Black History Month is here, and it’s hands-down one of the best opportunities to remember old lessons and learn new ones. Especially in an art and culture hub like NYC, the month will be full of talks, exhibits, performances and more that chronicle and appreciate “black leaders, activists, authors and innovators who have made their mark in American history.”
Here are some of the powerful presentations that will be going on in the big apple over the coming month, courtesy of NYC-Arts.org:
1. Black History Month: The Women—The National Jazz Museum will feature Mary Lou Williams, who wrote music for the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington. The museum will host a listening session and talk on February 12th. Mary Lou Williams will also be celebrated on February 20th at Arts at The Park (Park Avenue Christian Church).
2. Blues for Smoke—This exhibition will showcase artists like David Hammons, Zoe Leonard, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It will also feature some of the world’s best jazz, blues, and hip-hop music.
3. The Dream Continues—Put on by the New York Historical Society, this will feature photographer Camilo José Vergara. He’s a MacArthur Fellow, and has spent the past thirty years photographing MLK murals across the country.
4. Apollo Club Harlem—This landmark from the days of the Harlem Renaissance is putting on a nightclub-style show that will make remembrance of legendary performers (Dizzie, Billie, Ella, Sarah, Duke) by celebrating the best contemporary talents out there. Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Dormeshia, Storyboard P, and David Berger are just a few of the perk to this night on the town, which shows nightly on February 18, 22, and 23.
5. Words Are Freedom—On every Sunday in February, this program can be seen for free. Each Sunday features the writings of a different notable American slave and their own personal story. February 10th features Frederick Douglass, February 17th is for Nightjohn, and February 24th is Harriet Jacob’s day.
For more information on events, ticketing, pricing, and hours, visit the NYC-Arts website. Many of the events are free to attend, though some charge an admission fee. Make the most of this February’s Black History Month!