Celebrating Black History Month 2022 in NYC




Tenekeya Word, Tender a Sisterhood Anthem (Bside) fig. 014, linocut, relief ink, hand quilting on 280 gsm BFK Rives, 22 x 30 in, 2021 ~ In the exhibition ‘A Contemporary Black Matriarchal Lineage in Printmaking’ at Claire Oliver Gallery.

This year, we will celebrate Black History Month 2022 in-person and online with installations, exhibitions, food, music, and a visit to historic sites. With so much to choose from, here are a few suggestions.


‘Marvel’s Voices: Legacy’ Returns Celebrating Black History Month

MARVEL’S VOICES: LEGACY #1 cover by ChrisCross

Spotlighting Marvel’s Black heroes, MARVEL’S VOICES: LEGACY #1 will showcase extraordinary stories brought to life by an all-star lineup of creators. Don’t miss the latest one-shot in this groundbreaking series committed to elevating the cultural richness of Marvel Comics and uplifting new voices in the comic book industry!


NYC Parks Celebrates Black History Month with a Virtual Exhibition 

Artist Gloria Zapata, Image courtesy NYC Parks

NYC Parks is proud to present the Poe Park Visitor Center’s virtual exhibition as part of the agency’s Black History Month celebration. The online show is in addition to “The NYC Parks Renaming Project: Celebrating Black Leaders” at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, as well as events and tours taking place this month. Both shows are free and will be on view through February 28, 2022.


A Contemporary Black Matriarchal Lineage In Printmaking at Claire Oliver Gallery

Chloe Alexander, Existing in a positively negative space, charcoal, and pastel on wood lithography matrix, 24 x 24 in, 2021

In perfect timing for Black History Month, Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to the New York debut exhibition A Contemporary Black Matriarchal Lineage in Printmaking featuring 21 works by nine contemporary Black women printmakers.  Curated by two artists, founder of Texas-based nonprofit Black Women of Print, Tanekeya Word and member Delita Martin, the exhibition explores the depth and breadth of printmaking through the lens of Black women and their myriad narratives.


NYC Parks Celebrates Black Leaders in the Arsenal Gallery for Black History Month

Photo credit: Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

In celebration of Black History Month, NYC Parks is pleased to announce the exhibition, “The NYC Parks Renaming Project: Celebrating Black Leaders,” now on view at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park. The show highlights some of the parks and park features that the agency has recently renamed to honor the Black experience in New York City. This exhibition is presented by NYC Parks’ Art & Antiquities and Ebony Society and will be on view through February 28, 2022.


Black History in NYC Parks

Sculpture of Frederick Douglass at the FDB Circle on Central Park West and 110th Street.

Learn about parks, sculptures, and other green spaces in New York City that highlight and honor the black experience in the United States.


Hilton Als Curates Toni Morrison’s Black Book at David Zwirner Gallery

Martin Schoeller ‘Toni Morrison; Grand View-on-Hudson, NY, 2003; Archival pigment print 24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm); Framed: 24 1/4 x 20 inches (61.6 x 50.8 cm) Edition of 10 © Martin Schoeller

David Zwirner is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, critic, and curator Hilton Als. On view at the gallery’s West 19th Street spaces, the exhibition will focus on the enormous output and cultural significance of Toni Morrison (1931–2019), and, as Als notes, “will add visual components that italicize the beauty and audacity of her work.” Included will be selected archival materials as well as work by artists Garrett Bradley, Beverly Buchanan, Robert Gober, Gwen Knight, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Irving Penn, Walter Price, Martin Puryear, Amy Sillman, Bob Thompson, and James Van Der Zee, among others, some of which have been commissioned for the exhibition and were made in direct response to Morrison’s writings.


The Black Index at Hunter College Art Galleries ~ February 1

Hunter College Art Galleries will open its doors to the traveling group exhibition The Black Index featuring the work of Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas. The artists included in The Black Index build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, these artists question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification.


Black is Beautiful: 60th Anniversary of the Transformative Fashion Show, Naturally ’62 ~ February 3

Photo credit: Kwame Brathwaite

Join guest curator and moderator Souleo in commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Naturally ‘62 fashion show. This groundbreaking 1962 event featured Black models (referred to as Grandassa Models) who rejected Western ideals of beauty and helped advance the Black is Beautiful cultural movement.

Speakers include original Grandassa Models Queen Black Rose and Barbara “Adzua” Solomon; and Bob Gumbs, graphic designer and original member of the African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (organizers of the “Naturally ‘62” show).

The Apollo Theater presents Deep River: Black Currents in Classical Music ~ February 3 at The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, NYC

There is a rich tradition of Black composers, conductors, and musicians in classical music, from William Grant Still, Scott Joplin, and Florence Price to Marian Anderson and Jessye Norman.

Dr. Howard Watkins, renowned pianist and Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, explores this lineage by curating a recital delving into the rich repertoire of Black American composers, featuring internationally acclaimed soprano Karen Slack. This illuminating musical performance is followed by an insightful panel discussion lead by Watkins and other scholars and luminaries in the field.

Check out The Apollo Theater 2022 Winter/Spring Season

Help The Apollo celebrate its 88th Anniversary. Post your favorite memory of The Apollo Theater and leave a comment on their Instagram page.


Annual Archdiocesan Black History Month Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral ~ February 6

Join the Archdiocese of New York in a National Day of Prayer for the African American and African Family. The event will take place on Sunday, February 6th at 2:00pm at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with the principal celebrant, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan. Live stream on saintpatrickscathedral.org/live.


Celebrate Black History Month with Flushing town Hall’s Black History Trilogy ~ February 12, 20 and 24th

This February, Flushing Town Hall celebrates Black History Month with the return of its Black History Trilogy, a three-part series featuring outstanding performers paying tribute to influential African-American musicians, entertainers, and musical traditions.

The Trilogy kicks off with Third Stone from the Sun – A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix on February 12, 2022 at 7 PM, showcasing Jimi Hendrix’s most popular songs. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

The Harlem Chamber Players Black History Month Concerts

The Harlem Chamber Players will perform on February 13th in Woodland, New Jersey, the 23rd at Harlem School of the Arts, and on the 27th at the Brooklyn Public Library.


Tour Seneca Village with Urban Park Rangers ~ February 13

Photo credits: The Central Park Conservancy developed this program of interpretative signage based on research conducted by the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History (IESVH), with additional research and content development by the Conservancy and Hunter Research, Inc. Project management by Hunter Research, Inc. and graphic design by Douglas Scott. Sign fabrication by Pannier Graphics. The IESVH includes Cynthia Copeland, Paul Johnson, Celedonia Jones, Meredith Linn, Nan Rothschild, Herbert Seignoret, Diana diZerega Wall, and Sharon Wilkins.

Commemorate Black History Month with a tour of Seneca Village. Learn about the lives of Seneca Village’s residents in the 1800s and the community’s place in pre-Central Park. The tour will be given by Urban Park Rangers from 1:00-2:00pm at 81st Street and Central Park West. This is a Free event.


The Documentary, Summer of Soul Broadcast Television Premiere on ABC ~ February 20th

‘Summer of Soul’ image released by Sundance; Sly Stone (Sly and the Family Stone) Mt Morris Park, Harlem

We can’t mention Black History Month without mentioning the historic event, turned into a documentary ‘ Summer of Soul’. It is now in theaters, streaming, and on DVD.

Don’t miss this special presentation of Summer of Soul on Sunday, February 20, 2022 on ABC TV.


African/American: Making The Nation’s Table at The Africa Center ~ February 23

Exploring some of the incredible stories of African Americans who have shaped our country’s culinary identity. The Legacy Quilt. Image via MOFAD

The Africa Center and Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) will kick-off Black History Month  with the opening of African/American: Making the Nation’s Table. This exhibition will highlight the many ways African culture has influenced African American Cuisine, and how those traditions have blended to create the foundation for American food.


Black Dolls Exhibition at New York Historical Society ~ February 25

Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897). Dolls made for the Willis family children, ca. 1850-60. Mixed fabrics, metal. Private Collection. Photo: Glenn Castellano.

Black Dolls explores handmade cloth dolls made primarily by African American women between 1850 and 1940 through the lens of race, gender, and history. The exhibition immerses visitors in the world of dolls, doll play, and doll making while examining the formation of racial stereotypes and confronting the persistence of racism in American history. It features more than 100 cloth dolls—many from the private collection of Deborah Neff as well as 20th-century commercial dolls and objects from New-York Historical and other collections—and dozens of historical photographs of white and Black children posed with their playthings and caregivers.


MTA Arts & Design Celebrates Black History + Culture with its treasure trove of artwork within the MTA System

Artist, Beatrice Lebreton ‘Wisdom Along the Way’, 2017 at Rockaway Avenue

During Black History Month, MTA Arts & Design features its treasure trove of glass, mosaic and metal artworks throughout the MTA system. Above and below ground, passengers will enjoy seeing works by some familiar names from Faith Ringgold, Terry Adkins, and Maren Hassingerto Louis Delsarte, Xenobia Bailey and Derrick Adams + many many more. Above, artwork by artist Beatrice Lebreton, ‘Wisdom Along the Way,’ 2017 at Rockaway Avenue.


African American Landmarks & Historic Districts in New York City by NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

nyc Landmarks Preservation Commission site, Before 1865

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) created an interactive story map to celebrate New York City’s African American history through its designated places. Entitled Preserving Significant Places of Black History, it celebrates New York City’s African American history through designated landmarks and historic districts. For five decades LPC has been recognizing, supporting, and celebrating places of African American cultural and historic significance through designation. This story map highlights landmarks and historic districts that illustrate the experiences and achievements of African Americans through interactive maps, narrative text, images, and multimedia content.


NYC Landmarks Preservation Launches ‘Seneca Village Unearthed’ Online

1855 Viele Topographic Survey with the added outline of Seneca Village, courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)  launched the site, Seneca Village Unearthed, an online exhibit and collection of artifacts from what was once New York City’s largest community of free African-American landowners. Seneca Village was located in what is now Central Park, a scenic landmark. Through this online exhibit and collection, the general public will for the first time have access to nearly 300 artifacts and get a glimpse of what life was like for Seneca villagers in the mid-19th century.


Did You Know That The Schomburg Center houses the Full Digital Collection of Green Books? 

Covers of The Negro Motorist Green Book published by Victor H. Green: 1940, 1956, and 1962. Public access via the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, New York Public Library

While The Green Book has been very much in the news this year, with The Museum of Arts & Design’s exhibition by artist Derrick Adams entitled Sanctuary and Unpacking the Green Book: Travel and Segregation in Jim Crow America, along with the about-to-be released movie, Green Book, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture houses the full digital collection of Green Books and other similar guides.


Visit The Historic African Burial Ground

The Maerschalck map of the City of New York is a historic map made in 1754 that clearly shows the African Burial Ground and its surrounding neighborhood
Library of Congress

African Burial Ground (managed by the National Park Service) is the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans. It protects the historic role slavery played in building New York. The Visitors Center is located at 290 Broadway; The outside memorial is located at the intersection of African Burial Ground Way (formerly Elk Street) and Duane Street.


Take a Historic Harlem Walking Tour

Mural ‘Spirit of Harlem’ by artist Louis Del Sarte, Commissioned for the people of Harlem by North Fork Bank, 2005 and restored and dedicated to the Harlem community in 2018. Located on the corner of 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. in Harlem. Photo credit: AFineLyne

Harlem-based tour company Welcome To Harlem originated in 2004 with tour guides who are born and raised in the neighborhood. Tours range from walking tours through historic neighborhoods to jamming jazz and gospel brunch.


What to Read during Black History Month

Nilu Gift Shop, 191 Lenox Avenue, Harlem – between 119/120th Streets.

You’ll find a plethora of good reading in the gift shop at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and at Nilu Gift Shop located at 191 Malcolm X Boulevard between 119/120th Streets in Harlem.


Visit the Oldest African-American Musical Organization in the Country ~ NAMA

Founded in 1904, the New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA) is the oldest African-American musical organization in the country. It was founded at a time when the musicians union didn’t admit minority musicians, and the law stated that one had to be in the union in order to perform in New York City!


While we Celebrate Black History Month, Let Us Celebrate Three Outstanding Recipients of the 2022 Gordon Parks Foundation

Left to right: Bisa Butler, Photo by Gioncarlo Valentine; Andre D. Wagner, Photo by Ike Edeani; Nicole R. Fleetwood

The Gordon Parks Foundation has named its 2022 fellowship recipients: Artists Bisa Butler and Andre D. Wagner, and author and curator Nicole R. Fleetwood as the inaugural Genevieve Young Fellow in Writing. Established in 2017, the fellowship program champions individuals who share the foundation’s devotion to advancing Parks’s vision for social change through the arts and humanities. This year expands on previous art fellowships with the launch of the Genevieve Young Fellowship in Writing, established in honor of the legendary book editor, who was also Gordon Parks’s former wife, estate executor, and instrumental member of the foundation’s board until her passing in 2020. Each recipient will receive $25,000 to support new or ongoing projects that explore themes of representation and social justice.


Help Preserve one of the Many Stops on the Underground Railroad by Signing the Petition 

13th Street Repretory Company

Did you know that the building located at 50 West 13th Street was one of the many stops on the Underground Railroad? Constructed in the late 1700s, it still has the trap door in the basement floor. The building is under threat of being demolished. You can help save the building by adding your name.