February is Black History Month, and New York City is celebrating with tons of events all month long. Take a hip-hop tour, visit the home of Louis Armstrong, launch the 2016 season of the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night, attend a story slam, learn about the abolitionist movement in Brooklyn and much, much more. Really, you’ll need a full month to do it all!
photo: via Brooklyn Museum Facebook page
Hit up the Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays for a free evening dedicated to the theme of Radical Black History.
A program of music, monologues, collage-making, gallery talks and more will take place from 5 – 9 p.m. Be sure to try out the museum’s ASK app, which lets visitors get live answers on demand about pieces in collection.
February 6, 5 – 9 p.m.
200 Eastern Parkway
Visit the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
The museum celebrates traditions of the African Diaspora with a weekend of arts and culture programming.
Sat., Feb 14 & Sun Feb 15, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
145 Brooklyn Ave.
photo: Anthony N. via Yelp
Visit the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens.
Armstrong and his wife Lucille bought the Corona house in 1943 and lived there for the rest of their lives. The current exhibit celebrates Armstrong’s legendary band the Hot Five, and in honor of Black History Month, visitors will be given a collectible reproduction of pages from the musician’s scrapbook charting the quintet’s rise to stardom. The museum isn’t just about music: it also documents Armstrong’s work as a civil rights pioneer and activist.
34-56 107th St.
Learn About George Washington Carver
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. All children must be accompanied by an adult and advanced registration is required. Click here to register.
Tuesday, February 16-2:30
43-50 Main St.
photo: via Feast of Music on Flickr
See Rising Stars (or Some Who Need More Practice) at Amateur Night at the Apollo
February 17 kicks off the 2016 season of this legendary showcase of aspiring performers, which has helped launch the careers of artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Jimi Hendrix. R&B artist Chrisette Michelle performs as special guest.
253 W. 125th St.
Hop the Green-wood Cemetery Trolley for a Special Black History Month Tour
Visit the final resting place of prominent black Americans with historian Jeff Richman. Among the notable New Yorkers discussed: the city’s first black female doctor, Susan Smith Mckinney Steward, NYC’s first black millionaire Jeremiah Hamilton, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as civil war heroes, abolitionsist and more.
Feb. 27, 1 – 3 p.m.
500 25th Ave.
Learn About Brooklyn’s Fight Against Slavery
Head to the Brooklyn Historical Society to see Brooklyn Abolitionists: In Pursuit of Freedom, which documents the borough’s anti-slavery movement through photographs, census records, maps and more. Afterwards, check out a replica of the Society’s rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln.
128 Pierrepont St.
photo: Eric W. via Yelp
Take the Birthplace of Hip-hop Tour
From Harlem to the Bronx and beyond this tour visits all the spots where hip-hop history was born. Celebrity guides lead this trip to murals celebrating hip-hop legends, the Graffiti Wall of Fame, landmark clubs, movie and music video filming locations, as well as major spots like the Apollo and Yankee Stadium. Note: Everyone should love hip-hop — it’s a four-hour tour.
Starts in midtown near Bloomingdale’s
Celebrate Legendary Tap Dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson
Kids six and up and can make their own tap shoes and try their hand at making beats with their feet. Advance registration is required; sign up in lobby one hour before event.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 West 83rd St.
Upper West Side
Attend the Inaugural Story Slam at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
A diverse range of storytellers sharing their own writings and celebrate the richness that is Harlem. Laura Bowman, Alison Cox, and many others share their original work.
Feb. 28, 2 – 3 p.m.
898 St. Nicholas Ave (at 155th St.)
How is your family celebrating Black History Month? Share with our readers in the comments below!