Black History Month begins Saturday. Originating in 1926, the observance has evolved into a month-long excursion into the African-American experience.
With inspiration from the city's generous cultural history, organizations have planned a full calendar that will bring the likes of Cicely Tyson and Eartha Kitt, the Alvin Ailey and KanKouran West African dance companies and Essence magazine editor Audrey Edwards to the area for everything from a masquerade ball,to film festivals,to ragtime concerts,to gospel show,to lectures.
So while the month may be short,the list of events is long. The following is a sampling of the educational programs and performances scheduled that pay tribute to the achievements of African-Americans.
SATURDAY, FEB. 1 * "Bustin' With the Sounds of Rockapella," The Medical School Teaching Facility Auditorium, University of Maryland at Baltimore, 10 S. Pine St., (410) 328-8035. The a cappella group Regency will mix favorite songs with humor at 8 p.m. Admission: $8; $6 for students, senior citizens, and children younger than 12.
* "Celebrate the African Spirit," Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 396-6312. Female quartet Ladygourd Sangoma will perform music from Africa, Brazil, the American South and the streets of New York. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Admission: $7; $5 for members, seniors and students.
* Stories at the Top, Top of the World Observation Level and Museum in the World Trade Center, (410) 837-4515. Alice McGill will perform stories from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Admission: $1 for children and seniors; $2 for other adults. Storytelling is also scheduled Feb. 8, 15, 22 and 29.
* "Golden Gate," Lyric Opera House, (410) 481-SEAT. The gospel musical, under the direction of George Faison, will continue in Baltimore at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. through March 1. Call for admission prices.
* "A Star Ain't Nothin' But a Hole in Heaven," Arena Playhouse, 801 McCulloh St., (410) 728-6500. One of the closing performances of the Arena Players' presentation at 7:30 p.m. Closing performances at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 2. Admission: $10.
* Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., (410) 685-2370 or (410) 685-5225. Throughout February, 18 African-American inventors will be highlighted.
SUNDAY, FEB. 2 * "Ananci the Spider," Cloisters Childrens' Museum, 10440 Falls Road, (410) 823-2551. Fellisco Keeling tells African-American tales at 2 p.m. Admission: $5; $3 for members.
* "Glory," McManus Theatre, Loyola College, (410) 617-2988. The film, which depicts black soldiers in the Civil War, will be shown at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
* "Rhapsody and Blues," St. Michael's and All Angels Church, St. Paul and 20th streets, (410) 462-2023. Tribute to American music saluting 100 African-Americans who have made a difference in Maryland. 3:30 p.m. Donations welcome; proceeds will go to the Cultural Arts Program of the Strong Blacks Exhibition and Research Center.
* "The Spirit Moves," Eubie Blake Cultural Center, (410) 396-1300. Tony Award-winning actress Trazana Beverly will present her one-woman show at the African-American Arts Heritage Festival. The show will begin at 3 p.m. Admission: $10.
@WEDNESDAY, FEB. 5 * "Cry Freedom," Heubeck Lounge, Goucher College, (410) The film, starring Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline, portrays a South African political movement. No admission charge.
* "Impact of Columbus on African-Americans and Native Americans," Knott Hall 02, Loyola College, (410) 617-2988. Dr. Wendy Wilson of UMBC and Archie Lynch of the Baltimore Indian Center will lead the discussion from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
* "Salute to African-American Musical Theatre 1850-1991," Arena Playhouse, 801 McCulloh St., (410) 728-6500. Arena Players Youtheatre presents a program at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. Also, programs on Feb. 7, 8 and 10. Admission: $3.
THURSDAY, FEB. 6 * Book-signing with Audrey Edwards, Central Pratt Library, 400 Cathedral St., (410) 396-5494. Editor of Essence will speak on her latest book, "Children of the Dream: The Psychology of Black Success." Admission free, but by reservation only. Reservations must be made by Feb. 3.
* "People of Color," Reisterstown Road Plaza, (410) 764-3222. A weekend arts and entertainment festival will be held from noon to 8 p.m. through Feb. 8.
* "Great Black American Entertainers," Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 889-1993. The Baltimore Film Forum will open its series "Great Blacks on Film" at 8 p.m. Admission: $10. Reception will be held before the screening. Series continues on Feb. 13 with "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket," at 8 p.m., general admission $5; and on Feb. 14 with "Identifiable Qualities: Toni Morrison" and "Two Dollars and a Dream," beginning at 8 p.m., general admission $5.
FRIDAY, FEB. 7 * "Heroes and Teachers," Dundalk Gallery, Dundalk Community College, (410) 285-9884. Opening reception for exhibition by Workshop Inc. Studio, under direction of silk-screen printmaker Lou Stovall. Reception 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.