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Where to Celebrate Black History Month in the New York Area

Where to Celebrate Black History Month in the New York Area

February is Black History Month and it is a great time to learn about and explore African American history and culture. There are many places in New York City and the surrounding areas where you can do just that. Check out the events below and see where you can celebrate Black History Month in Manhattan, BrooklynQueens, Long Island, Westchester County, and Rockland County.


Black History Month Events in Manhattan

Inspirations and Tributes: An African American Lineage
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 3, 2pm
WHERE: The New York Philharmonic, Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67th St., Upper West Side
AGES: All
WHAT: A musical program exploring how composers influence and pay tribute to each other. Assistant Conductor Joshua Gersen will lead the program, featuring selections from Still’s Lenox Avenue and Ellington’s Harlem; 'My Lord, What a Mornin’,' a spiritual arranged by Harry T. Burleigh performed a cappella by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus; and new works by Very Young Composers of New York City inspired by their neighborhoods.
WANT TO GO? $15 and up. 212-875-5656. nyphil.org.


FREE LC Kids Storytime at the Atrium: 'Hey Black Child' by Bryan Collier
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 17, 11am
WHERE: Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side
AGES: Newborn-8
WHAT: Six-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and four-time Caldecott Honor recipient Bryan Collier brings Useni Eugene Perkins’s classic, inspirational poem to life, celebrating black children and seeking to inspire all young people to dream big and achieve their goals.
WANT TO GO? 212-875-5456. kids.lincolncenter.org.
 

Living History: Black History Month
WHEN: Feb. 24-25, Saturday-Sunday, 11am-4pm
WHERE: DiMenna Children's Museum at New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side
AGES: All
WHAT: Celebrate Black History Month all weekend long with Living History. On Saturday and Sunday, meet Living Historians who bring African American New Yorkers from the past to life, take a close look at their period clothing and accessories, and learn about a skill from long ago.
WANT TO GO? $21; $16 teachers and seniors; $13 students; $6 children ages 5-13; free for children younger than 4. 212-873-3400. nyhistory.org/childrens-museum.


Special Story Time with Vashti Harrison, author of 'Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History'
WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 25, 11:30am
WHERE: DiMenna Children's Museum at New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side
AGES: All
WHAT: Vashti Harrison’s debut picture book, Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, highlights the achievements of 40 African American women who helped shape American history. Join for a special story time with the author, and learn how this book concept grew out of a few captivating illustrations she posted to Instagram during Black History Month. The reading and author chat will be followed by a short Q&A and book signing.
WANT TO GO? $21; $16 teachers and seniors; $13 students; $6 children ages 5-13; free for children younger than 4. 212-873-3400. nyhistory.org/childrens-museum.
 

FREE The Paley Center for Media Celebrates Black History Month
WHEN: Feb. 1-28, Wednesday and Friday-Sunday, 12-6pm; Thursday, 12-8pm
WHERE: The Paley Center for Media, 25 W. 52nd St., Midtown
AGES: All
WHAT: The Paley Center for Media celebrates Black History Month with exhibits, screenings, and family activities.
WANT TO GO? 212-621-6800. paleycenter.org.
 

Black History Month Events in Brooklyn

FREE Teen Time: Celebrate Black History Month
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 1, 3:15-4:15pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Public Library, Dyker Branch, 8202 13th Ave., Dyker Heights
AGES: 9-17
WHAT: Teens and tweens are invited to celebrate Black History Month at the Dyker branch. The librarian will have special trivia and crafts prepared.
WANT TO GO? 718-748-6261. bklynlibrary.org.
 

FREE Target First Saturday: Black History Month
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 3, 5-11pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights
AGES: All
WHAT: Join engaging and eclectic free art and entertainment every month. February's events celebrate Black History Month.
WANT TO GO? 718-638-5000. brooklynmuseum.org.
 

FREE Black History Month: Bedford-Stuyvesant
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 3, 1-2:30pm
WHERE: Herbert Von King Park, Clifton Place and Marcy Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant
AGES: 5 and older
WHAT: Discover the history of Bedford-Stuyvesant and the prominent African-American community leaders that had a positive impact on the neighborhood.
WANT TO GO? 212-360-2777. nyc.govparks.org.
 

FREE Martin Luther King’s The Drum Major Instinct
WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2-4pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights
AGES: 9 and older
WHAT: This dramatic reading by acclaimed actors of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final sermon delivered 50 years ago on February 4, 1968. The Drum Major's Instinct is a powerful, cautionary speech about the impulse in all humans to be first.
WANT TO GO? 718-230-2100. bklynlibrary.org.
 

FREE Events for Youth and Families: The Language of the Drum with Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 10, 1-2pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Dweck Center, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights
AGES: All
WHAT: Celebrate Black History Month with Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble! Led by founder Joseph Barnes and artistic director Jewel Love, Bambara brings the black aesthetic from its beginnings in Africa to the present day with high energy and creativity, highlighting traditional repertoires from West and Central Africa, Cuba, and the United States.
WANT TO GO? 718-230-2100. bklynlibrary.org.


FREE Black History Month: Sandy Ground
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 17, 11am-12:30pm
WHERE: Bloomingdale Park Playground, Lenevar and Ramona avenues, Staten Island
AGES: All
WHAT: Urban Park Rangers specialize in interpretation of historic turning points, both natural and man-made, in our city's long history. Learn more about one of the oldest surviving communities in the United States that was founded by African Americans prior to the American Civil War.
WANT TO GO? 718-430-1890. nycgovparks.org.


Passport Home: Weeksville Heritage Center
WHEN: Feb. 10 and 22, Saturday and Thursday, see website for times
WHERE: Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., Crown Heights
AGES: All
WHAT: What makes a house? What makes a home? Join Weeksville Heritage Center and Brooklyn Children’s Museum as we travel back in time and discover the rich history of Weeksville, one of America’s many free black communities founded before national emancipation. Explore themes of housing and home during our two-day event, which invites families to find and record history through archaeological workshops, art-based activities, interactive collections-based programming, and a musical performance.
WANT TO GO? $11; free for children younger than 1. 718-735-4400. brooklynkids.org.
 

February Drop-in Play
WHEN: Feb. 3-25, Saturday-Sunday, 1-5pm
WHERE: Spark by Brooklyn Children's Museum, 1 John St., DUMBO
AGES: 3-8
WHAT: Celebrate Black History Month by creating artworks inspired by innovative and influential African American contemporary artists.
WANT TO GO? $15. 718-852-2470. brooklynkids.com/spark.
 

Black History Month Events in Queens 

FREE Urban Stages Presents 'The Gates of Equality'
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 1, 6pm
WHERE: South Hollis Library, 204-01 Hollis Ave., South Hollis
AGES: All
WHAT: This dramatic presentation tells about the life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through his speeches, press conferences and fictional narrative.
WANT TO GO? 718-465-6779. queenslibrary.org.
 

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FREE Saturday Movie at St. Albans: 'Selma'
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2pm
WHERE: St. Albans Library, 191-05 Linden Blvd., St. Albans
AGES: 5 and older
WHAT: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, but discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage.
WANT TO GO? queenslibrary.org.
 

Celebrate Black History Month: George Washington Carver Workshop
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1pm
WHERE: Queens Botanical Garden, 4350 Main St., Flushing
AGES: 5-12
WHAT: Called the “Wizard of Tuskegee,” Dr. George Washington Carver made significant contributions in the field of botany. Learn how plants played a very important role in his early life and later achievements. Students will follow in Dr. Carver’s steps, using plants to paint and to create a healing lotion to take home. Registration required
WANT TO GO? $6. 718-886-3800. queensbotanicalgarden.org.
 

Saturday Family Matinee: 'Henry Box Brown'
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 10, 2pm
WHERE: Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Ave.
WHAT: Gospel, R&B, bluegrass, and original Negro spirituals with an infusion of American folk music weave together to tell this true story of an 1850’s Virginia Slave who shipped himself to freedom in a box. It is a tale where the triumph of the human spirit prevails through the sacrifice of black and white abolitionists.
WANT TO GO? $10; $5 children.
 

FREE African-American History Month: Bios & Beats
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 4:30pm
WHERE: Flushing Library, 41-17 Main St., Flushing
AGES: 5-12
WHAT: Celebrate leading African-American music legends through picture book biographies. Then children will listen to pieces of their music and let the beats inspire free-flowing drawings.
WANT TO GO? 718-661-1200. queenslibrary.org.


FREE 'A Ballerina's Tale' Film Screening
WHEN: Wednesday Feb. 21, 3-5pm
WHERE: Queensboro Hill Library, 60-05 Main St., Flushing
AGES: 5-17WHAT: Celebrate Black History Month with a viewing of A Ballerina's Tale, the story of dancer Misty Copeland's rise to the top of the competitive ballet world.
WANT TO GO? 718-359-8332. queenslibrary.org.

FREE Black History Month Performance
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 23, 4pm
WHERE: Arverne Library, 312 Beach 54 St., Arverne
AGES: 5-12
WHAT: Children will dress up as a famous African-American to highlight their accomplishments, and will also recite sections of Martin Luther King Jr. 'I Have a Dream' Speech.
WANT TO GO? 718-634-4784. queenslibrary.org.
 

FREE Black History Month
WHEN: Feb. 2-23, Fridays, 4pm
WHERE: Peninsula Library, 92-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway
AGES: 5-12
WHAT: Celebrate Black History Month! Play fun educational games and explore historical events and figures. Registration required.
WANT TO GO? 718-634-1110. nycgovparks.org.
 

Black History Month Events on Long Island

FREE Black History Month Program: Bessie Coleman Airplane Craft
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 1, 6:30-7:30pm
WHERE: Brentwood Public Library, 34 Second Ave., Brentwood
AGES: 5 and older
WHAT: Learn about pilot Bessie Coleman, and then have fun making your own paper airplanes.
WANT TO GO? 631-273-7883. brentwoodnylibrary.org.
 

FREE 'I Am Harriet Tubman' Storytime
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 3, 11am
WHERE: Barnes and Noble -Country Glen Center, 91 Old Country Road, Carle Place
AGES: 3-5
WHAT: I Am Harriet Tubman tells the story of Harriet Tubman's pivotal role in the fight against slavery. Join us for Storytime and learn more about this important American icon.
WANT TO GO? 516-741-9850. barnesandnoble.com.


FREE Black History Month: Spotlight on the Authors
WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2-2:45pm
WHERE: Riverhead Free Library, 330 Court St., Riverhead
AGES: 3-8
WHAT: The library will read several stories by African American authors and illustrators. Than families create art work based on the stories. Registration required.
WANT TO GO? 631-727-3228. riverheadlibrary.org.
 

Classic Soul Music: 1950s-1970s
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7:30pm
WHERE: Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington
AGES: 5 and older
WHAT: Listen to music that the record labels Chess, Motown, and Stax brought to stardom, including Chuck Berry, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight, The O'Jays, James Brown, and more, as part of the celebration of Black History Month.
WANT TO GO? $16. 631-423-7611. cinemaartscentre.org.


FREE Black History Month Program: Peace Wreath
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 8, 5:30-6:15pm
WHERE: Brentwood Public Library, 34 Second Ave., Brentwood
AGES: 5-8
WHAT: Learn about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and then create a unique peace wreath using your thumbprints.
WANT TO GO? 631-273-7883. brentwoodnylibrary.org.


'Harriet Rosa & Me'
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 11am and 6pm
WHERE: Suffolk Community College, 1001 Crooked Hill Road, Brentwood
AGES: 9 and older
WHAT: The Lively Arts at Suffolk County Community College presents this musical play telling the story of Hope, a high school student who skips school to avoid attending her Black History class. Hope encounters two women, Rosa (as in Parks) and Harriet (as in Tubman). Together, they show Hope the importance of Black History and highlight women of color who have left their mark on history. Audience discussion following the show.
WANT TO GO? $8. 631-851-6589. sunysuffolk.edu.
 

Black History Month Events in Westchester County

FREE Field Library Unity Quilt Project
WHEN: Monday, Feb. 5, 4pm
WHERE: The Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill
AGES: All
WHAT: Celebrate Black History Month by making a square for the Field Library Unity Quilt.
WANT TO GO? 914-737-0847. fieldkids.wordpress.com.
 

Family Art Project: Josephine Baker Dances Out the Winter Blues
WHEN: Feb. 17-18, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-1pm
WHERE: Wave Hill, 649 W. 249th St., Bronx
AGES: All
WHAT: In conjunction with Black History Month, celebrate the renowned entertainer Josephine Baker, famous for her activism and for refusing to perform for segregated audiences in the U.S. Make handmade musical instruments and join visiting storyteller Channie Waites through interactive movement and sound.
WANT TO GO? $8; $4 students and seniors; $2 children 6-18; free for children younger than 6; admission is free until 12pm. 718-549-3200. wavehill.org.


Black History Month Events in Rockland County

FREE 'I Am Harriet Tubman' Storytime
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 3, 11am
WHERE: Barnes & Noble, 4416 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack
AGES: 3-8
WHAT: The 14th book in author Brad Meltzer's bestselling Ordinary People Change the World series, I Am Harriet Tubman tells the story of Harriet Tubman's pivotal role in the fight against slavery. Enjoy a fun storytime and learn more about this important American icon.
WANT TO GO? 845-348-4701.
 

FREE Chiku Awali African Dance Performance
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 6:30-7:30pm
WHERE: Haverstraw King's Daughters Public Library, Main Library, 10 W. Ramapo Road, Garnerville
AGES: All
WHAT: Experience the excitement of African Dance performed by Chiku Awali African Dance Company.
WANT TO GO? 845-786-3800. hkdpl.org.


RELATED:

African American Historical Landmarks in the New York Area

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Main image: The Young People's Chorus of New York City featuring American baritone Lester Lynch.
Courtesy Christ Church