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Black History Month 2017

News Story

From the scholarly work of W.E.B. Du Bois and the historic Apollo Theater to Afro-vegan cooking and Brooklyn’s abolitionists, we’ve curated a special list of events happening in New York City and Westchester this February.


A Recognition of Black History Month
Saturday, February 11, 2017 | 1:00 p.m.
Saint Paul's Church, Mount Vernon, NY
Learn about the great black author and intellectual leader W.E.B. Du Bois, through a talk by Professor Mark Christian of Lehman College. Du Bois was the first black scholar to achieve a PhD from Harvard University, and devoted nearly 70 years to advancing the conditions of the lives of African-Americans. The talk by Professor Christian will include an exploration of Du Bois’ role in fashioning support among black Americans for United States participation in World War I, a relevant topic as we approach the centennial of American entry into the Great War. Reserve your ticket.

Afro-Vegan Flavors: Celebrating Black History
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Harrison Public Library, Halperin Building
Join the Harrison Public Library as they celebrate Black History Month with a cooking demonstration with author of Afro-Vegan, renowned chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry. Learn more.

Soul Voices: Black History Month Celebration
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.
Purchase College, Music Building, Recital Hall
Celebrate the diverse and talented student body of Purchase College with Soul Voices. Comprising young people of various backgrounds, the singers in the group come together to experience and express to their audience the unity possible via the great and universal gift of the human voice. Free and open to the public. For more information, Learn more.

Milestone Negro Spirituals Until the Civil War: When Folksongs bring Freedom
Sunday, February 26, 2017 | 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
New Rochelle Public Library, Ossie Davis Theater
Renowned bassist Hilliard Green will perform an interactive concert that traces the role of spirituals and folk songs in the struggle for freedom from slavery. In this family-friendly concert, Hilliard will provide a lively narrative to explain the messages behind the familiar songs that have been passed down through generations, and will invite audience members of all ages to raise their voices as well! Free, with a suggested donation of $2. Learn more.

New York City:

Apollo Open House
Saturday, February 4, 2017 | 2:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.
Apollo Theatre

The world famous Apollo Theater will host a day of community programming as a celebration of Black History Month. The Apollo Theater will open its doors during an Open House to give members of the Harlem community, New York City residents and tourists alike a unique and FREE glimpse at the Apollo’s rich history and current programs. This year’s afternoon of community programming celebrates the future with uplifting messages from youth activists and performers, including a child “star of tomorrow” from the legendary Amateur Night at the Apollo, which gave rise to young talents like Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, and Lauryn Hill. Learn more.

New York Public Library:

Conversations in Black Freedom Studies: Black Power at 50
Thursday, February 2, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.
Kicking off the NYPL's winter 2017 Conversations in Black Freedom Studies series, this program will examine several dimensions of black power then and now. Learn more.

Black Power Poetry Slam/Open Mic Edition
Friday, February 3, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
The Schomburg Center and To Whom We May Concern present a special Black Power Poetry Slam/Open Mic edition of first Fridays. Combining DJ and open mic sets, DJ IRS will provide the soundtrack to this edition of the NYPL's popular monthly social gathering, where you'll be able to groove the night away and enjoy our signature drinks. Learn more.

Before the Fires: An Oral History of African-American Life in the Bronx
Saturday, February 18, 2017| 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Please join NYPL for an insightful presentation by authors Mark Naison and Bob Gumbs on their recent book: Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930s to the 1960s. Their new book represents the intense and decades-long work of the Bronx African-American History Project, spearheaded by Mark Naison in 2002. Learn more.

Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom
Brooklyn Historical Society
This major, long-term exhibit explores the unsung heroes of Brooklyn's anti-slavery movement—ordinary residents, black and white—who shaped their neighborhoods, city, and nation with a revolutionary vision of freedom and equality. The exhibit is part of the groundbreaking In Pursuit of Freedom public history project that features new research on Brooklyn's abolition movement in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center and Irondale Ensemble Project. Learn more.