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5 ways to celebrate Black History Month in SoCal

Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Norway in 1964. In King's hometown of Atlanta, social conservatives at first refused to attend an integrated dinner in his honor.
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Norway in 1964. In King's hometown of Atlanta, social conservatives at first refused to attend an integrated dinner in his honor.
/AP

February boasts Valentine's Day and President's Day, but the month also celebrates the culture and history of the nation's African-American community.

Here are a number of ways to celebrate the countless contributions and accomplishments of African-Americans across Southern California during African-American Heritage Month, otherwise known as Black History Month:

1. Free movie nights 

If you find yourself without plans for two Fridays this month, catch one of these free movie screenings that capture the struggles of African-Americans, courtesy of the Los Angeles Poverty Department. The featured films will be “Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary” and “Revolution ‘67.”

When: Feb. 10 and Feb. 24, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. 

Where: Los Angeles Community Action Network, DTLA | MAP

Price: Free  

2. It's All About the Bass by Sammy Davis

Dive into the jazz world to commemorate the legendary jazz acoustic bassist's career. The photo exhibit will showcase the art of music through the eyes of the African-American community. 

When: Now through March 5, Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday, Noon - 4 p.m.  

Where: Watts Towers Arts Center Campus, South L.A. | MAP 

Price: Free 

3. Evening with authors

Los Angeles-based African-American authors (the roster has not been released yet) will discuss their latest books and share experiences about their journey as writers.

When: Feb. 23, 6:00 p.m.

Where: Los Angeles City Hall, DTLA | MAP 

Price: Free

4. 36th Annual Black Doll Show

Check out this exhibit featuring crafted dolls by artists to reflect their self-image, made from untraditional materials from kitchens, thrift stores and alleys. Work from Teresa Tolliver and Lavialle Campbell, among others, will be on display.

When: Now through Feb. 18, Tuesdays to Saturdays, Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Where: The William Grant Still Arts Center, Mid City | MAP 

Price: Free 

5. Celebrating the American Spirit 

Retired U.S. Navy battleship USS Iowa, the only floating museum on the West Coast open to the public, docked in the Port of Los Angeles on April 16, 2013 in San Pedro.
Retired U.S. Navy battleship USS Iowa, the only floating museum on the West Coast open to the public, docked in the Port of Los Angeles on April 16, 2013 in San Pedro.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Battleship Iowa will be running an exhibit featuring artifacts, newspaper clippings and photos focused on five African-American servicemen and their remembered contributions. 

When: Now through Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The Battleship IOWA Museum, San Pedro | MAP 

Price: Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and veterans, $12 for kids under 5

For more celebrations and community events throughout the month, check out the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affair's catalog for African American Heritage Month.

This story has been updated.