Spring is just around the corner—yahoo! That means more pleasant temps and longer days that allow us to get out and delve into a wealth of fascinating and exciting events of interest to communities of color and others happening all across the country. Enjoy!

Ongoing events

Through April 6

“Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges” (Chicago, Ill.) Presented at the Du Sable Museum of African American History, this exhibit explores the unlikely coming together of a group of escapees from Nazi Germany and Blacks living in the segregated Jim Crow society of the South. The former were Jewish professors, scientists and scholars who fled persecution in their homeland, finding refuge in the most unlikely of places—as employees at several Historically Black Colleges and Universities. As such, they were charged with meeting, teaching and interacting with Black students, whose everyday existence was in the face of harsh racism. Together, they helped each other traverse the boundaries of exclusion and hatred in order to survive. 773-947-0600, www.dusablemuseum.org

Through April 19

The Black College Expo (various locations): Representing close to 50 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Black College Expo is designed to provide “high school and college students with a unique, educational and entertaining experience, during which many students from high school and transferring college students are admitted to colleges on the spot.” Collegiate booths, a Career Recruitment Pavilion, Think Green Pavilion, seminars, a Career, Internship & Vocational Expo, step show and scholarship presentations are among the many expo events. www.thecollegeexpo.org

  • March 8: Washington, D.C./Maryland
  • April 19: Houston, Texas

Through April 28

UniverSoul Circus (various locations): As arguably the most soulful circus on the planet, the UniverSoul Circus presents an entertaining family-friendly show produced, directed and managed by primarily people of color. Its entertainers are world-class acts from around the globe, including clowns, aerialists, Caribbean and hip-hop dancers, magicians, contortionists, wild animal tamers, daredevils and more. www.universoulcircus.com

  • March 6-March 9 Raleigh, N.C.
  • March 20-March 30: Bronx, N.Y.
  • April 10-April 20 : Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • May 1–May 11 : Queens, N.Y.
  • May 22-26: Newark, N.J.

Through Nov. 15

“From the Western Front and Beyond: The Writings of World War One” (New York, N.Y.) Presented by the New York Society Library in honor of the 100th anniversary of World War I, “From the Western Front and Beyond: The Writings of World War One” offers a glimpse at “the library’s little-known but wide-ranging collection of books written between 1914 and 1918, most of which were acquired during the war and are still in circulation today,” says exhibition organizers. The exhibit encompasses works of poetry, memoirs, literary writings, fiction, propaganda and more, all providing unique first hand insights into this tumultuous time in our world history. 212-288-6900, www.nysoclib.org/events/western-front-and-beyond-writings-world-war-one

Through May 15

“Kingdom of Gold: Photographs of Ghana” (Houston, Texas): a vivid photography exhibit that documents the colorful celebration of the entailment of Asantehene Otomfuo Osei Tutu II as king of the Ashanti Kingdom, as well as the other historic places in several coastal towns in Ghana that hold great significance in the history of slavery. 713-526-1015, http://hmaac.org

Current events

March 10-30

Cleveland International Film Festival (Cleveland, Ohio): Attracting more than 50,000 attendees each year, the Cleveland International Film Festival is celebrating its 38th anniversary this year. The festival features more than 150 features and 130 short subjects from over 60 countries. In addition to the main “World Tour” program, there is a wealth of interesting works centered on various socioeconomic issues, including race, sexual orientation, the environment, family and other topics. 216-623-3456, www.clevelandfilm.org

March 14-16

“Jazz in the Gardens” (Miami, Fla.): Join Rachelle Farrell, LL Cool J, Boney James, Jamie Foxx, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Anthony Hamilton, Kelly Rowland, Stanley Clarke, Mint Condition and a host of others for the ninth annual “Jazz in the Gardens.” Held in beautiful Miami, “Jazz in the Gardens” is one of the country’s premier events, encompassing outstanding musical talent, a Women’s Impact Seminar Luncheon, shopping, great food and community events, among other activities. 305-934-3370, www.jazzinthegardens.com

March 28-April 6

Barkov’s Berks Jazz Festival (Reading, Pa.): Featuring tremendous performances from venerable artists from jazz to R&B to blues to pop, such as Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King, Kevin Eubanks, Chuck Loeb and Friends featuring Phil Perry, Everette Harp, Bobby Lyle, Andy Snitzer, Carmen Cuesta and Lizzy Loeb, Spyro Gyra and the Larry Marshall Quartet, just to name a few, the Berks Jazz Festival is a popular annual event draws thousands of music lovers from all over the country. Festival events will also give fans “a taste of Broadway” with a bevy of stage performances written and directed by some of the finest in the performing arts. 215-336-2000, 800-745-3000, www.berksjazzfest.com


Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at lallmanbaldwin@kc.rr.com.