An interesting variety of programs celebrating and examining aspects of black history will be held around West County during February.

  • The Richmond Recreation Department and the city's Commission on Aging will have a sit-down dinner, poetry, dancing, singing, fashion show and music at the annual Black History Celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza.

    The evening will include vendors with African-American wares.

    Tickets are $15 each, available at the Richmond Senior Center, 2525 Macdonald Ave.

    Tickets for the program only (no dinner) will be sold for $5 at the door, with admission at 7 p.m. For more details, call the senior center at 510-307-8087.

  • Umi Vaughan, anthropologist and associate professor at California State University Monterey Bay, will discuss "The Talking Drum in the African World Community" at the African Heritage Month Celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13 at Contra Costa College in San Pablo.

    The public is invited to the free program, which will also include professional drumming by Kiazi Malonga of Fua di Congo, student monologues, music and dance at the John and Jean Knox Center for the Performing Arts, at the corner of Castro Road and El Portal Drive on the CCC campus.

    Vaughan "studies popular music and performance in relation to social transformation throughout the African Diaspora," according to his biography, as well as conducting anthropological research about Afro-Cuban music and dance in Cuba.

    For more details, contact Michele Jackson at mjackson@contracosta.edu.

  • "Ancient Africans in the Americas Before Columbus" will be the first topic of the 2014 Lecture and Debate Series hosted by the Richmond Public Library Foundation at 6 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Whittlesey Community Room at the Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza.

    The speaker will be Professor Manu Ampim, social sciences department chairman at Contra Costa College and a historian and primary researcher of African and African-American history and culture, presenting evidence of the presence of Africans in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus.

    For details, call 510-620-6554.

  • A free program presented by the Teen Services Division of the Richmond Public Library on Feb. 13 will feature the premiere of the documentary "What Mama Didn't Say: A Dialogue About African-American Sexuality" in the Richmond City Council chamber, 440 Civic Center Plaza.

    "With a primary focus on the issue of teen pregnancy, the documentary examines the disproportionate number of African-American teens having children and raising families out-of-wedlock," is the description from the library. "The film highlights Richmond and Bay Area natives that were teen parents, chronicling their lives, and interpersonal experiences involving sexuality."

    The film also interviews psychologists, public health professionals, pastors and youth advocates.

    "Although the focus of the documentary outlines teen sexuality in the African-American community, many of the elements and issues cross all cultures," says Angela Cox, teen librarian at the Richmond Library.

    The event opens with a reception at 6 p.m., the screening at 7 p.m. and a question-and-answer session with producer and director Doug Harris at 8 p.m. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Richmond Public Library.

    For more details, visit www.richmondlibrary.org or contact Cox at 510-620-5516.

  • Members of the Oakland Black Cowboy Association will be riding and discussing the often-overlooked history of black cowboys from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 in the parking lot of Easter Hill United Methodist Church, 3911 Cutting Blvd. in Richmond.

    The event is a chance to meet the cowboys and their horses up close and personal, learn the history of black cowboys and their significance today.

    Early arrivals can sign up to ride a horse or pony in the parking lot.

    The church will also have hot dogs, chips and drinks available.

    Easter Hill is hosting presentations on a variety of black history topics in February. For more details, visit www.easterhill.org or call 510-235-4226.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.