Celebrate Black History Month in New York City at one or more of these special events, film screenings, exhibits and family friendly activity day events. Here are FREE and cheap suggestions in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Black History Month at the African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan is being celebrated with a number of events, all FREE. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History has declared this year’s theme Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African-American memories. Additional information here
- Wed. Feb. 3, 10 am – 4 pm: 100th Anniversary of World War I’s 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Harlem Hell Fighters – An interpretive display and discussion with re-enactors.
- Sat. Feb. 6, 1 pm – 2:30 pm: The Works of Langston Hughes –A dramatic performance by David Mills
- Sat. Feb. 13, 1 pm: Screening of Booker and From These Roots with facilitated discussion.
- Wed. Feb. 17, 1 pm – 2 pm: Spoken Word and Musical Performance by Ngoma.
- Sat. Feb. 20, 1 pm: Screening of A Raisin in the Sun (1961) followed by facilitated discussion.
- Fri. Feb. 26, 1 pm – 2 pm: The Buffalo Soldiers: A history and their legacy.
- Sat. Feb 27, 1 pm – 2:30 pm: Carter G. Woodson Poetry Workshop
Black History Month events on Saturday, Feb. 6th:
The Color of Comedy: Celebrate Black History Month at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, with a program of films and talks exploring the role of color in comedy and entertainment, and includes rare footage of a young Richard Pryor, Moms Mabley, Redd Foxx, and Harry Belafonte’s history-making 1967 TV special. Tickets for The Color of Comedy are $20 and include museum admission. Purchase tickets directly from the museum website with no service charge.
Black History Month Family Activity Day: Join costumed historian Cheyney McKnight, of Not Your Momma’s History, on Saturday, Feb. 6, as she brings Morris-Jumel Mansion’s Colonial Kitchen to life with lessons about African influences on colonial cooking, including tastings. This is a ticketed event, $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/students, and advanced registration is recommended to ensure space. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 923-8008. 11am to 2pm. Event website.
Radical Black History: Explore the past, present and future of Black radicalism at the Brooklyn Museum, in this evening event featuring music, gallery talks and a screening of a documentary on the Black Panthers. FREE, thanks to the Target First Saturday program. Starts at 5pm. Event website.
Black History Month Event on Feb. 19
Ghosts of Amistad: FREE screening of the documentary film exploring the Amistad slave ship rebellion 177 years ago. The film, based on Marcus Rediker’s The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom documents his journey to Sierra Leone in 2013 to recover historical accounts from the villages of those Africans who were forced onboard the Amistad vessel, and his encounter with the ruins of the slave trading factory Lomboko. Following the screening, co-producers, Dr. Philip Misevich and Dr. Konrad Tuchscerer will lead a discussion. At the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning Black Box Theater on Friday, Feb. 19th at 6:30pm. Reservations are recommended to ensure space. To reserve a seat, email email@example.com or call (718) 206-0545 x 13. Event website.
Black History Month exhibits:
Louis Draper and PM New York Daily: An exhibit of photos by renowned African-American news photographer Louis Draper documenting the gritty streets of New York during the 1960s and 1970s. Also on display are vintage copies of the newspaper from the 1940s. The PM New York Daily was a progressive evening daily back in the day when NYC had more than a half-dozen dailies, some published in the morning, others in the afternoon for the evening commute. FREE gallery exhibit at Steven Kasher Gallery, 515 W. 26th St. Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm and Thurs. until 8pm. Gallery website.
The Legacy of African-American Service: See an exhibit about the influential leaders who shaped the American social, legal, and justice systems, including during the days of slavery and Jim Crow. This FREE exhibit is weekdays through the end of February at the Arsenal, the Central Park administration building, at Fifth Ave. and 67th St. Details here.
75th anniversary of the American Negro Theatre (ANT): Known to the locals as “The Harlem Library Little Theatre,” the ANT was founded in 1940 for local actors, playwights and others to work in productions illustrating the diversity of black life. This exhibition is taken entirely from the Schomburg Collections and highlights stage productions with photographs, posters, playbills, and news clippings including such prominent as Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier and Lofton Mitchell, whose careers began at the ANT. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a branch of the New York Public Library, and the exhibit is FREE. Additional details here.
Got a FREE or cheap event in New York City? Let us know.