New York is a great place to explore in February, particularly because it’s Black History Month and we’re rich with African-American culture and history.
Some of our most accomplished African-American residents, past and present include: Louis Armstrong, W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Lena Horne, Count Basie, Zora Neal Hurston, Althea Gibson, Jay-Z and Malcolm X.
Billie Holiday first performed the Civil Rights anthem Strange Fruit in 1939 at the now-defunct Greenwich Village Cafe Society (which, by the way, was the city’s first integrated nightclub.) Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to break the color barrier in baseball when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to be elected to Congress in 1969; Marian Anderson was the first to become a member of the Metropolitan opera in 1954. The list goes on and on.
Point being, we are proud of our African-American community and its accomplishments. Here are a few of the best events happening here in the city this Black History Month:
Central Park’s Arsenal Gallery exhibit The March is a collection of works from 17 different artists reflecting on the Civil Rights Movement past, present and future, as well as those individuals who have advanced the cause.
Voices of Freedom, at the Winter Garden downtown, is a lunchtime jazz concert series that take place every Wednesday featuring exciting pairings with a pianist and some of our most revered NYC musicians.
On Thursday, February 20th, the Queens Botanical Gardens celebrates scientist, botanist and inventor George Washington Carver and introduces kids to his contributions to the world of botany. The workshop focuses on the role plants played in Dr. Carver’s life, lets the little ones actually paint with greenery and sends them home with a planted peanut to monitor its growth. Cost is $6 per kid.
And finally, the famed Apollo Theater will transform itself into one of the many Harlem nightclubs in the 30s and 40s for four evenings in February (20th-23rd). Maurice Hines, Boardwalk Empire star Margot B and Kevin Mahogany will perform a 90-minute revue that sounds amazing.
Come celebrate with us!