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Akoma Arts dancer in Downtown San Jose

Black History Month in San Jose

Celebrate Black History Month by honoring our social justice history and patroning Black-owned businesses in San Jose.

San Jose celebrates Black History Month with excellent food, art exhibits and a nod to our social justice history. You can find activities and happenings all over San Jose that pay tribute to Black History Month.

The San Jose Museum of Art will show the exhibit ‘With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith’ through April 5, featuring imagery from the iconic raised glove protest. The exhibit includes monumental sculptures, print-based projects and memorabilia from Smith’s personal collection that reflect his time as an athlete and civil rights activist.

With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith, through April 5 at the San Jose Museum of Art

On February 29, the NHL will bring their Black History Month Mobile Museum to SAP Center featuring former San Jose Sharks players Mike Grier and Joel Ward, and current Shark Evander Kane. Check out the museum before the Sharks take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, where fans attending the game will receive an Evander Kane Black Panther Bobblehead.

Walia and Zeni are both amazing Black-owned Ethiopian restaurants with delicious dishes. Jubba Restaurant offers authentic Somali food and Back a Yard Caribbean Grill serves traditional Jamaican cuisine. Jackie’s Place is a brand-new soul food spot in Japantown owned and operated by Jackie Jackson, who has been catering in the Bay Area for 20 years. 

Comfort food served with #SanJoseLove at Jackie's Place in Japantown

Black & Brown is a boutique and thrift shop owned by Monisha Murray. Black & Brown specializes in vintage designer clothing and on-trend threads, features art exhibits in their upstairs space and frequently hosts events around the local fashion and art communities.

Olympic Black Power Statue at San Jose State University


Black history can be found all around San Jose when you take a closer look. The Olympic Black Power Statue on the San Jose State campus depicts the powerful image of former Spartans and Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos as they raise their fists in protest of injustices and inequality of African Americans.

San Jose State University is also hosting a series of events throughout the month from trivia nights to open mics to poetry readings and career fairs. Check out a few of the options on campus in February:

Kusoma Book Club Meeting
Thursday, February 20, African-American Studies Department Lounge

African-American Career Fair
Saturday, February 22, 9 a.m., Diaz Compean Student Union, Room 1

Spartan Speaker Series: Reginald Dwayne Betts
Wednesday, February 26, 7 p.m., Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom

Living Thinkers Film and Podcast
Thursday, February 27, 5-5:30 p.m., MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center

Culture Showcase
Friday, February 28, 6:30 p.m.

Power Through Poetry: An Evening with Alan Pelaez Lopez
Wednesday, March 4