room will also hold an exhibit about Langston Hughes and Rent Parties which were also prevalent during the Harlem Renaissance era.

     Food will be provided by Women in Action Reaching Out and will provide food inspired by Black family reunions. All ages are welcome to come, the event will even have a Children’s Cultural Corner and plenty of educational opportunities to see. Making Black America will take place this Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Expo Arts Center located at 4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, 90807. The event is free and you can RSVP on Eventbrite to gain entrance.


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