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Black History Month
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The best Black History Month events in NYC

Get inspired by Black culture during these epic and educational Black History Month events!

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

It's finally time to celebrate the massive contributions of Black and African-American people with the most amazing exhibits, concerts, shows and more this February. Marking Black History Month is one of the best (and easiest) things to do in February and NYC is certainly not lacking in the many ways you can do this.

Here's where to celebrate the month-long event.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in winter

Best Black History Month events in NYC

Broadway stars Natasha Yvette Williams (Some Like It Hot), Q. Smith (Come From Away) and Will Man (Hadestown National Touring Company) will take part in “Making Space on the Great White Way: An Homage to Black Trailblazers of Theater & Performance” on Sunday, February 19, at 12:15pm at Marble Collegiate Church. They will pay tribute to the Black actors, composers and playwrights who have made countless contributions to Broadway’s signature style and aesthetic, yet for many years, were not given the opportunity to perform on America’s premiere stage. It’s free and will also be streamed online.

Then on Sunday, February 26, the Marble Community Gospel Choir will perform “classic Negro Spirituals to high-energy, feel-good anthems,” according to Rev. Rashad McPherson. 

Tickets range from $15 if purchased by February 24, and then $20 thereafter.

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music is hosting two special programs for Black History month. On Friday, February 17 (4-4:45pm), there will be a multi-media sing-along that will highlight how deeply Black artists have taken popular stories, songs, and even classroom concepts and creatively reimagined them. The day will also celebrate various musical genres of the Black American tradition, from jazz to R&B to hip hop. 

On February 25th (4-5pm), BKCM instructor and renowned musician Tahira Clayton will lead a workshop and performance on Music and the Civil Rights movement. Both events are for children and their parents and are pay-as-you-wish.


Flushing Town Hall is celebrating icons and founders of music and dance that shaped American culture as we know it. The Black History Trilogy series, ongoing through this month, features award-winning performers paying tribute to iconic African American entertainers and dance trends:

Black History Month Trilogy #2 - The Challenge To Defy Gravity featuring Mickey Davidson (February 10)

Black History Month Trilogy #3 - Soul Men: Music of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and More featuring Billy Cliff (February 24)


The Paley Center for Media is hosting a month-long multimedia exhibit recognizing significant performances and Black artists who helped shape our culture. In the exhibit, there will be a spotlight to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop; original costumes, including suits worn by Louis Armstrong and James Brown and the “Orange Freeze” dresses worn by The Supremes; artifacts such as original scripts, authentic photographs, a trumpet and mouthpiece used by Louis Armstrong and a Gibson Chuck Berry signature guitar; curated screenings (The Sound of Jazz; Chuck Berry: Brown Eyed Handsome Man; VH1 Rock Docs: Soul Train The Hippest Trip in America; TCB Motown Special; Video Music Box; Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever; Beyoncé – I Am…Yours); arts & crafts, interactive trivia, a scavenger hunt, and more.

Stop by before the end of the month!

  • Music
  • East Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

Brooklyn’s DIY scene is featuring Black artists all month long (in addition to its regular programming featuring BIPOC artists) in honor of Black History Month. Hear dance tunes from Bronx-born Swami Sound, bold rap beats by cupcakKe, nostalgic sounds by Swan Lingo and African American Sound Recordings and more. 

Comedy for the Soul: A Black Herstory Month Celebration
Photograph: Paula J. Leon

6. Comedy for the Soul: A Black Herstory Month Celebration

Leave it to women to bring one of the funniest events to Black History Month! Women Stand Up NYC and Black Women In Comedy LAFF Festival are celebrating with a stacked line up of New York’s best Black women in comedy. Joanna M. Briley will host the show that’ll feature Ayanna Dookie, Heidi Grandberry, Mezzy D, Whitney Allen, April Boddie, Lauren Davis and headliner Monique Latise, the first black woman to open a Black-owned comedy club in New Jersey. It’ll take place at The Stand on February 23. Tickets are $15.

  • Art
  • Central Park

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is literally making room for the real, lived history of Seneca Village, the once-thriving community founded by free Black New Yorkers that existed just a few hundred yards west of The Met between the 1820s and 1850s. The space, conceived and designed by Lead Curator and Designer Hannah Beachler (known for her work on Black Panther and Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” video) and Senior Exhibition Designer Fabiana Weinberg, includes a wood-framed 19th-century home that contains works from The Met’s American Wing that are reminiscent of pot shards and remnants from Seneca Village that were found in 2011. Representing the future with the past in mind, works of art and design from the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art are interspersed in the space as well as contemporary furniture, photography, and ceramics alongside The Met’s Michael C. Rockefeller Wing.

Black Resistance Through Art with Apple
Photograph: Shutterstock/Marco R

8. Black Resistance Through Art with Apple

Apple is hosting its own events across its NYC locations:

February 10
Apple Williamsburg at 6pm
Live Art Pop Up with Aisha Shillingford, who will create a digital collage on the video wall alongside a DJ. Customers will be invited to ask Aisha questions and follow along her creative process on iPad. 

February 11
Apple Fifth Ave at 11:30am
A family-friendly event, ABC’s of Black History with Author Rio Cortez and Illustrator Lauren Semmer will inspire a call to action for the next generation of leaders.

February 18
Apple Williamsburg at 3pm
Facilitated by JAZSALYN of BLACK BEYOND, the Digital Afro-Artifacts session will explore Procreate as a world-building tool while participants co-create 3D futuristic digital artifacts to imagine alternate realities for Blackness.

You can register to attend the free events here and here.


The Center for Fiction is honoring Black History Month with author events all month:

De’Shawn Charles Winslow
February 8th

Winslow is the winner of The Center for Fiction’s 2019 First Novel Prize. He’s back with Decent People. Set in the same fictional town as his award-winning debut, West Mills, this propulsive mystery centers around a triple homicide and the secrets they reveal in the segregated town. Garth Greenwell will talk with him about the novel and its themes of shame, race, homophobia, money, and the reckoning required to heal a fractured community.

Jamila Minnicks 
February 16th

Minnicks and Robert Jones Jr. will discuss her debut, Moonrise Over New Jessup, which won the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. When Alice arrives in New Jessup, a thriving, self-sufficient Black community where people are skeptical of those lobbying for integration, she falls in love with Raymond Campbell, whose clandestine organizing activities challenge the town’s longstanding status quo.

ScreeningThe Big Payback
February 18th

The Center will be screening The Big Payback, a documentary that follows Alderman Robin Rue Simmons' fight to pass the first government-funded reparations program for Black Americans in Evanston, Illinois, alongside Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee as she leads a national movement. Co-directors Erika Alexander and Whitney Dow will lead the audience in a community discussion directly after the screening.

Alvin Hall
February 28th

Hall will discuss his Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance, with Jelani Cobb. In the book, Hall travels from New York to Detroit to New Orleans using the former Green Book—the guide that helped Black people travel safely on the nation’s highways and roadways—as a guide, and collects the memories of the last living witnesses who struggled under segregation and for whom the Green Book meant survival. 

For Black History Month, Chelsea Market is featuring the art of some of NYC’s brightest stars in street art, fashion, and modern art. Curated by Creative Director, Zaire Baptiste, “We Are Art,” features work from the elusive Uncutt Art, the creator of the Protect Yo Heart movement, in collaboration with American Couture to create bespoke apparel and artwork inspired by Afro-futurism and the Protect Yo Heart street-art aesthetic. There will also be works from Voodo Fe’, and his latest collaboration with the Miles Davis estate, and Brooklyn artist Camille Clavery. The art show is free to all visitors of Chelsea Market and runs from February through mid-March. You can explore the works of art throughout the entirety of the market’s main concourse.

Ailey Extension events
Photograph: Courtesy Andrew Eccles

11. Ailey Extension events

Celebrate Black History Month with Ailey Extension with its month-long, four-workshop Black History Dance Series. Each Saturday in February at 3:30pm, people of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to join in-studio at the Joan Weill Center for Dance or online to learn the history of legendary Black dance artists such as Katherine Dunham and Alvin Ailey and dance techniques that originated in Black communities such as hip-hop, and Afro-Cuban:

Katherine Dunham’s Legacy with Marcea Daiter (February 11): Discover the Dunham technique, a polyrhythmic blend of traditional modern dance, ballet, African, and Afro-Caribbean styles, with Marcia Daiter and learn more about Katherine Dunham’s legacy.

Honoring Alvin Ailey with Lisa Johnson-Willingham (February 18): Explore the Horton technique, the foundation of Alvin Ailey’s choreography, and other combinations inspired by some of his most iconic works. Free.

Afro-Cuban Dance and the Diaspora (February 25): La Mora will use Afro-Cuban folkloric dance to dive into how West African culture is deeply interwoven into the history of Cuba and integral to its culture.

Celebrating all month long, Chef Marcus Samuelsson and his new restaurant Hav & Mar will offer a delicious and unique prix-fixe menu every Monday throughout the month of February. Ingredients from the menu will be thoughtfully sourced from Black-owned or managed companies (including Prince Abou’s Butchery, Makina Café and Striped Lion Rum’s). The prix-fixe dinner is $85/per person (optional wine pairings at $55/pp or spirit-free beverage pairing at $35/pp) every Monday in February from 5-9pm.

The restaurant will also invite guest hosts for each dinner, including Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem Thelma Golden on February 6, visual artist Derrick Adams, who also created Hav & Mar’s “We Are From The Water Too” installation, on February 20 and others. 


The 47-story hotel, Park Lane New York, is collaborating with Bronx-born culinary collective, Ghetto Gastro for a limited-edition menu at the restaurant’s restaurant Harry’s New York Bar in honor of Black History Month. Ghetto Gastro uses ancestral ingredients to bring a multitude of flavors and recipes to eaters everywhere, led by Jon Gray, Pierre Serrano and Lester Walker.

Available throughout February, dishes will riff on Ghetto Gastro’s line of WAVY waffle mixes, and include: Mix & Match Ghetto Gastro’s WAVY Waffles (breakfast, $18), featuring Ancestral Roots & Toasted Matcha Waffles topped with Fresh Berries and Walnut Sovereign Syrup; and Fried Chicken & Ghetto Gastro’s WAVY Waffles (dinner, $28), featuring Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Ancestral Roots & Toasted Matcha Waffles with Walnut Sovereign Syrup.

Want to go to a museum this month?

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