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Black History Month 2024: Black Historical and Cultural Sites (NYC)

African Americans and the Arts


The birthplace of hip-hop (1520 Sedgwick Ave, Bronx, NY 10453)

The birthplace of hip hop is widely acknowledged to be 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. On August 11, 1973, DJ Kool Herc, a resident of the building, introduced a groundbreaking concept during his sister's back-to-school party. He extended an instrumental beat on the turntable, leading to extended breakdancing, and began MC'ing (rapping) during these breaks. The 1520 Community Center, situated at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, is not only a recognized Historical Landmark but is also considered "sacred ground" within the Hip Hop community, being officially hailed as the Birthplace of Hip Hop. 

Bronx African American History Project (Fordham University)

The Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP) at Fordham is recognized as a leading community-based oral history initiative in the U.S. Established in 2002 in partnership with the Bronx County Historical Society, BAAHP has conducted 300+ interviews with African American leaders in politics, education, music, social work, business, and clergy. The collection, stored in Fordham libraries, chronicles the mass migration of African Americans and West Indians from Harlem to the Bronx in the 1930s-1950s and the development of significant Black communities in Morrisania and Hunts Point.

Museum of Bronx history 

The Museum of Bronx History is situated in a colonial-era fieldstone house constructed around 1758, donated to The Bronx County Historical Society in 1965. Restored and opened in 1968, the museum showcases the original fieldstone walls, oak and pine floorboards crafted by enslaved African craftsmen under the ownership of Isaac Valentine.

The Bronx Museum

The Bronx Museum of the Arts, focuses on exhibiting contemporary art, emphasizing works by emerging artists, especially those from diverse and Black cultural communities. As part of the "James Baldwin at 100" initiative, the museum is hosting a free Book Club for James Baldwin's novel Giovanni’s Room, in celebration of Black History Month. This event is organized in collaboration with One Book One Bronx & The Literary Freedom Project and includes discussions, panels, screenings, and exhibitions commemorating the centenary of James Baldwin's birth.

Bronx documentary center

The Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) is a nonprofit gallery and educational space that showcases the work of both renowned and emerging photographers and filmmakers. Through exhibitions, screenings, and public programs, the BDC addresses crucial issues, encourages critical thinking, and promotes social change.

A guide to Black owned restaurants in NYC’s Five Boroughs 

In this untapped NY article, explore the first page featuring various Black-owned restaurants in the South, West, and East sides of the Bronx.

Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!)

According to their mission statement, BAAD!  fosters, produces, showcases, and nurtures the creation of innovative and provocative works in contemporary dance and various creative fields. The focus is on empowering women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) communities.


Brooklyn Museum

October 7, 2023 - February 11, 2024

Take a rare glimpse into the world of Spike Lee (born Atlanta, Georgia, 1957; raised in Brooklyn, New York), one of the most influential and prolific American filmmakers and directors. Through an immersive installation of objects drawn from Lee’s personal collection, visitors will discover the sources of inspiration that have fueled his creative output.

Brooklyn CookMobile x Saratoga: Soul Food Series

Tuesday, February 13, 2024    4:30 pm – 6:00 pm Saratoga, Meeting Room (Brooklyn Public Library)

Hungry to learn some new skills? Join us this Black History Month as we team up with Brooklyn CookMobile to create 2 traditional African American dishes.Take part in our free cooking class for a live cooking demo and tasting of Banana Pudding (2/13) and Shrimp & grits (2/20) Ages 13-19! Registration required!

Black History Month Movie @ Macon: Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) 

Thursday, Februrary 15, 2024  3:30 pm – 5:30 pm    Macon, Large Auditorium (Brooklyn Public Library)

Documenting and reclaiming the legacy of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, Summer of Soul premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion.

Classical Interludes: Harlem Chamber Players Black History Month Concert 

Saturday, February 23, 2024 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Central Library, Dweck Center (Brooklyn Public Library)

The non-profit Harlem Chamber Players Inc., is an ethnically diverse collective of professional classical musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable, accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond.

Museum of Contemporary African Disporan Arts (MoCADA)

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) celebrates the cultural breadth of Africa and its diaspora via the production and presentation of visual, literary, and performing arts.

Williamsburg Music Center

Black owned Jazz venue that was opened in 1981 by legendary composer, conductor & musician Gerry Eastman.

Brooklyn Arts Council

Brooklyn Arts Council catalyzes human expression and creativity. They are the a leader in builidng networks of artist and art organziaston that believe in the borough's creative vitality.


Schomburg center

The Schomburg Center in Harlem, New York, is a research library and cultural institution under the New York Public Library system. Named after Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the Schomburg preserves and celebrates the history and culture of people of African descent worldwide. The Schomburg subdivisions include, Art and Artifacts Division, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division, and Photographs and Print Division

National Black Theatre

Established in 1968 by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, the National Black Theatre (NBT) stands as the first revenue-generating Black art complex, the longest-running Black theater in NYC, and a leader in showcasing Nigerian New Sacred Art. NBT is dedicated to creating transformative theater that enhances African American cultural identity through authentic, multifaceted stories. Simultaneously, it aims to educate and raise awareness on social justice issues affecting the Black community, contributing to national consciousness.

The Harlem Chamber Players

The Harlem Chamber Players Inc., a non-profit organization, is a diverse, predominantly Black group of professional classical musicians committed to delivering high-quality, live music to the Harlem community and beyond. They cultivate diverse audiences through outreach initiatives and collaborations with schools, arts organizations, and cultural institutions.

New Federal Theatre (NFT) 

Founded in 1970 by Woodie King Jr., NFT pays homage to the Depression-era Federal Theatre Project. It has supported groundbreaking works like Ntozake Shange's "for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf." Renowned actors such as Morgan Freeman, Phylicia Rashad, and Chadwick Boseman have graced its productions.

Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH)

Since 1999, CTH has infused African-American flavor into classics, from Shakespeare to 20th-century masters. Rescued from near closure by Ty Jones, CTH has expanded its scope, embracing contemporary works and adding traditions like free summer theatre in Marcus Garvey Park. Known for its contemporary take on classics, the company practices gender and color-blind casting, evident in productions like the post-apocalyptic Afropunk Antigone, which references the Black Lives Matter movement.

Harlem Repertory Theatre (HRT) 

Founded in 2004 by Keith Lee Grant, HRT brings affordable professional theatre to Harlem. With a multicultural approach, HRT runs multiple shows concurrently. While favoring crowd-pleasers, Grant also revives lesser-known productions like "Jamaica," an all-black musical not seen in New York for 60 years. Current productions include "The Wizard of Oz," "A Raisin in the Sun," and "In the Heights," running since 2016.

13 notable NYC projects designed by black architects

Published by Curbed New York, this article showcases the amazing work done by black architects, ranging from museums to memorials to apartment buildings.

Here are 7 Great Black-Owned Bookstores to Check Out in NYC

Curated by Travel Noire, this is a compilation of Black-owned bookstores throughout NYC.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2024: NYC calendar of events

Published by Audacy, explore a list of the amazing and noteworthy events taking place in NYC.

The Schomburg Center (NYC)


Black Heritage Reference Center

The Center houses New York City’s largest circulating Black Heritage reading collection, serving Queens County and beyond with a comprehensive reference and circulating collection totaling approximately 40,000 volumes of material about and related to Black culture.

Black Spectrum Theatre Co. Inc.

Theatre and film productions targeting issues in the African-American community.

Afrikan Poetry Theatre

Cultural, educational programs, and workshops to aid in raising the quality of life in Southeast Queens

Thursday Night Jazz Presents: Ravi Coltrane

Thursday,  Februrary 8, 2024 8:00 PM Jamaica Performing Arts Center

Queens Public Library

Programs at various Queens Public Libraries celebrating African Americans and the Arts.

Black Spectrum Theatre Co. Inc. (Queens)

Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence!

Westchester Community College provides accessible, high quality and affordable education to meet the needs of our diverse community. We are committed to student success, academic excellence, workforce development, economic development and lifelong learning.

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