• Third Annual Marlon Riggs Film Festival: Friday, Feb. 17 marks the first day of Fahari Arts Institute’s Third Annual Marlon Riggs Film Festival, presented in cooperation with The South Dallas Cultural Center, Black Cinematheque Dallas, Q-Roc.TV and BlaqOut Dallas. The festival honors the legacy of the late gay, Fort Worth-based filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Screenings begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. The cost is $5 per night. There will be a talk back after each evening of films.
• Queerly Speaking: Queerly Speaking is a monthly spoken word open mic event for queer people of color hosted by the Fahari Arts Institute at the South Dallas Cultural Center. The fourth season begins this month with February’s theme of “Love on Top.” 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. $5.
• Unity Black History Soul Food Potluck: United Black Ellument is an organization dedicated to building Dallas’ young black gay and bisexual men’s community. They will be celebrating Black History Month with delicious soul food on Sunday, Feb. 19. The food and fun starts at 6 p.m. and people are encouraged to come with or without a dish. The event is free. UBE is in Deep Ellum at 3116 Commerce St., Suite C. UBEDallas.org.
• ¡Baile! The Dance: Allgo is Texas’ statewide queer people of color and allies organization that focuses on improving the queer people of color community’s health and advancing LGBT black and Latino artists and community organizing. Baile takes place from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center at 600 River St., Austin. Tickets are $25 online/$35 at the door. If you’d like to support but can’t travel to attend, consider an online donation, which can be made at Allgo.org/Allgo/Support.
• ‘Free Man of Color’: The African American Art Repertory Theater presents Free Man of Color, the true story of John Newton Templeton, a freed slave, who graduated from Ohio University 35 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. Desoto Corner Theater at 211 E. Pleasant Run Road, DeSoto. AarepTheater.com
• Mahalia Jackson ‘Queen of Gospel Music’ Exhibition: The African American Museum celebrates the life of Mahalia Jackson with 51 pieces of artwork and rare footage of her life and performances through June 30. The museum is at 3536 Grand Ave., Dallas, in Fair Park. Admission is free. AAMDallas.org.
• ‘My House Cultural Discovery — African American Folk Tales and Legends’: You and your children or favorite little ones can celebrate Black History Month at The Museum of Nature & Science with storyteller Toni Simmons at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 24, followed by craft time until 1 p.m. Free for members and included with the cost of general admission for non-members. 3535 Grand Ave., Dallas. NatureAndScience.org.
• 13th Annual Red, Hot & Snazzy Benefit: The United Negro College Fund, or UNCF, presents its 13th Annual Dallas/Fort Worth Black History Month signature event Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Dallas. Proceeds provide scholarships for low-income college students and operating resources for UNCF’s Texas-based historically black colleges. For more information on time and cost, visit: UNCF.org.
• Black History Month Celebration: South Side on Lamar celebrates Black History Month at 8 p.m. Feb. 26. The local Ebony Emeralds Classic Theater presents a special performance, Three Tales of Black History. It is directed by Akin Babatunde and will feature music by Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk and Billy Strayhorn. The show takes place in South Side’s Blue Room, 1409 S. Lamar St.
• Cultural Awareness Series: The Dallas Black Dance Theater presents its annual Cultural Awareness Series Feb. 23–26. Price levels vary from $10–$65. DDBDT.com.
• ‘Frederick Douglass Now’: The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) presents Frederick Douglass Now, a show by Dress Performance Theatre Series starring Roger Guenveur Smith at 8:15 p.m Feb. 24-25. The show takes place in the Clarence Muse Café Theater in the Dallas Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St., Dallas. $15.
• Saturdays of Service: Black history month is moving from being more event-based to service-based. Groups such as Black Men Emerging at SMU are pushing for change and not just entertainment. They lead Saturdays of service throughout the Dallas area from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Remaining service dates are Feb. 18 and 25.
— Compiled by Toi Scott
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.