Though not all clichés ring true, New York does live up to the hype as “the city that never sleeps.” With tens of cultural events happening every day, there’s always a new museum exhibit to see, restaurant to try, or show to preview. During Black History Month the range of exciting, cultural events widens even further. Here are some of our favorite things to do this February in celebration of Black History Month.
Learn something new at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
What better way to honor Black History Month than attending one of the dynamic events hosted by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem? Year-round the center works to advance the knowledge of the global black experience through programs and exhibitions, but this month they offer special lectures, screenings, and conferences to commemorate Black History Month. To name a few, you can attend a screening of a new film by documentarian Jacqueline Olive on February 3rd which explores the lingering impact of lynchings in the deep south, join in on a conversation about Black Lives Matter at their teen conference on the 8th, or learn more about author Zora Neale Hurston’s work on the 11th.
Deepen your appreciation of Hip-Hop with Hush Hip-Hop Tours
Love Hip-Hop? Learn more about its evolution with a walking tour of its birthplace, led by Hush Hip-Hop tours. Choose from a handful of curated experiences including the “Birthplace of Hip-Hop” Tour, the “Walk This Way Thru Harlem” Tour, and the “Boogie Down Bronx” Tour. Guides will lead you on a journey through the genre’s history, development and relationship to the city. Regardless of which tour you choose, the experience promises to be both entertaining and educational.
Visit the Ark of Return at the United Nations
If you’ve been to the United Nations before, chances are you were still in middle school at the time of your last visit. Whether it’s been a few years since you toured its halls or you’re a first time visitor, February offers an incredible opportunity to learn about the contributions of people of African descent to the work of the United Nations. With ticket prices ranging from $12-$22, the Black History Tour includes a guided visit of the Ark of Return, a permanent memorial in honor of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Additional highlights of the tour are the Security Council Chamber, the Trustee Council Chamber, and the General Assembly Hall.
See a show at the Apollo
For nearly ninety years, the Apollo Theater has been the heart of entertainment in Harlem, showcasing African-American talent and kickstarting the career of many beloved artists. To this day the theater serves as a catalyst for new artists and audiences while working to redefine the American cannon by focusing on performing artists of the African diaspora. But really, to understand the magic of the Apollo is to see a show in person. Make the most of Black History Month by attending a show or two at this iconic theater. With events scheduled for nearly every day, you can have your pick between music, theater or stand-up comedy events.