THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE will sponsor a number of special events to celebrate Black History Month.

The focal points are three exhibits at the National Visitor Center: "The Beauty of the Ghetto" (through Feb. 14); "The Story of Black Americans," (Feb. 16-29) and "D.C. City Museum Exhibit" (opens Friday and continues through February).

Officials from the Department of the Interior and the D.C. city government will participate in opening ceremonies Monday at 10 a.m. in the Visitor Center Gallery, Union Station, First Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW. Also planned for Feb. 16, beginning at noon, is a day of performing arts.

At the Frederick Douglass Home, 1411 W St. NW, a month-long photographic exhibit depicting black American sites operated by the National Park Service (the home is open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Rock Creek Park is featuring an exhibit about prominent blacks from the 19th and 20th centuries at the park's Nature Center, Military and Glover roads NW. On Feb. 16 and 23 at 11 a.m. special films, crafts and other activities are planned at the center.

For additional information, call the Park Service's Office of Public Affairs, 426-6700.

ANACOSTIA NEIGHBORHOOD MUSEUM, 2405 Martin Luther King Ave. SE, is having a month-long celebration featuring lectures, poetry readings, puppet shows and films.

A Young People's Film Festival with animated films of American folk tales will be presented Friday at 10 and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (for pre-kindergarten through third grade).

Tommy Duren, 12, and his Super Pupets will perform Saturday and Feb. 16, at 1 and 3 p.m. His program, "You Can Do It If You Try -- REALLY TRY!" will introduce black heroes of the past, present and future.

Sunday at 3 p.m., Chancellor Williams, historian, educator and author, will lecture on ancient west African kingdoms. A reception will follow.

Sterling Brown, a local poet, will read from his works Sunday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.

The Brad Brewer Puppet Troupe will present a special performance of "Magic is the Word" 11 a.m. Feb. 15 at the Friendship Learning Center, South Capitol Street and Livingston Road SE (call 381-6731 for reservations).

Lecture/film discussions: Monday at 7 p.m. Sylvia Hill, of the South African Support Project, will speak and Tuesday at 10 a.m., a program for all ages on the West African talking drum by Ghanaian master drummer Yacub Tetteh Addy. Other special film/tour programs are planned for groups of all ages. Call the museum's education department at 381-6731 to arrange for group tours.

The "Meet the Author" series will feature Ophelia Egypt, author of children's books, who will speak on "Children in Slavery," Feb. 20 at 1:15 p.m. Eloise Greenfield will read from her works Feb. 25 at 10 a.m., and author Sharon Bell Mathis will present at film, "The 100 Penny Box" Feb. 27 at 10:30 a.m.

An interpreter for the hearing-impaired is available for the programs if advance notice is given the Education Department (381-6731).

THE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN ART, 316-322 A St. NE, salutes Black History Month with free lectures, music and theater performances and family films.

An exhibition of 25 works by five 19th-century Afro-American artists will open Friday and continue through the month.

Saturday at 2 p.m. a concert of children's music will be presented by the "Young Strings in Action," a group of black musicians from the Learning Stage project of the Capital Children's Museum.

Other programs include a theater showcase presented by students from the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, Sunday-afternoon lectures featuring speakers from area universities, and films focusing on black heritage. Call 547-6222.

THE BLACK HISTORY OBSERVANCE COMMITTEE has compiled the following list of events planned throughout the month.

The annual "kick-off" luncheon will be Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel. Admission is $15; call 667-2822 for reservations.

The National Archives will feature the exhibit "An Afro-American Album" through Feb. 29 in the Pennsylvania Avenue lobby. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A performance by the African Dancers and Drummers will take place Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. in the Archives Theater, and Randall Robinson will present a talk on "The Role of Afro-Americans in Foreign Policy," at 12:30 p.m. in room 503. Film showings are also planned.

The Department of Commerce will have a number of programs: The opening ceremonies Monday at 10 a.m. will feature as guest speaker the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. A musical program, "Black Reflections, Anthology of Black Music," will take place at noon, performed by the Ambassadors, and at 2 p.m. in conference room D, the film "The History of the Negro in America" will be shown.

Tuesday at 10 a.m., newscaster Jim Vance will speak in the auditorium at the Department of Commerce. Wednesday at 10 a.m. there will be a panel discussion with Calvin Rolark and the Rev. Edward Hailes. A musical program is planned for noon, and the film, "Body and Soul," for 2 p.m. The program for Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. is a discussion on "Blacks in Communications: Past, Present and Future." On Feb. 8 at 10 a.m., James Denson will discuss "Blacks' Contribution to America's Business," followed at 11 a.m. by U.S. Rep. Parren Mitchell (D-Md.), who will speak on "Blacks' Contribution and Accomplishments in Economic Development."

The Library of Congress will offer two lectures sponsored by the library's Daniel A. P. Murray Afro-American Culture Club.

On Feb. 13 at noon in the Coolidge Auditorium, Clarence Mitchell Jr. will speak on "Heritage for America." Mitchell is chairman of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and former director of the Washington bureau of the NAACP.

The music of Scott Joplin will be the theme of a lecture/performance by C. Edouard Ward on Feb. 20 at noon in Coolidge Auditorium. Both events are free; no tickets required.

The District of Columbia Public Library System will present programs at all branch locations. Here are some of the highlights:

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW, will feature a Black History Month film program Saturdays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 23 in room 216. The schedule: Feb. 2, "Stormy Weather"; Feb. 9, "Man and Boy"; Feb. 16, "Hitch" and Feb. 23, "Cabin in the Sky." The audiovisual division will also present films on Wednesdays at noon in room 216.

A special program Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the library's auditorium will feature Theodore Hagans, Alice Hunter and Idabell Lindsay in "Reflections of the Black Perspective -- Memories of Life in Washington, D.C." Call 727-1111.

The Anacostia Branch, Good Hope Road and 18th Street SE, will present a discussion of books by black authors, Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Special gospel concerts are planned for Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. and Feb. 14 at 1:30 p.m. Call 727-1329.

The Fort Davis Branch, Alabama Avenue and 37th Street SE, is sponsoring a poetry contest to observe Black History Month. All entries must be submitted by Feb. 12 and awards will be presented on Feb. 20. Call the library at 727-1349 for details. Special programs with guest speakers are planned for Wednesdays at 7 p.m. through Feb. 27.

The R. L. Christian Community Library will present "Black History for Preschool Children," Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., conducted by Charlynn Pyne of Howard University. Reservations are needed; call 727-1347.

Takoma Park Branch, Fifth and Cedar streets NW, will feature black films beginning Feb. 7 at 3:30 p.m. and continuing Thursdays through the month. Call 727-1385.

Many library activities are planned especially for school groups. Call the library nearest you for details.

The National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW, presents "Portraits in Motion: The Black Experience."

This Saturday at 1:30 and 3 p.m., "Black and Blue: Voices from the Harlem Renaissance," will be presented by Ayl Mack, with John McMahon (in the third-floor Model Hall). "Robeson in Song and Memory," featuring Beatrice Rippy and Carroll Hollister, will be staged Feb. 9, 1:30 and 3 p.m. (Model Hall), and "The Bojangles Legacy: Film Clips of Bill Robinson," prepared and presented by Ernie Smith, Feb. 23, 1:30 and 3 p.m. in the first-floor lecture hall. All are free, no reservations necessary.