Black History Month – SMC History, Resources and Events
“Black Health and Wellness not only includes one’s physical body, but also emotional and mental health.”
Theme for 2022
“The theme for 2022 focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.”
“We are doing more to move forward holistically for the betterment of ourselves, our bodies, our relationships, our communities, and our planet.” – Audre Lorde
Prior to the Mexican American War, in what is today, San Mateo County, there was a rough assortment of loggers and hunters living in the hill country, including “Black” George, possibly the first documented African American to live on the Peninsula.
In the aftermath of the American takeover of California and the Gold Rush that accompanied it, more African Americans moved to San Mateo County.
Tom Ricks and J.J. Adams
In 1874, J.J. Adams became the first African American to serve on the San Mateo County Grand Jury. Tom Ricks ran the restaurant at the Railroad House in San Mateo, and J.J. Adams ran the barber shop in the same building.
In 1875, Thomas Rolls, a former slave from Virginia who arrived in California in 1858, established the Star and Garter roadhouse in present-day San Bruno, renaming it Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Learn more about Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Noah Williams was a chef for the Southern Pacific until 1921, when he opened a restaurant on B Street in San Mateo. Noah Williams came from a long line of well-known chefs from the “Old South.”
Black Joy Parade 2022 on February 6th
Join Black Joy Parade and your town team Oakland A’s for a community-led, music lit, Black joy bike ride. All you need is a set of bike wheels and a love for the Black community to join this free event. Register here.
30th Annual Black History Month Celebration – Virtual & Outdoor Celebration on February 19th
Daly City is hosting its 30th Annual Black History Month Celebration on Saturday, February 19, 2022. The event is free and open to the public. Register here.
Annual Black History Month 2022: Intergenerational Dinner on February 25th
Join the San Mateo County Pride Center and the African American Community Initiative for an evening celebrating Black History Month. From interactive games to a special presentation by Pamela Ward Pious, a former Black Panther Party member, be sure to mark your calendars! This event is free, virtual, and open to the community. Register here.
AACI Black History Month Event on February 26th
A presentation by Dr. Kim Rhoads about the COVID-19 virus, vaccines, disparities and impact on the African American Community, and her perspectives as a medical professional and a person of color. A Presentation by Chika Ofodu, Doctoral Psychology Intern and person of color about ‘Healing Centered Engagement’ which addresses the need for treatment and support beyond trauma-informed care. Register here.
Black History Month Art and Writing Contest for Teens (February 1 – February 28th)
Enter the San Mateo Black History Month Art and Writing Contest! Submit a piece of art or writing that celebrates a Black American or Civil Rights event that inspires you. This might include but is not limited to your neighbor, historical or contemporary figure, the March on Washington, or the Black Lives Matter protests. Entries may include but are not limited to visual art such as a photo, drawing or sculpture or writings such as a short story, poem or short essay. For teens in the 8th – 12th grades. Submit here.
2022 Black History Month Exhibit in Redwood City (February 5 – February 27)
The purpose of the museum is to educate our community, especially our youth, about the rich history that African-Americans have contributed to American society. Learn more.
Articles/Books to Read:
Mental Health Resources: