Celebrating Black History Month 2024 in NYC




Photographer Alex Harsley, for the inaugural opening of the gallery at the Apoolo’s Victoria Theater

This year’s theme for Black History Month 2024 celebrates “African Americans and the Arts.” So it is fitting that our featured image is of the opening of the gallery at the Apollo’s Victoria Theater, with photographer Alex Harsley’s visual exploration of Black artists and creativity.

Don’t miss Brooklyn-based Asase Yan Cultural Arts Foundation’s 7-day cultural festival, the Harlem Chamber Players, Manhattan School of Music, the Harlem Fine Arts Show and much more.

Here are a few suggestions for celebrating Black History Month 2024.

MOFAD Exhibiting The Legacy Quilt at Pier 57 Throughout Black History Month

The Legacy Quilt. Image courtesy MOFAD

The Museum of Food and Drink’s (MOFAD) ‘The Legacy Quilt’ will be one display at Pier 57 in Chelsea throughout Black History Month. Standing at 14 feet tall and nearly 30 feet wide, The Legacy Quilt is a handmade quilt that honors the countless African American food and drink producers who have laid the foundation for American cuisine. Hoping we can run something on this as part of ways New Yorkers and visitors can celebrate Black History Month in New York City.


The USPS to Issue ‘The Underground Railroad’ Stamps

From the time slavery was introduced to the Colonies until it was abolished in 1865, enslaved people tried to escape. This stamp issuance commemorates the Underground Railroad, as their resistance efforts became known. The pane of 20 stamps features 10 sepia-toned portraits of men and women who escaped slavery and/or helped others escape: Catharine Coffin, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, Laura Haviland, Lewis Hayden, Harriet Jacobs, William Lambert, Jermain Loguen, William Still and Harriet Tubman. Below each portrait are eight lines of text: BLACK/WHITE; COOPERATION; TRUST/DANGER; FLIGHT/FAITH; COURAGE/RISK; DEFIANCE/HOPE; UNDERGROUND; RAILROAD/USA. On the pane’s verso is a map showing the general routes freedom seekers followed and a list of individuals pictured on the stamps with a few words of biographical information about each. Antonio Alcalá, an art director for USPS, designed the stamps using existing images. The first day of issue will be March 9, 2024


Apollo’s Victoria Theater Gallery Exhibition of Photographer All Harsley ~ February 1

Celebrate the opening of The Apollo’s Victoria Theater with this visual exploration of Black artists and creativity from the 1950s through the early 2000s. Photographer and gallerist Alex Harsley’s exhibition details the visual history of Black creative spaces in NYC.

The gallery exhibition will be on view from February 1 through April 30, 2024. The Apollo’s Victoria Theater is located at 233 West 125th Street and is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 6pm.


Central Park Conservancy Offering Seneca Village Tours Beginning ~ February 2

Tickets available for February 2; February 4, February 17, February 19 and February 25.


Union Settlement Explores East Harlem’s Historic Black Landmarks with a Walking Tour ~ February 8

RSVP to economicdevelopment@unionsettlement.org

Celebrate Black History Month with a tour of the historic Black landmarks in East Harlem with author Christopher Bell. The event will be held on February 8th.


Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation Celebrates Black History Month with 7-Day Festival ~ February 12-18

Asase Yao-The Rhythms & Movements of African American Cultural Festival

In commemoration of the 54th anniversary of Black History Month, Brooklyn-based Asase Yan Cultural Arts Foundation is hosting The Rhythms & Movements of African American Culture Festival. Beginning February 12 and running through February 18, the festival will feature 16 performances from Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater, Asase Yaa Theater Company, Asase Yaa Youth Ensemble, Ife Youth Dance Theater, and Arkestra Africa.


Martin Luther King, Jr. at Standford U on April 14, 1967 ~ a film documentary

Film documents a speech given by Martin Luther King at Stanford University on April 14, 1967 about racism and civil rights in American society. Dr. King contends that there are “two Americas”: one “beautiful” and the “other America, ” which is an “arena of blasted hopes and dreams.” He goes on to explain that “we are seeking to make America one nation.”


Powerful Documentary ‘The Niagara Movement: The Early Battle for Civil Rights’ on THIRTEEN ~ February 15

The Niagara Movement. Credit: Courtesy of WNED Buffalo Toronto Public Media

The WNED PBS original The Niagara Movement: The Early Battle for Civil Rights, an engrossing documentary capturing the conflict between three national Black leaders at the turn of the 20th century over the pathway to Black liberation, will premiere during Black History Month on Thursday, February 15, at 10 p.m. EST on THIRTEEN. Directed by Emmy® Award-winning and two-time Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Lawrence R. Hott, the film shines a spotlight on the fight pitting sociologist W.E.B Du Bois and Boston newspaper publisher William Monroe Trotter against educator and orator Booker T. Washington, then the de facto leader of Black America. The Niagara Movement will also be distributed to public television stations around the country by American Public Television beginning February 1.


The Harlem Chamber Players host 16th Annual Black History Month Celebration at The Schomburg Center ~ February 15

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture presents The Harlem Chamber Players’ 16th Annual Black History Month Celebration. This concert will feature three phenomenal Black women. The featured guest artist is Nathalie Joachim who will perform her latest work, Ki moun ou ye, from her album, which will be released on February 16th. In Ki moun ou ye Nathalie Joachim asks, “Who are you?” This is a question Nathalie has been answering since her previous album Fanm d’Ayiti, a love letter to Haitian women, the foremothers of Haitian music, and the matriarchs in her personal life.


MLK Young Changemakers at The Apollo Theater ~ February 15

This year’s MLK Young Changemakers: The Beloved Community explores the roots of Dr. King’s activism and the everyday faith that powered his vision of a beloved global community. The discussion will focus on issues of climate change, global migration and voting rights. Join us as the changemakers of tomorrow share their voices and resources to help the next generation become catalysts within their own beloved communities. With live performances and opportunities for direct action, this is THE space for youth on the National Day of Service. This event is curated by The Apollo’s Apprentices.


Manhattan School of Music Celebrates Black History Month ~ February 16

Manhattan School of Music celebrates Black History Month with a program presented by the MSM Black Student Union. The school is located at 130 Claremont Avenue, NYC.


The Art & Times of David Hammons, Apollo Films ~ February 22

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to be among the first to experience film, visual art, and community in The Apollo’s new spaces at the revitalized Victoria Theater.

Dive into the world of art and activism through the extraordinary journey of visual artist, David Hammons. The Melt Goes On Forever: The Art & Times of David Hammons (2022) is a groundbreaking documentary that chronicles the singular career of the elusive African-American artist from Watts rebellion era ’60s L.A. to global art world prominence today.

The Melt Goes on Forever: The Art & Times of David Hammons will be shown on February 22nd at 7:30pm at The Apollo Stages at The Victoria Theater.


Harlem Fine Arts Show ~ February 23-25

From our archives, HFAS 2015

The Harlem Fine Arts Show 2024 will be held from February 23-25 at The Glasshouse, 660 12th Avenue between 48th and 49th Street, NYC. This is the Fair’s 16th year and will include art talks and art education in addition to the exhibition.


Black History Month Concert at Brooklyn Public Library ~ February 24

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson String Quartet “Calvary
Carlos Simon Elegy
Rhiannon Giddens At the Purchaser’s Option with Variations
Trevor Weston Fudo Myoo
Florence Price String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor
Paquito D’Rivera Wapango

Ashley Horne, violin
Claire Chan, violin
William Frampton, viola
Wayne Smith, cello


HIS and HERstory Black History Month Tribute ~ February 24

Marcus Garvey Park

Come, dance and have fun as we celebrate Black History Month from the viewpoint of our international guest artists. Our artists will share choreography and songs of Africa and the US and will also share from both a male and female perspective of what Black History month means. We will dance, hear great singing and even learn more about the significance and history of the music and choreography. This event will be held at Pelham Fritz Recreation Center in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem.

More NYC Parks Department Events for Black History Month.


A Celebration of Black Music at Juilliard ~ February 27

Image courtesy Juilliard.

The Arts and Society Series, Claiing Your Space: A Celebration of Black Music will take place at The Juilliard School on Tuesday, February 27th at 7:30pm. This concert will commemorate the 90th anniversary of a 1934 concert curated by H.T. Burleigh that featured Black Juilliard singers and instrumentalists, and celebrated the work of Black artists and composers. Hosted by distinguished visiting faculty member Denyce Graves, the evening will revisit works from Burleigh’s 1934 program alongside world premiere student compositions that have been commissioned for the present occasion.


Admiration: Black History Month Panel Symposium at Pier 57 ~ February 29

Adding to our list of events-not-to-miss during Black History Month is‘Admiration’: A Black History Month Panel Symposium, taking place on February 29th at 6:30pm at Pier 57. The event is curated by Tanya Weddemire Gallery and will feature renowned artists like Guy Stanley Philoche, Serron Green, Voodo Fe, who will share their insights on black culture and history through their captivating art. Moderated by the esteemed Stacey Ciceron, this panel promises to be an enlightening discussion you won’t want to miss.

This is a Free Event with Registration. Pier 57 is located at 25 11th Avenue, NYC.. The event will be held in the Living Room


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.


Preserving America’s Historic Black Churches

Presented by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


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.

New from Welcome to Harlem, Harlem Roots. Take a Harlem Civil Rights Virtual Tour!

Traverse Harlem, learn its personalities, and play your way through the Harlem Renaissance with Harlem-Opoly, the Board Game.


The James Van Der Zee Archive ~ The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Conversation with Thelma Golden

Join Jeff L. Rosenheim, The Met’s Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs, in dialogue with Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum, on the James Van Der Zee Archive at The Met, a landmark collaborative initiative to research, conserve, and provide full public access to the remarkable catalogue of photographs by James Van Der Zee (1886–1983)


Shop at Your Favorite Black-Owned Business

NiLu Gift Shop, 191 Malcolm X Blvd, NYC

Support your local Black-owned business. This NYC Guide will give you some wonderful suggestions, and a map of businesses in your area.


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.


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.


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 HassingertoLouis Delsarte, Xenobia Bailey and Derrick Adams + many many more. Above, artwork by artist Beatrice Lebreton, ‘Wisdom Along the Way,’ 2017 at Rockaway Avenue.


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.


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!


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.


Underground Railroad, the Secret History by The Science Channel

Archaeologists and historians use cutting-edge technology to investigate and explore some of the biggest mysteries surrounding the Underground Railroad, a secret network that helped enslaved African Americans escape to freedom.


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 Streetwas 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.


Celebrate the Preservation of 227 Duffield Street, Brooklyn

227 Duffield Street, Brooklyn via Google Maps 2020

On February 2, 2021, the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission voted to designate 227 Duffield Street (aka Abolitionist Place), Brooklyn, a New York City Landmark, with a vote of 11 in favor and 0 against. The home is a rare surviving 19th Century abolitionists’ home, and a stop on the historic underground railroad.


Visit The National Museum of African American History & Culture

National Museum of African American History & Culture

Celebrate Black History Month with a visit to The National Museum of African American History & Culture.


A nice image via The Art Deco Society