New York City has had a long history of African-American culture, and that remains true to this day. From the Harlem Renaissance to the first black woman elected for Congress, NYC offers many takes down memory lane. For Black History Month 2020, NYC has art shows, tours, and performances to celebrate and embrace the contributions and relevance of the African-American community.

1. Harlem Fine Arts Show

The 11th annual Harlem Fine Arts Show Show is being hosted at The Historic Riverside Church. This exhibit embraces African-American art in a variety of media, celebrating culture and talent. This traveling art show is the largest of its kind, bringing African and African-American art to audiences. Over the course of 4-days, there are different events: opening night ceremony, followed by a fashion show on Friday, a literary pavilion on Saturday and Sunday closing with a tribute to Toni Morrison.

Harlem Fine Arts showcase for Black History Month 2020
Harlem Fine Arts showcase for Black History Month 2020

2. Brooklyn Historical Society

The Brooklyn Historical Society takes a look back at injustices committed against blacks, and how they were able to prevail against these atrocities. On February 18th a scheduled screening of Always In Season will be shown, the story of Claudia Lucy’s federal case involving the death of her son. Following that on the 19th is a discussion with investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell was responsible for solving four cold cases from the civil rights era, committed by the KKK.

From Brooklyn Historical Society's website regarding Black History Month
From Brooklyn Historical Society’s website regarding Black History Month

3. The Arsenal Gallery

In honor of Black History Month The Arsenal Gallery will hold a photo exhibit titled Namesakes: African Americans in NYC Parks. Among the names are Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan and Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Brooklyn. Hosted on February 17th.

4. Jamaica Performing Arts Center

In Queens, the Jamaica Performing Arts Center will showcase Immigration Stories. On February 15 a tribute to Jessye Norman will feature the Altino Brothers and other guest singers. Then on the 22nd, all afternoon and evening there will be screenings for Black History Month Film Festival. The month-long celebration concludes on the 29th and March 1st, with a workshop and live drumming by Fanike African Dance Troupe.

5. Harlem Heritage Tours

These richly-entertaining and educational tours are the perfect way to celebrate Black History Month. The history of such music genres as hip-hop, jazz, gospel and other art in Harlem is on the itinerary. Tour-goers will get a firsthand look at the cultural impact of Harlem’s heritage from those born and raised in the area. Participants can expect music, food, and shopping as well.

Current exhibit at Harlem Heritage
A current exhibit at Harlem Heritage

6. Harlem Spiritual Tours

For an exploration of historical landmarks in Harlem with a taste of gospel, soul-food, and jazz intertwined, check out the Harlem Spiritual Tours. This soulful experience will hopefully leave you with a new perspective and appreciation of African-American culture.

7. Hush Hip Hop Tours

For a more hip-hop oriented tour that teaches history the Hush Hip Hop Tours, are run three days a week. You’ll visit historical sites throughout the Bronx and Harlem on this 4-hour long tour. Many influential names in the world of hip hop will be discussed.

8. UN Black History Tours

Every weekday in February at 2:30 pm, the UN hosts Black History Tours. Along the tour, is the Arc of Return, a permanent memorial to honor the victims of slavery will be seen.

Ark of Return, rememberance of slavery
Ark of Return, remembrance of slavery

How are you celebrating Black History Month in 2020? Will you be visiting any of these events or tours in New York City? If so tell us which ones, we’d love to hear about your experience! And for more tours and events in NYC check out 14 Things To Do in NYC on Valentines’ Day.


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