4th Annual Black History Month Project Returns to Expo Arts Center


Photos courtesy of Terri Henry. Pictured are Sharon and David McLucas, the owners of the Forgotten Images collection of African American Americana and artifacts. 

The fourth annual Black History Month Project will put a focus on African American business and culture through its upcoming three-day celebration, “Black Economics: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” which begins February 2 in the Expo Arts Center in Bixby Knolls.

“It’s been exciting to see the project grow year after year, and be attended by so many of our neighbors of all cultures and ethnicities in Long Beach and beyond,” said LaVerne Duncan, executive director for Andy Street Community Association (ASCA), in a statement.

ASCA has collaborated with 8th District Councilman Al Austin and the Bixby Knolls Improvement Association to host the celebration, which is free and open to the public.


Photo from last year’s Black History Month celebration.

Each day is filled with different speakers and activities. On Thursday, a small business forum presented by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will start at 6:00PM. Guest speaker entrepreneur Walter Larkins will be presenting “Engaging Small Business.”

Those who attend Friday will have the opportunity to meet Mayor Robert Garcia and Austin. That same day, the Forgotten Images exhibit, a private collection of thousands of rare African American artifacts dating from the 1600s through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, will be on display.

The Andy Street Art Project, another exhibit, features self portraits of 10 Andy Street youths who participated in a workshop with local artist Gregory Sabin in mid-January. Local entrepreneur and CEO of New BLK Wall Street Alim Hagan will be moderating a portion of Friday’s event.

Friday and Saturday’s events will also include a screening of “Resurrecting Black Wall Street,” a documentary produced in 2015 that brings light to the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which came to be known as “Black Wall Street” for being one of the most wealthiest African American communities in the United States.

In addition, ASCA is hosting a Youth Small Business Competition for students in grades 8 to 12 to devise a small for-profit business idea. Winners will be awarded a mentor and seed money to further develop the idea.


Artist Hayden Jackson posing with her self-portrait. 

Saturday’s activities will also include a guest speaker Jarvis Sam, lead recruiter of Snapchat, a social media platform, as well as performances by students of Long Beach Unified School District.

For ticket registration and additional information, visit the website here.

The Expo Arts Center is located at 4321 Atlantic Avenue.

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