16 ideas to celebrate Black History Month in New York City (2024)

February is Black History Month, and New Yorkers have a variety of ways to celebrate the legacies and achievements of Black people across the African diaspora.

Across the boroughs, events like concerts, film screenings, art classes, and even a 24-hour party will take place to mark the occasion.

Below are 16 ideas to honor Black History Month.

See dance from Ghana, Guinea and Cuba on the Lower East Side

Brooklyn-based Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation is celebrating Black History Month with “The Rhythms & Movements of African American Culture Festival.”

It will showcase a variety of dance styles including hip-hop and modern dance, from Ghana, Guinea, Senegal and Cuba at Abrons Art Center on the Lower East Side. It runs twice a day, with showing at 10:30 a.m. and noon, from Feb. 12 through Feb. 18. Tickets are around $30. For more information visit here.

Enjoy ‘Drunk Black History’

If history’s your jam, then the comedy show “Drunk Black History” might be for you. It happens on Saturday, Feb. 10 at Caveat on the Lower East Side and features comedians including Charles McBee, from the now-canceled talk show “Hell of a Week with Charlamagne tha God," retelling stories of historical Black figures while “skunked out of their mind.” Tickets are around $24 and you can purchase them here.

See the Tenement Museum’s new exhibit about a Black family

For the first time in its history, the Lower East Side's Tenement Museum is featuring a Black family in a new exhibition called “A Union of Hope: 1869.” It explores the story of Joseph and Rachel Moore, who lived in Lower Manhattan in the 1870s. The tour lasts about 75 minutes and tickets start at $30. For more information visit here.

Hear the Harlem Chamber Players in Brooklyn

Enjoy works by Black composers at “Classical Interludes: Harlem Chamber Players Black History Month Concert” at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. This concert will feature The Harlem Chamber Players performing pieces from Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson and Carlos Simon, among others. The concert is Feb. 24, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The event is free, though RSVPs are required.

Party the nights away at Dweller Festival

Dweller, the annual electronic music festival that aims to highlight Black DJs, returns to New York City in late February. This year’s festival features six days of club nights and live performances from artists including rising singer-songwriter KeiyaA, British DJ Josey Rebelle, and alternative R&B artist Liv.e.

For folks with a little more stamina, a 24-hour party at Nowadays in Queens starts on Feb. 24. The festival kicks off Tuesday, Feb. 20 and runs through Feb. 25. Ticket prices vary but many shows start around $23. For more information visit here.

Check out movies, art workshops and more at Brooklyn public libraries

Public libraries across Brooklyn will host an array of Black History Month festivities, including movie nights, art workshops and cooking classes.

You can catch Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" at the Park Slope branch on Feb. 9 at 3:30 p.m., while kids can make art with colorful Pan-African patterns over at the Sunset Park branch on Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. For a full calendar of events visit here.

See “The Harlem Renaissance” at the Met

“The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism” opens at the Met on Sunday, Feb. 25, and will feature a mix of 160 sculptures, photographs, and films that highlight life from the 1920s to the 1940s. Works from artists including Meta Warrick Fuller, Palmer Hayden and Augusta Savage will be on view. For more information what else will be on view and on tickets visit here.

Learn about people who shaped the future of long-distance running

The New York Historical Society on the Upper West Side is featuring an exhibition called “Running for Civil Rights: The New York Pioneer Club, 1936 – 1976.” It examines the legacies of Ted Corbitt and Joseph Yancey, two Black men who helped pioneer long distance running in the United States. Other upcoming events include a discussion titled “The Legacy of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre,” and a discussion on “Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary: A Biography” by Walter Dean Myers.

Take your family to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum will host a week of activities as part of the “Black Future Festival,” which honors Black talents from the past and looks toward the future. The museum will host Black History Month-inspired dance performances, storytelling events, and art classes from Feb. 18 through Feb. 25. Kids will be able to make their own Afrofuturistic comic book cover at one event, and hear stories about Bed-Stuy at another. Tickets start at around $15. For more information visit here.

Learn more about Langston Hughes

An exhibition about poet Langston Hughes and his friendship with photographer and filmmaker Griffith J. Davis is on view now at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. It features photos, personal letters between Davis and Hughes, and archival material from the Center, including a letter from Hughes to playwright Lorraine Hansberry. The free exhibit runs through July 8, 2024. For more information visit here.

See art from the private collection of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

World-famous musicians Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys are offering over 100 art pieces from their collection in a new Brooklyn Museum exhibition called “Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys.” The show starts Feb. 10 and will feature art from the couple's collection, including works by artists like Gordon Parks, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Lorna Simpson, among others. Tickets are available and start at $26 for adults. For more information visit here.

Sip tea, and listen to the words of Maya Angelou in the Bronx

Crotona Nature Center in The Bronx is hosting “Black History Month: Herbal Brews, Hues and Maya Angelou.” During the hour-and-a-half-long event, attendees can drink tea while listening to poetry by Maya Angelou. There will also be a chance for people to write their own poetry. The free event takes place at 1 p.m. on Feb. 11. For more information visit here.

Listen to free talks from Black writers and politicians at 92NY

92NY is hosting a series of events including a concert from Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald, and a discussion on basketball’s role in racial politics in the United States. An archive of free talks from Black writers, politicians, and scholars is available on 92NY's YouTube page. For a look at all their offerings visit here.

Go for a walk with the Urban Park Rangers in Queens

Want to learn about history while you walk? Head to the Daniel Carter Beard Mall and walk with the Urban Park Rangers for “Black History Month: Flushing Freedom Mile.” On the walk, you’ll learn about the Underground Railroad and some local sites, including the John Bowne House, the Lewis Latimer House and the Friends Meeting House. The free event happens at 11 a.m. on Feb. 25. For more information visit here.

Take the kids to celebrate a new children’s book about Black families

Karida L. Brown and Charly Palmer authored a new children’s book, “The New Brownies’ Book: A Love Letter To Black Families,” and are hosting a free book talk at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on Monday, Feb. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The book is a collection of poems and art created for kids, and draws inspiration from the magazine W. E. B. Du Bois made for kids in the 1920s, also called “The Brownies’ Book.” For more information visit here.

Hear poetry by Audre Lorde on Staten Island

Celebrate writer Audre Lorde's legacy at Silver Lake Park on Staten Island with the Urban Park Rangers on Saturday, Feb. 10. The free, hourlong event kicks off at 11 a.m. and will feature people reading Lorde's work and then writing their own poetry. For more information, visit here.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert in Black History Month and the celebration of Black culture, I can provide you with information related to all the concepts mentioned in this article. Here are the details:

"The Rhythms & Movements of African American Culture Festival"

The Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation in Brooklyn is hosting "The Rhythms & Movements of African American Culture Festival" to celebrate Black History Month. This festival showcases a variety of dance styles, including hip-hop and modern dance, from Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, and Cuba. The festival runs twice a day, with showings at 10:30 a.m. and noon, from February 12th to February 18th. Tickets are available for around $30. For more information, you can visit their website. [[1]]

"Drunk Black History" Comedy Show

If you enjoy history and comedy, you might be interested in the comedy show called "Drunk Black History." This show, taking place on February 10th at Caveat on the Lower East Side, features comedians retelling stories of historical Black figures while "skunked out of their mind." Tickets for this show are around $24. You can purchase them on the Caveat website. [[2]]

Tenement Museum's New Exhibit

The Tenement Museum, located on the Lower East Side, is featuring a new exhibition called "A Union of Hope: 1869." For the first time in its history, the museum is showcasing the story of a Black family. The exhibition explores the lives of Joseph and Rachel Moore, who lived in Lower Manhattan in the 1870s. The tour lasts about 75 minutes, and tickets start at $30. For more information, you can visit the museum's website. [[3]]

"Classical Interludes: Harlem Chamber Players Black History Month Concert"

The main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is hosting a concert called "Classical Interludes: Harlem Chamber Players Black History Month Concert." This concert features performances by The Harlem Chamber Players, showcasing works by Black composers such as Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson and Carlos Simon. The concert will take place on February 24th from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The event is free, but RSVPs are required. [[4]]

Dweller Festival

Dweller, an annual electronic music festival that highlights Black DJs, is returning to New York City in late February. The festival features six days of club nights and live performances from artists like KeiyaA, Josey Rebelle, and Liv.e. The festival kicks off on February 20th and runs through February 25th, with a 24-hour party at Nowadays in Queens starting on February 24th. Ticket prices vary, with many shows starting around $23. For more information, you can visit their website. [[5]]

Black History Month Festivities at Brooklyn Public Libraries

Public libraries across Brooklyn are hosting various Black History Month festivities, including movie nights, art workshops, and cooking classes. For example, you can catch Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" at the Park Slope branch on February 9th at 3:30 p.m. Additionally, kids can participate in art workshops with colorful Pan-African patterns at the Sunset Park branch on February 12th at 4 p.m. For a full calendar of events, you can visit the Brooklyn Public Library website. [[6]]

"The Harlem Renaissance" Exhibition at the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting an exhibition called "The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism." Opening on February 25th, the exhibition features 160 sculptures, photographs, and films that highlight life from the 1920s to the 1940s. Works from artists such as Meta Warrick Fuller, Palmer Hayden, and Augusta Savage will be on view. For more information about the exhibition and tickets, you can visit the Met's website. [[7]]

"Running for Civil Rights: The New York Pioneer Club, 1936 – 1976" Exhibition

The New York Historical Society on the Upper West Side is featuring an exhibition called "Running for Civil Rights: The New York Pioneer Club, 1936 – 1976." This exhibition explores the legacies of Ted Corbitt and Joseph Yancey, two Black men who helped pioneer long-distance running in the United States. The exhibition also includes discussions on topics such as "The Legacy of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre" and "Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary: A Biography" by Walter Dean Myers. For more information, you can visit the New York Historical Society's website. [[8]]

"Black Future Festival" at the Brooklyn Children's Museum

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is hosting the "Black Future Festival" to celebrate Black talents from the past and look toward the future. The festival includes dance performances, storytelling events, and art classes inspired by Black History Month. The festival will take place from February 18th to February 25th. Tickets start at around $15. For more information, you can visit the Brooklyn Children's Museum website. [[9]]

Langston Hughes Exhibition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem is currently hosting an exhibition about poet Langston Hughes and his friendship with photographer and filmmaker Griffith J. Davis. The exhibition features photos, personal letters, and archival material from the Center, including a letter from Hughes to playwright Lorraine Hansberry. The exhibition is free and runs through July 8, 2024. For more information, you can visit the Schomburg Center's website. [[10]]

"Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys" Exhibition

The Brooklyn Museum is hosting an exhibition called "Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys." This exhibition features over 100 art pieces from the private collection of musicians Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. The exhibition includes works by artists like Gordon Parks, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Lorna Simpson. The exhibition starts on February 10th, and tickets are available starting at $26 for adults. For more information, you can visit the Brooklyn Museum's website. [[11]]

"Black History Month: Herbal Brews, Hues and Maya Angelou" Event

The Crotona Nature Center in The Bronx is hosting the "Black History Month: Herbal Brews, Hues and Maya Angelou" event. During this event, attendees can enjoy tea while listening to poetry by Maya Angelou. There will also be an opportunity for people to write their own poetry. The event is free and takes place at 1 p.m. on February 11th. For more information, you can visit the event page. [[12]]

Talks and Events at 92NY

92NY is hosting a series of events for Black History Month, including a concert by Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald and a discussion on basketball's role in racial politics in the United States. They also have an archive of free talks from Black writers, politicians, and scholars available on their YouTube page. For more information about their offerings, you can visit the 92NY website. [[13]]

"Black History Month: Flushing Freedom Mile" Walk with the Urban Park Rangers

The Urban Park Rangers are organizing a walk called "Black History Month: Flushing Freedom Mile" at the Daniel Carter Beard Mall in Queens. This walk provides an opportunity to learn about the Underground Railroad and local sites related to Black history, including the John Bowne House, the Lewis Latimer House, and the Friends Meeting House. The event is free and takes place at 11 a.m. on February 25th. For more information, you can visit the event page. [[14]]

"The New Brownies' Book: A Love Letter To Black Families" Book Talk

Authors Karida L. Brown and Charly Palmer have written a new children's book called "The New Brownies' Book: A Love Letter To Black Families." They are hosting a free book talk at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on February 12th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The book is a collection of poems and art created for kids and draws inspiration from the magazine W. E. B. Du Bois made for kids in the 1920s, also called "The Brownies' Book." For more information, you can visit the event page. [[15]]

Audre Lorde Poetry Event at Silver Lake Park

Silver Lake Park on Staten Island is hosting an event to celebrate the legacy of writer Audre Lorde. The event, organized by the Urban Park Rangers, will feature people reading Lorde's work and writing their own poetry. The event is free and takes place on February 10th at 11 a.m. For more information, you can visit the event page. [[16]]

I hope this information helps you explore and enjoy the various events and exhibitions happening during Black History Month in New York City.

16 ideas to celebrate Black History Month in New York City (2024)
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