This year, Women’s History Month at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland was marked with a movie screening, museum tours, a local restaurant anniversary celebration and much more.
On Saturday March 11th, AAMLO kicked off Women’s History Month with a Meet the Author event. Author Dean Calbreath came to introduce and discuss his book The Sergeant: The Incredible Life of Nicolas Sa’id. Nicholas Sa’id (1836-1882) was a young Black man born in the African Kingdom of Borno, whose life took on a drastic change when he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Sa’id went on to learn many languages, become a world traveler and even fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
I had the pleasure of attending the Diva Collection Film Marathon on March 18th. I learned about the lives of pivotal Black women in history, including Mary Ellen Pleasant (1814-1904), a financier, entrepreneur and abolitionist, Mabel Mercer (1900-1984), an English born cabaret singer and Barbara Lee, an American politician who has served as a US representative from California since 1998. There was also a special screening of the documentary film The Stax- Respect Yourself. Stax Records is a Tennessee-based record company founded by two siblings who produced famous artists such as The Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, Johnny Taylor, Booker T and the M.G.s and many more.
On March 25th, the AAMLO closed out the month with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Everett and Jones Barbeque Restaurant, a Black-owned family restaurant chain. Patrons celebrated the memories with film footage and a panel discussion, followed by awards and gifts for guest.
Though Women’s History Month has come to a close, we will continue to celebrate the stories and contributions of women in history. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend March events. Don’t forget, April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Be sure to join us for a night of jazz and history starring the Michael Jones Trio on April 14th, 5pm to 7pm at the AAMLO!