2023 Local Black History Month Events

As we begin Black History Month this year, we asked ourselves how we want to recognize this annual celebration. Throughout history, we acknowledge the incredible legacy of leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Davis, John Lewis, Claudette Colvin, Malcolm X, and many more who have paved the way in creating a better world for everyone. We also know that there is so much to celebrate in such a short time.

To celebrate and honor Black History Month, we are planning to highlight our community’s emerging leaders who are creating spaces of inclusivity and belonging for African American and Black communities and creating a more prosperous and beautiful Santa Cruz County. Stay tuned and follow us on social media to see who we will highlight.

We also encourage you to join us in celebrating Black History Month this month and all year round. And make sure to check out the fantastic Black History Month Events scheduled for this month!


Friday | February 3, 2023 | 7:00 PM
Kaiser Permanente Arena| 140 Front St, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Warriors: Black History Month Celebration 

This Friday at 7:00 PM! The first 1,000 fans will receive a Black History Month Celebration 👕 Presented by Chase! The #SeaDubs will wear Black History Month jerseys that will be up for auction in-arena. All proceeds will benefit Black Surf Club Santa Cruz.

Follow this link to get your tickets: click here

Sunday | February 5, 2023 | 5:00 PM
Kaiser Permanente Arena | 140 Front St, Santa Cruz

Ibram X. Kendi & Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist 

Bookshop Santa Cruz, NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, and the Santa Cruz Warriors welcome Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone for a discussion about their new book, How to Be a (Young) Antiracist—a dynamic reframing of the concepts shared in Kendi's book, with young adulthood front and center. Aimed at readers 12 and up, and co-authored by award-winning children's book author Nic Stone, How to Be a (Young) Antiracist empowers teen readers to help create a more just society. Follow this link to get your tickets: click here

Every Thursday this Month | February 2-23, 2023 | Doors open 6:30 pm
418 Project 155 | River St S, Santa Cruz 

Black History Month Film Series by Father Taj

The 36th Annual UC Santa Cruz Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Convocation will feature Charlene Carruthers - strategist, author, and leading organizer in today’s black liberation movement. Additionally, the presentation of the 12th Annual Tony Hill Memorial Award will take place.

In this talk, Charlene Carruthers will draw upon the Black radical tradition as seen in Dr. King's political evolution, the organizers who shaped his leadership, and the lessons she's learned over the past 15 years of radical Black feminist activism and community organizing. Through historical reflection and analysis of current movements (local and global), this talk will explore efforts to build political power and the "beloved community" Dr. King spoke of through a radical, abolitionist, Black queer feminist approach.


Follow this link to purchase your tickets: click here

Friday | February 10, 2023 | 4:00pm - 6:30pm
Museum of Art & History | 705 Front St, Santa Cruz

Buffalo Soldier History Talk with Aniko Kannan-Millan

Learn about the African American Buffalo Soldiers, the original Park Rangers at the Museum of Art & History with Anniko Kannan-Millan. 

To Register, follow this link: click here

Friday | February 10, 2023 | 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Museum of Art & History | 705 Front St, Santa Cruz

Troubled Waters: the Ocean as a Contested Space in Surf Culture

Troubled Waters: The Ocean as Contested Space in Surf Culture is a presentation, Q & A and community discussion about diversity and racism in surfing. Join surfers and activists Esabella Bonner (Black Surf Club Santa Cruz), Kayiita Johnson (Black Surfers), surfer, historian and anthropologist Paul Richardson, and artist/activist David “Dáithí’ Crellin, creator of Decolonize The Surf, as they explore the history of representation in surfing and lead a conversation with the audience on what we all can do to make contemporary surf culture more inclusive and welcoming to all.

This event is in conjunction with Porter College, and the Department of Performance, Play and Design at University of California Santa Cruz.

Follow this link to register: click here  

Sunday | February 19, 2023 | 7:00pm
Indexical | 1050 River St #119, Santa Cruz

BBQueer Fest ALL Year! Liberating Movement 

BBQueer ALL YEAR's mission is to create and maintain Queer/BIPOC-centered programming throughout the year, not just during the four-day festival The first event will be, LIBERATING MOVEMENT: Black, Brown, and Queer all over, a docu screening, live performance, and conversation at @anindexofmusic Sunday, February 19th at 7 PM. Follow this link to get your tickets: click here

Thursday | February 23, 2023 | 5:00-8:30pm
Resource Center for Nonviolence | 612 Ocean St, Santa Cruz

Bending the Arc of Justice: Reimagining the Legal System 

Just in time for Black History Month, Santa Cruz Black is partnering with the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender to kick off Santa Cruz County’s Strengthening The Sixth: Building Cases and Community Through Holistic Defense training. This evening celebration at the Resource Center for Nonviolence will bring together national criminal defense leaders from around the country, local leaders, activists, and organizers, defenders, and a broad swath of community members interested in transforming the criminal legal system to elevate justice.

Follow this link to register: click here