Celebrating Black History Month in New York

African – American history and culture, and as a way to celebrate and honor them, the nation is celebrating Black History Month this month. Here are some great ways to celebrate Black History Month in New York!

NYPL’s 100+ virtual Black History Month events and exhibitions

While this year’s commemoration will be different due to the pandemic, virtual events, lectures and exhibitions will be held across the country. Highlights and long commemorations of the month include “Blowing up the Devil” (known as “Black History Month in New York City”) and “Hidden Costs of Black Power,” as well as the Black History Moth, which celebrates the history of African Americans in the US and around the world. Learn more about the Harlem Renaissance composers and their contributions to music and culture at a concert in their honor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Black History Trilogy” presented by Flushing Town Hall 

This month, “Flushing Town Hall” presents a three-part virtual series in which Broadway performers celebrate black artists and leaders. Learn about the history of Harlem Renaissance composers and their contributions to music at a concert in their honor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and switch periods to see the exhibition Black History Month “Black Power in New York City. Library experts also curate a reading list from the Library of Congress’s Black Month collection, which was released last summer. Here you will find a complete list of events as well as further information on the library website.

History of Black LGBT in New York City, curated by NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

The collection’s website focuses on influential African-American writers and activists involved in civil rights and gay rights movements, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Martin O’Malley. On February 18, Tony Award-winning actress Lillia Williams, a member of the Black Panther Party, will talk about the legacy of jazz singer Sarah Vaughan; on February 26, Hadestown star Andre De Shields will review the life and work of New York City’s first black mayor. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. highlights the project and takes a look at the role people and organizations played during the Harlem Renaissance. Readings from the Library of Congress’s Black History Month reading and a speech on the history of Black Power and its impact on the city’s history.

Free virtual events and talks courtesy of 92Y

On Monday, February 8, you can see an interview with retired US General Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about the history of the civil rights movement. The 92nd Street Y publishes its annual Black History Month lecture series online. Previous lectures on the 92Y YouTube channel include speeches by former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Kamala Harris, and Cleo Brown on “God Helps the Child,” and a talk by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his life and legacy.

The Shed’s audio walking tour exploring the 1863 race riots in NYC

The Shed is launching a new audio tour this month, featuring films that explore the history of black history in New York City, from the civil rights movement to the civil rights movement. Fighting Dark, “which includes self-guided tours of the film, will premiere in the coming weeks and will create a unique and immersive experience for the first time in its history. You can view the complete collection on the Shed’s website, as well as on its YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Black Bohemia: A Virtual Village Walking Tour

This exhibition explores the brutality of racism and the healing power of art, and this project explores the resilience of black violence through the work of artists such as Dora Mathers, Yoko Ono, Toni Morrison, and others.

In a press release, Ware said: “The uprising that took place in New York City during the mid-19th century civil rights movement was a direct response to the Reconstruction Amendments that were being drafted. Racial violence was hidden for a century and a half under the false label of sedition.

The virtual tour, organized by Village Preservation, explores the black artists who have influenced Greenwich Village as we know it. The tour is led by the curator of art history at the New York City Museum of Modern Art, Derrick Johnson, and discusses its impact on the city’s cultural landscape.


Black history is completely integrated into that of the US and the world in general. Celebrating Black History Month in New York is just one way to pay homage to those that fell!

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