New York City is filled with events throughout February to celebrate Black History Month, an annual observance and celebration that was made official in the U.S. in 1976 (though its own history dates back to the 1920s). Below, find a list of events around the city to help you celebrate, educate, and participate.

167th Street subway station Maya Angelou
Mosaic of Maya Angelou at the 167th Street subway station, as part of "Beacons (2018)" © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167 Street Station. Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design. Maya Angelou portrait derived from a photograph by Brian Lanker. (Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Ovoke Ukpokpo)

First Saturday: Legacy on Saturday, February 4, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum. The Brooklyn Museum is kicking off its 25th year of First Saturday parties with an evening focusing on the legacy of Black artistic production in Brooklyn. The night will present the Black artists shaping Brooklyn's culture today and throwback performers. (Free, with registration.)

Color Is: I'mPower on Saturday, February 13, at the Guggenheim. As part of the artist Nick Cave's exhibition, forothermore, the museum is presenting a night of film, discussion, and fashion, starting with a preview of 376 Days, Nick Cave: ‘Keep it Movin’, a short documentary. Cave and his brother Jack Cave will join 376 Days filmmaker Claude-Aline Miller for a talk, and then there will be a runway show from the Nick and Jack Cave collection. There will also be an exhibition viewing and reception in the rotunda.

Nick Cave's ‘Every One’ mosaic in 42 St Connector
Photo courtesy of MTA/Trent Reeves

By the way, you can also see Cave's work in the subway system: He designed the exuberant mosaics at Times Square-42nd Street by the shuttle and in the passage to Bryant Park station.

Heritage: Exploring the Past, Present, and Future in Black Art at The Arsenal Gallery in Central Park. Open throughout February (except February 20) and until March 9, the NYC Parks Department's Arsenal Gallery is showing artwork by NYC Parks’ employees who are exploring their Black heritage in a variety of media.

Still I Rise throughout February at City Winery. The Chelsea venue is launching the "Still I Rise" series to highlight strong Black voices in the music industry, with a portion of ticket proceeds going to organizations, like Black Voters Matter. Legendary Sheila E and the E Train are performing two shows on February 11; soul singer Chrisette Michelle has two back-to-back shows on February 13; and comedian James Davis takes the stage on February 28.

Weeksville Heritage Center
The Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn (Wikimedia)

Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn. Weeksville, located in what is now Crown Heights, was one of the first free Black communities in the city: Founded in 1838, the area became its own town of around 500 people by the late 19th century, making it the second-largest free Black community before the Civil War. The community had been forgotten about until it was rediscovered in the 1960s. Three of the original houses have been preserved, and there are tours Tuesday through Saturday.

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man: Readings and Listening Party on Friday, February 17, at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. The National Jazz Museum is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the groundbreaking novel with an evening of dramatized readings

The Apollo Presents Blues and Its People on Saturday, February 18, at the Apollo Theater. Composer and trumpeter Russell Gunn and his Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra is bringing to life poet Amiri Baraka's Blues People: Negro Music in White America, in a work specially commissioned by the Apollo. The evening features guests including Weedie Braimah, Davell Crawford, Miles Griffith, Craig Harris, Stefon Harris, Jazzmeia Horn, Oliver Lake, Jessica Care Moore, and Leon Timbo, and explores jazz, gospel and blues.

Afrofuturism Met Museum
Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This installation draws upon the history of Seneca Village, the community of Black landowners (in what is now Central Park) that was destroyed when the city seized the land. The exhibit imagines what a domestic space could have been like, using items from the museum's collection and commissioned works.

Afropunk + Lincoln Center Black HERstory Live, Saturday and Sunday, February 24 and 25, at Lincoln Center. Two days of activities and performances are planned across Alice Tully Hall and David Geffen Hall. Both days start with OPEN FAIR in the afternoon — market vendors, sound baths, poetry slam, dance performances — and then are there performances in the evening: Agony, exploring the Black woman’s journey to find her voice through self-expression, on Saturday, and Ecstasy, leaning into the strength of the Black woman’s voice on, Sunday.

Crafting Freedom: The Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas W. Commeraw at the New-York Historical Society. Thomas W. Commeraw was a free Black entrepreneur in post-colonial America, and the exhibit of nearly two dozen jars and jugs from Commeraw's pottery is accompanied by artifacts, newspaper articles, and more detailing his personal and political life.

African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan. Tours of the oldest and largest known burial ground in North America for both freed and enslaved Blacks are available all month. It was also the first national monument dedicated to Africans of early New York and Americans of African descent. The visitor center also has exhibits on colonial enslavement and civic engagement.

The African Poetry Theatre presents Black History Month Film Festival, Saturday and Sunday, February 25-26, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. The two-day film festival celebrates the achievements of local Black filmmakers whose works cover love, loss, heartbreak, and migration.

Check our events section as more are announced in the city and region.



Located around New York City

Plan Trip