Celebrate with a full calendar of FREE and cheap virtual events, including talks, exhibits and film screenings from NYC museums and theaters, and a special tribute to Tony Morrison with top literary figures reading her works.
Some events are available all month, others for a limited time, so set your calendar. Dated events first, then those which you can watch on demand.
Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6:30pm
Civil Rights Legacies: Martin, Malcolm, Gwen, and Julian
Join a FREE conversation about new books exploring the life and legacies of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Gwen Patton, and Julian Bond.
About the event:
New scholarship is deepening our understanding of both well-known and lesser-known activists in the Civil Rights Movement. In this discussion, Ashley Farmer, Peniel Joseph and Pam Horowitz will discuss their research related to the legacies of civil rights activists Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Gwen Patton, and Julian Bond.
The discussion features authors Ashley Farmer (Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era) talking about a new posthumously published memoir by Gwen Patton (My Race to Freedom: A Life in the Civil Rights Movement), Pam Horowitz will speak about a new collection of Julian Bond’s writings, to which she wrote the forward (Julian Bond’s Time to Teach), and Peniel Joseph (The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.).
The talk is part of the Schomburg Center’s Conversations in Black Freedom Studies series, supported in part by the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.
Copies of all books will be available at The Schomburg Shop.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a brancy of the New York Public Library (NYPL) system.
- This program will be streamed on Zoom.
- You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate.
- You will receive an email shortly before the discussion to receive the link.
SummerStage Celebrates Black History Month
Put these FREE events on your calendar:
Celebrate 150 years of writer and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson’s legacy with readings from poet and playwright Elizabeth Alexander and Emmy-nominated and Tony-Award winning actress/singer Phylicia Rashad plus an encore performance of an original dance piece inspired by Johnson’s work with dancers Desmond Richardson (Complexions Contemporary Ballet) and Khalia Campbell (Alvin Ailey); and American Utopia musician, Angie Swan
with star Roger Guenveur Smith and academic/author Dr. Stephanie Leigh Batiste. The two come together for a conversation around the performance of “Rodney King,” a one-man show written by and starring Smith and captured on film by Spike Lee during a live presentation at SummerStage in 2016.
Throughout the moving theater piece, Smith performs a multiplicity of voices, alternately taking and opposing Rodney King’s side. Smith and Batiste will dive into the show’s roots and screen adaptation and discuss the continued resonance of King in a new decade. Viewers will have free access to watch the film in advance, more details to come here.
will showcase a look back at culturally inspired performances from our SummerStage Anywhere 2020 season. The compilation show will feature world music star Femi Kuti & The Positive Force from the Shrine in Nigeria, jazz musician Shabaka Hutchings, contemporary modern company Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and more.
Harlem-based journalist and musician Greg Tate will introduce the program.
This will feature a special performance from the SummerStage alumnus, artist, and social commentator. Mwenso packs an intense jazz punch and is accompanied by his eclectic collective The Shakes.
The performance will also feature commentary from journalist Shannon Effinger highlighting Mwenso’s unique perspective as an African-born queer man on Black music and its power to heal.
Flushing Town Hall
Black History Trilogy
- Friday, February 5 at 7 PM EST.
- RSVP at http://bit.ly/FTHBHT1
Celebrate with the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 1pm ET / 10am PT
Virtual Tour with our favorite guide, Ruddy Manne
Tuesday, Feb. 16 (Mardi Gras!) 10:30am ET
Celebrating Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday with dancer Elodie Cairo
Also from the Schomburg Center for Black History Month
Note that registration is required for each event to receive the link to watch.
Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7pm.
Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. Ibram X. Kendi along with co-editor, award-winning historian Keisha N. Blain, assembled 90 writers to consider the 400-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present.
Each member of the “community choir,” as Kendi calls it—“women and men, cisgender and transgender, younger and older, straight and queer, dark-skinned and light-skinned”—takes on a five-year period, examining it from their unique point of view.
Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.
Each year, the Schomburg Centers celebrates the life and legacy of Malcolm X during Black History Month – coinciding with the anniversary of his assassination on February 21, 1965.
This year, the virtual program features a conversation and presentation by Anna Malaika Tubbs, author of The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation and Dr. Michael Sawyer, author of Black Minded: The Political Philosophy of Malcolm X.
Literacy Partners, a literary and social justice series, is presenting a special Black History Month tribute to Toni Morrison.
A collection of literary and show business celebrities will be reading from her Song of Solomon work.
This is a FREE presentation, but donations are encouraged to further the work of Literary Partners.
- February 26, 27, 28 from 7pm to 11pm
- Reservations are required
Paley Center for the Media
Normally, this museum of broadcasting – named for William S. Paley, founder of CBS – screens different films each weekend in February. Last year included a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, a tribute to comedians including Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor, a Scandal marathon, and documentaries about Jackie Robinson and Malcolm X.
Since things are not yet back to normal this year there are several films about civil rights and the role of media in African-American history.
Best of all, the screenings are FREE.
Get Up! Stand Up! The Civil Rights Movement and Television
The rise of the Civil Rights Movement paralleled the growing use of television in the United States. This is designed for students in grades 9-12, who will analyze clips from the Paley Archive to learn about the Civil Rights Movement.
The program includes a look at Jim Crow laws, the meaning of civil disobedience, and at groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and their impact on the movement.
- It’s part of the museum’s education@home program.
BET: Uniting Brands and Networks for Change
As our society wrestles with the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and with a national election just a few months away, we find ourselves at the crossroads of history. The content we create now can inspire, and lead to permanent change.
This conversation features executives from several major brands and content providers which are leading the effort to address racial inequality, social justice, economic empowerment, and civil rights.
Scott Mills, President, BET Networks
Kim Godwin, Executive Vice President, CBS News
Derrick Johnson, President & CEO, NAACP
Damon Jones, Chief Communications Officer, Procter & Gamble
Dennis Williams, SVP, Corporate Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility, WarnerMedia
Moderator: Danielle Belton, Editor in Chief, The Root
- Watch FREE on either Paley Facebook or Paley YouTube
Full Disclosure – NYCOTC Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Evelyn Kanter worked for CBS news, first as a news writer and producer, then as an on-air reporter for WCBS/Newsradio 88 and the CBS Radio network.
Black History Month Celebrations at The Apollo
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Apollo Theater is not hosting it’s annual Open House celebration and other in-person events.
Instead, you can watch a history of this world-famous theater in Harlem, which is celebrating its 86th anniversary this year.
The Apollo, a film by Oscar®- and Emmy®-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams chronicles its unique history and contemporary legacy, starring Angela Bassett, Common and Jamie Foxx
Available on HBO Max and for rent on Amazon Prime.
NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing email@example.com
Thanks for following NYC on the Cheap.