Flyer courtesy of Andy Street Community Association.

Celebrate Black History Month this weekend with the fifth annual Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow celebration scheduled to take place Thursday through Saturday at the EXPO Arts Center in Long Beach.

The Andy Street Community Association (ASCA) and Councilman Al Austin will be collaborating with Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association to present the exhibit Forgotten Images: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. The opening reception will take place this Friday from 6:00PM to 10:00PM during the monthly First Fridays series in Bixby Knolls.

“The focus of our Black History Month event is to inform and educate the public about the contributions of African Americans,” said ASCA Executive Director LaVerne Duncan. “We hope they will gain a better understanding of how much better we are as a community when we can learn about our history and still come together.”

The three-day event will include youth sessions, panel discussions, featured speakers, musical performances and more. There will also be a variety of booths that offer food and other items. Families can enjoy the Black History Month celebration by exploring the Forgotten Images exhibit and the Wall of Excellence Presentation.

A Goldman Sachs small business reception will take place at 5:00PM on Thursday, co-hosted by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson’s office and the Southern California Regional Center of 10,000 Small Businesses. This event is meant to inform local businesses of opportunities for growth and innovation.

Author Darick J. Simpson is speaking Friday at 7:00PM and mother and daughter co-authors, Phyllis and Morgan Strawder, are speaking on Saturday at 11:00AM. There will also be a special stage reading called Lady Patriot, which is based on a true story written and directed by Ted Lange. Tickets to the stage reading on Friday at 8:00PM are $25.

For the full schedule of events click here.

Over 1,500 people attended last year’s three-day event Black Economics: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. Duncan wanted to focus on the images that are being revisited from the past for this year’s Forgotten Images theme.

“As we grew from one room five years ago, to filling over 23,000 feet of space with exhibits, vendors, nonprofits, and entertainment, my hope is that our reach grows ever wider and our community comes together through knowledge and caring about each other,” said Duncan.

The 23rd annual Mardi Gras Parade will also take place during First Fridays in Bixby Knolls. The festival will begin at Georgie’s Place at 5:30PM, with the parade to kick off at 7:00PM. The First Fridays event will last until 9:30PM, when “First Fridays After Hours” begins. For more information, visit the website here.

The EXPO Arts center is located at 4321 Atlantic Avenue.

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