Black History Month
Celebrate African-American heritage at these events.
Wed Feb 1 2012
Photograph: DBR Music Productions
Guided tours of the Louis Armstrong House Museum
Take a trip to the Queens home of the late, legendary jazz musician. Trained docents will lead 40-minute tours that offer a glimpse into Satchmo's life and career; along the way, visitors can hear rare recordings and see images and artifacts from his life. 34-56 107th St between 34th and 37th Aves, Corona, Queens (718-478-8274, louisarmstronghouse.org). Tue--Fri 10am--5pm; Sat, Sun noon--5pm. $10; seniors, students and children $7; children under 4 free. Through Feb 29.
"Faith, Courage and Purpose: Artists of the Diaspora"
Betty Blayton, Leroy Campbell, Essud Fungcap, April Harrison and Charly Palmer are just some of the African-American artists who have had to overcome adversity in the profession. In celebration of their triumph, as well as Black History Month, this exhibit will showcase some 29 paintings, mixed-media work and collages by these and other artists. Arsenal Gallery, 830 Fifth Ave at 64th St, third floor (212-360-8163, nyc.gov/parks). Mon--Fri 9am--5pm; free. Through Feb 28.
"The 13th Amendment"
A handwritten copy of the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery, will be on display at the New-York Historical Society to mark the 147th anniversary of its signing. This document is one of an estimated 13 copies, in addition to the original, signed by Lincoln himself. New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West between 76th and 77th Sts (212-873-3400, nyhistory.org). Tue--Thu, Sat 10am--6pm; Fri 10am--8pm; Sun 11am--5pm. $15, seniors and educators $12, students $10, children 7--13 $5, children under 7 free. Through Apr 1.
"Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball"
Pulled from the baseball-card collection of Jefferson R. Burdick, an enthusiast whose archive now resides permanently at the Met, the 60 cards here highlight some of the first black baseball players. Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby and Satchel Paige are included in the celebrated players who made the move from the Negro Leagues to the majors 65 years ago. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave at E 82nd St (212-535-7710, metmuseum.org). Tue--Thu 9:30am--5:30pm; Fri, Sat 9:30am--9pm; Sun 9:30am--5:30pm. Suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children 12 and under free. Through June 17.
Black History Month at Madame Tussauds New York
The wax museum will introduce a special exhibit celebrating talented African-American musicians and performers of the past, joining previous Black History Month wax figures President Obama, Rosa Parks and Beyonc. Visitors can pose with Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald and a newly unveiled Aretha Franklin in performance settings. There will also be biographical and historical information about each wax figure. 234 West 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (866-841-3505, nycwax.com). Sun--Thu 10am--8pm; Fri, Sat 10am--10pm. $30.60--$36, children 4--12 $24.65--$29, children 3 and under free. Feb 2--Mar 31.
First Friday: The Black Power Mixtape
Catch a screening of Gran Olsson's 2011 documentary The Black Power Mixtape 1967--1975 as well as a Q&A with coproducer Joselyn Barnes during the Bronx Museum's First Friday program. DJ Revolution will spin, and performers GIF, Latasha N. Nevada Diggs, Mahogany L. Browne and M.C K~Swift will keep music flowing through the galleries. Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St, Bronx (718-681-6000, bronxmuseum.org). Feb 3 6--10pm; free.
Blacks in Experimental Film: Lost and Forgotten Images of Blacks on Film
Curated by 8mmAnonymous, this screening will examine potentially controversial topics relevant to the African-American community, such as depictions on film that could be construed as offensive. It will be followed by an audience discussion. Maysles Cinema, 343 Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave) between 127th and 128th Sts (212-582-6050, ext. 207; mayslesinstitute.org). Feb 3 at 7:30pm; suggested donation $10.
Open House Weekend at the Apollo Theater
Having jump-started the careers of many African-American entertainers, the Harlem institution appropriately hosts a two-day open house would salute many of the legends that have graced its stage. On Saturday, attendees can see dance performances or learn moves like the Lindy Hop, the twist and the hand jive, with the guidance of choreographer Mickey Davidson. Sunday's activities include a community jam, featuring Apollo contestants. 253 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave) and Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave) (212-531-5305, apollotheater.org). Feb 4, 5 noon--5pm; free.
Target First Saturdays
The museum's monthly after-hours offering is inspired by its Question Bridge: Black Males video installation. Brooklyn's Game Rebellion brings high-energy metal--hip-hop, while violinist-composer Daniel Bernard Roumain showcases part of his Symphony for the Dance Floor, created for the 2011 BAM Next Wave Festival. DJs, curator talks and gallery tours round out this always popular event. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brookly (718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org). Feb 4 5--11pm.
"IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas"
Focusing on the experiences of people with both African and Native American ancestry, this exhibit offers a look at the challenges and triumphs Americans with this particular double-heritage have faced. The show covers important historical events such as the Cherokee Freedmen debate and the civil-rights movement, and features images of figures such as Jimi Hendrix and Zora Neale Hurston as well as family portraits of African-Native Americans today. National Museum of the American Indian, Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, 1 Bowling Green between State and Whitehall Sts (212-514-3700, nmai.si.edu). Mon--Wed, Fri, Sat 10am--5pm; Thu 10am--8pm; free. Feb 9--Aug 31.
Global Weekends: The African-American Musical Mosaic
The American Museum of Natural History celebrates the evolution of African-American music with this afternoon-long shindig, where you can enjoy multiple musical performances of jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, and hip-hop. Featured guests include singer-songwriter Charles Mack, the IMPACT Repertory Theater choir and Run-D.M.C.'s own Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels. American Museum of Natural History, 79th St at Central Park West (212-769-5100, amnh.org). Feb 18 noon--6pm; free with museum admission.
"Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York"
Author Carla Peterson will recount stories of her ancestors and shed light on the history of African-American society elites in New York City during this lecture, pegged to her recent tome. The Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St between Broome and Delancey Sts (212-982-8420, tenement.org). Feb 29 at 6:30pm; free.