Black History and Gospel Galore

Black History Month rolls on with plenty of activities.

* The Kennedy Center's Cultural Diversity Festival continues with four performances of "Sojourner," a family- oriented stage show depicting the life of former slave Sojourner Truth. Philadelphia Theater Caravan presents the free shows, which are on Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 10:30 and 12:30, Sunday at 1. All performances are in the Theater Lab; it's recommended that you show up at least 20 minutes before showtime to assure seating. 254-3600.

* There's a full line-up of gospel groups at the Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, this Saturday from 2 to 5. On Sunday there'll be African folktales, music, mime and dance from 2 to 4. And at 4:30 Joan Hillsman and the Black History Concert Choir of D.C. perform gospel music until 5:15. All entertainment is free; 289-4224.

* George Mason University sponsors Gospel Extravaganza Sunday at 5. The free performances feature The Richard Smallwood Singers, an area gospel group that has played the Montreaux Jazz Festival and Kennedy Center. Also filling the bill are the Howard University Gospel Choir and pianist Gene Dawson. The concert is in Student Union II, Main Campus, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. 323-2383.

* An evening of dancing, live music from the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Band, magic shows and poetry readings can be found at African Cabaret, Saturday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Shaolin Wu Shu Academy, 510 Kennedy Street NW. Tickets are $5 and available at Blue Nile Trading Company, 2826 Georgia Ave. NW and Gairsan Natural Food Store, 1368 H Street NW; all proceeds benefit the African Learning Center. 398- 5646.

* The Catholic University Black Student Organization puts on a Spiritual Jubilee this Sunday at 6:30. The musical program presents the Georgetown University Choir, St. Benedict's Choir and the Great Change Ensemble performing spirituals and gospel music. The concert is at Catholic University's Caldwell Hall. Admission is $2; students $1. 423-7792. Saluting Chopin

Polish-born composer Frederic Chopin's 176th birthday is this Saturday, and a couple of places figure that's worth celebrating.

* The Dumbarton Concert Series hosts two evening concerts that provide a sampling of Chopin, including nocturnes, polonaises, waltzes and scherzos. Performances are at 8 on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10. 965-2000.

* The Kennedy Center also spotlights Chopin in a commemorative concert featuring pianist Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska. The program includes four mazurkas, "Sonata in B Minor" and "Polonaise in A Flat Major." The concert is in the Terrace Theater at 7:30 Saturday. Tickets are $13.50 and available by calling 857-0900. Stage Crazed

So you want to be a star? Well, you can pull yourself out of the just-talking-about-it stage this weekend with a variety of theater workshops at the Castle Performing Arts Center, 5340 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville. Drama professors from all over the country will be on hand Friday and Saturday to teach stage combat, contemporary trends in playwrighting, researching roles, directing and monologue auditioning. Cost is $5 per workshop; $4 for students and seniors. For schedule and reservations, call 277-6121.

And while you're at the center, you may want to pick up a few more tips by watching one of several college plays offered as part of The American College Theater Regional Festival. At 8:30 on Friday, you can see Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors." Saturday it's "Androscoggin Fugue" at 12:30 and "Cloud 9" at 8:30. Tickets are $8; $6 for students and seniors. 277-6121. Fab Freebies

You can take it easy this weekend with the following free events:

* useum of American History presents American Popular Song: Of Singers and Songs this Saturday in Carmichael Auditorium. At 1, the museum's performing arts specialist, Dwight Bowers, discusses the roles of such singers as Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby in the evolution of popular music. From 2 to 2:30, there'll be a concert of songs from the '30s and '40s. The film "Love Me or Leave Me," starring Doris Day, caps off the program from 2:30 to 4:30. 357-2700.

* Viennese pianist Paul Badura-Skoda interprets the works of Mozart, Bach, Schubert and Beethoven Sunday at 4 at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 1600 Morris Road SE. The performance is part of the Music for the Inner City program. 699- 5440.

* The Catholic University Symphony Orchestra plays selections from Telemann, Mozart, Milhaud and Britten Sunday at 8 at the Church of the Little Flower, 5607 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda. 635-5555. Rest of the Best

IN TOWN The United States Air Force Band continues its free Guest Artist Concert Series Sunday with Casey Kasem hosting "Flip Sides of the Fifties," an arrangement of such favorites as Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife" and Nat King Cole's "When Sunny Gets Blue." The concerts are at DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets NW. 767-5658 . . . The 29th Annual World of Wheels auto show is at the D.C. Convention Center, 900 Ninth Street NW. Hours are 5 to 11 on Friday, Saturday noon to 11, Sunday noon to 10. Admission is $6.50; $2.50 for children six to 12. 371- 3113.


There'll be a Sportfishing and Hunting Expo at the National Guard Armory, 610 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville (take Exit 20 off Baltimore Beltway). Hours are 6 to 10 Friday, 10 to 7 Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $3; children under 12 are free. 301/841-6974 or 301/498-2174.


The Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays a benefit for the Wolf Trap Foundation at the Barns, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna, this Friday at 8. The $25 tickets are limited and available by calling 938-2404 . . . The Opera Theater of Northern Virginia performs An Afternoon of Arias this Sunday at 3 at Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang Street, Arlington. Tickets are $6; children and seniors $5. 739-2918.