Every February, Americans of all races and backgrounds celebrate Black History Month by commemorating iconic civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Black History Month’s founder, Carter G. Woodson. A citywide celebration includes the annual Black History Festival NW, which hosts events all month long (check their website for a full lineup of events). Join in on celebrating, honoring and acknowledging Black history in Portland and beyond at these local events.
PDX Jazz Festival
Jumptown, Portland’s raucous jazz scene of the 1940s, is sadly lost, but every year around February and March, visitors can dive into today’s sea of jazz greats at the PDX Jazz Festival. The festival honors special jazz aniversaries and legends, along with feature performances by legendary artists. Previous performers have included the likes of Grammy award-winning bass extraordinaire Stanley Clarke. PDX Jazz Festival performances — including many free shows — are held at multiple venues across the city every year.
Cascade Festival of African Films
Billed as the longest-running nonprofit African film festival in America, Portland’s free Cascade Festival of African Films has celebrated African achievements and hopes for the future since 1991. Through its roster of films, the month-long festival aims to share stories of Africa as told by actual Africans, rather than the Western-made narratives that Americans typically see. Hosted by the Hollywood Theatre and Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus, the festival also includes staged theatrical readings, talk-backs with the films’ creators, an African marketplace and a social hour with food and live music every Saturday.
Black History Festival NW is an all-ages celebration of culture and heritage showcasing Black artists, businesses, organizations, and leaders through arts, education and advocacy, utilizing Black History Month to celebrate the African Diaspora, bridge gaps, amplify truth, unity and hope in the Pacific Northwest. See the festival website for a full lineup of events.
A free popular Portland event for 29 years, this year’s film festival features five weeks of more than 30 feature, documentary and short films by established and emerging African directors from 18 countries. The Cascade Festival of African Films shows us Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa packaged for…
The Portland Jazz Festival returns every February with a stellar series of concerts and events celebrating Black History Month.
Join Reed College in celebrating its third annual Black Arts Festival! Family-friendly, free and open to all, this festival offers a full concert experience with performances by: BbymuthaMaarquiiZsa ZsaBnickFather FannieHouse of OliverThese musical performances are accompanied by a BIPoC (Black, Indigenous & People of Color) Community Marketplace, featuring local vendors and food and drink purveyors,…
My People’s Market showcases local entrepreneurs and makers of color, connecting them with industry professionals and consumers.
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Y.G.B. aims to create healing spaces for Black and Brown Portlanders.