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.
* "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.
Lecture by Cicely Tyson, Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, (410) 337-6333. 8 p.m. The award-winning actress will speak at 8 p.m. Admission: $7; $4 for students and senior citizens.
* "Mapantsula," Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 889-1993. Baltimore Film Forum will present this anti-apartheid film. Admission: $5; $4 for students, seniors and film forum and museum members.
SUNDAY, FEB. 9 * Family Day, Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) "Underground Railroad, Not a Subway," about African-American freedom fighters, will feature Dr. Schroeder Cherry and his company of puppets. Concerts and kids' activities are also scheduled.
* "Great Ladies of Jazz and Blues," Baltimore School for the Arts, 712 Cathedral St., (410) 396-1300. Sandra Reaves Phillips will present her show at 3 p.m. during Urban Services African-American Arts and Heritage Festival. $12.50.
* African-American Cultural Festival, Walters Art Gallery, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000. The Morgan State University Choir, KanKouran West African Dance Company, storyteller Alice McGill and the Positive Vibrations reggae band will entertain. 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free.
TUESDAY, FEB. 11 * Women's Sekere Ensemble, Owl's Nest Lounge, Learning Resource Center, Harford Community College, (410) 836-4206. Female percussionists will perform at 11:30 a.m. No admission charge.
@THURSDAY, FEB. 13 * Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, (410) 625-4230. Five performances Feb. 13-16 under the direction of Judith Jamison. Tickets are $27-$40.
* "Lyrics of the Hearthside," Havre de Grace High School Auditorium, (410) 939-4252 or (410) 836-4211. Actor Joseph Mydell of the Royal Shakespeare Company will perform poems, songs, and prose written by Paul Lawrence Dunbar at 7 p.m. No admission; ticket is required.
* "Uncommon Ground: A Selection of Works by Area Artists and From the Collection of Morgan State University," City Hall, 100 N. Holliday St. (410) 396-4721. On display weekdays through March 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reception Feb. 13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
@SATURDAY, FEB. 15 * Scott Joplin Festival, Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 396-6312. Eva Anderson's Baltimore Dance Theatre joins forces with young Baltimore composers and the BMA. 8 p.m. Admission: $5; $4 for museum members, seniors and students.
* "Baltimore Jazz . . . From the Royal Theater to the Peabody Conservatory," Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., (410) 685-3750. Concert with vocalists and the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble will begin at 8 p.m. Concert is also scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 16. Call for admission.
Sankofa Dance, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Constitution Avenue and Greenfield Street, Annapolis, (410) .
263-5019. Dance company will present "The Griot" at 11 a.m. in main auditorium.
SUNDAY, FEB. 16 * Strong Blacks Exhibition and Research Center grand opening, Druid Hill Ave., (410) 462-2023. Museum will feature contemporary history and artifacts. Ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.
* "American History? It's Beneath Your Feet," Center for Urban Archaeology, 800 E. Lombard St., (410) 396-3279. Film detailing the archaeological excavation of the 18th century home site of Benjamin Banneker, a free black man who was a self-taught mathematician. Program from 1:30 to 3 p.m.; free with museum admission.
TUESDAY, FEB. 18 * Umoja SaSa! Storytellers Inc., Johnston Square Elementary School, 1101 Valley St., (410) 522-9665. The storytellers will perform folk tales and fables that depict African-American history. Performances are scheduled for 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. and from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
@THURSDAY, FEB. 20 * "Marcus Garvey: Toward Black Nationhood" and "Booker T. Washington: The Life and Legacy," Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 889-1993. Baltimore Film Forum will present these two films starting at 8 p.m. Admission: $5; $4 for members, seniors and students.
FRIDAY, FEB. 21 * "Senator Sir," Arena Playhouse, 801 McCulloh St., (410) Arena Players will present the story of Hiram Revels, the first black senator during Reconstruction, at 8:30 p.m. Shows also on Feb. 22, 23, 28 and 29. Tickets $10.
* Baltimore Film Forum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 889-1993. Film Forum will present "Uncommon Images" and "Ida B. Wells: Passion for Justice" at 8 p.m. Admission: $5, $4 for members, students and seniors.
SATURDAY, FEB. 22 * "Food From the South," 1840 House, 800 E. Lombard St., (410) Baltimore City Life Museums' food specialist Sue Latini will assist participants in preparing African-American dishes from the South. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Admission: $18; $13 for City Life Museum members.
* Masquerade Ball, Great Blacks in Wax Museum, 1601 E. North Ave., (410) 563-6415. Black History Masquerade Ball will be from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission: $25; $20 for students with college ID.
* Boys Choir of Harlem, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, (410) 783-8000. Program at 8 p.m. will feature classical, gospel, jazz and spirituals. Feb. 23 program will begin at 3 p.m. Tickets: $12,
$20 and $26.
* BSO Family Concert Series, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, (410) 783-8000. Storyteller Mary Carter Smith will narrate program featuring mezzo-soprano Michele Howard. Concert at 11 a.m.
SUNDAY, FEB. 23 * "Designs in Motion," the Walters Art Gallery, 600 N. Charles St., 547-9000, Ext. 237. Januwa Moja will present wearable art to the rhythms of the New World Percussion Ensemble. Admission is $4; $3 for museum members, students, seniors and children.
* Oratory Celebration, Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 396-6320. Middle and high school students participate in the Douglass-Tubman Oratory Celebration from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26 * Vigil, Haebler Chapel, Goucher College, (410) 337-6333. A vigil in commemoration of slain civil rights leaders at 7 p.m.
THURSDAY, FEB. 27 * Book-signing and luncheon, Cross Keys Inn, 5100 Falls Road, For reservations call Enoch Pratt Library at (410) 396-5494. Annual luncheon at noon will feature award-winning author Paule Marshall. Tickets are $23; $210 for groups of 10. Reservations must be made by Feb. 24.
* "Adam Clayton Powell," Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 889-1993. Baltimore Film Forum will present film at 8 p.m. Also free screening of "El Hajj Malik El Shabazz . . . Malcolm X" is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.
FRIDAY, FEB. 28 * Tribute to black cowboys, Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Museum Drive, (410) 889-1993. Baltimore Film Forum will screen "Don't Leave Out the Cowboys" and "Harlem Rides the Range." Screenings will begin at 8 p.m. Admission: $5; $4 for members, students and seniors.
SATURDAY, FEB. 29 * Heritage festival, Eubie Blake Cultural Center, (410) 396-1300. Cellist Troy Stuart will perform at 4 p.m. Free.
* Eartha Kitt, Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel, (410) 783-7213. New Metropolitan Theatre Company, accompanied by the Charles Covington Quintet, will present "Eartha Kitt . . . the Lady, the Legend" at 8 p.m. Tickets: $30.