Beginning in 1976, every U.S. president has designated February as Black History Month. Black History Month is a time to celebrate Black achievement, as well as reminding the community to get involved, support and give visibility to the people and organizations creating change.

A theme is chosen each year by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This year’s (2022) theme is ‘Black Health and Wellness,’ focusing on “the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g. birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well” (https://asalh.org/black-history-themes/).

Looking for ways to celebrate ? Here are some of the Black History Month events taking place in Greater Palm Springs. All are open to the public, inviting he community to get engaged and educated.  

Palm Springs Black History Committee Events

Black History Month Opening Reception | February 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Kick-off Black History Month with the Palm Springs Black History Month Committee, featuring a student performance from the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center Drill Team and Drum Squad. Following the performance, there will be a self-guided tour available celebrating the Black Artists on view. 

Celebrate Black History Month with Palm Springs Art Museum and the Black History Committee  | February 6 at 5:30 pm. 

Celebrate Black History Month with student performances and a reception followed by a curator-led tour of African American artists in the Palm Springs Art Museum collection. 

The E&J Movement - Motown, Rhythm and Blues, and Smooth Jazz | February 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

Listen to some of the best Motown songs while learning about history from someone who was actually there! Enjoy the evening with a performance from The E&J Movement, a collection of  artists who all have individual backgrounds, stories and genres. 

‘A Comprehensive Timeline of Racism, Antisemitism and Sexuality Discrimination in Palm Springs’ Public Talk with the Palm Springs Historical Society | February 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 pm. 

The Director of Education and Associate Curator at Palm Springs Historical Society, Renee Brown, will be discussing the barriers that keep people from obtaining what is commonly referred to as the “American Dream.” These barriers include income, race, religion, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. The timeline that will be shared will illustrate the complex layers of decisions made by federal, state and local governments, as well as by the Cahuilla Indians (a sovereign nation) and the effects those decisions had on the development on the City of Palm Springs. 

Caravan Thru African-American History Palm Springs | February 21 at 10:00 a.m. 

‘People Who Filled Their Seats’ - A Public Talk With Local Artist Deborah McDuff Williams | February 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

There are all kinds of seats, from those at the top to those on a bus. The artwork done by Deborah McDuff Williams introduces Black American pioneers who have helped pave the way for the celebrated heroes that have filled important seats in Black history, like Rosa Parks. Williams resides in Greater Palm Springs and will be sharing her artwork throughout the Palm Springs Art Museum. 

35th Annual City of Palm Springs Black History Month Parade and Town Fair | February 26 at 10:00 a.m. 

Participate or watch as the 35th Annual Black History Month Parade will walk through Downtown Palm Springs on Palm Canyon Drive. This year's celebrity Grand Marshall will be Janeshia Adams-Ginyard and the Community Grand Marshall will be Indio City Mayor Waymond Fermon. Following the parade, the Town Fair will be held at the new city park. The fair will include live entertainment, cultural booths, food vendors and kid-friendly activities. 

Additional Black History Month Events

Keisha D Presents A Celebration of Black History Month | February 6 at 2:00 p.m. 

Join the show as Keisha D, an iconic recording artist who has changed the world of music, gospel, soul, rhythm & blues, and chart topping hits, takes the stage, presenting a celebration for Black History Month. Keisha D can often be heard at multiple venues throughout Greater Palm Springs. She donates to numerous charities and you can find her personalized plaque on the Walk of Stars in downtown Palm Springs, honoring her for all of her contributions to the community. 

BHMCA Bazaar & Keisha D Live | February 20 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Enjoy the celebration of Black History Month with a local vendor, Bazaar, and a special musical performance from Keisha D and her band. Bazaar is open from 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and free to the public. Tickets to the performance after are $20, which will include the show and a cocktail. 

Celebrating Black History Month In La Quinta

Read the World Book Club: His Wife Only by Peace Adzo Medie | February 8 at 5:30 p.m.

TED Talk Zoom Hangout: Can beauty open our hearts to difficult conversations?