Across the city, events are taking place in honor of Black History Month. Here are some of the best bets.
Harlem Sunday: Morning Gospel Tour
Tours depart on 8th Ave.
New York, NY
Tours every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (lasts 4-5 hours), Reservations can be made online
What better way to celebrate Black History than touring historic Harlem? While walking the streets of this famous neighborhood, participants will visit historic places and attractions such as the Morning Side Heights neighborhood; the Morris Jumel Mansion, used by George Washington during the Revolutionary War as a military headquarters; the Abyssinian Baptist church, known for being the first African American Baptist Church in New York; the Cotton Club, a famous jazz club that hosted some of the most well known African American musicians of the Prohibition era, including Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday; and the world renowned Apollo Theater, hailed for being one of the most significant cultural venues for African Americans in New York’s history. For an additional cost, tour goers can dine along the way with a soul food brunch at one of Harlem’s locally-owned restaurants.
Annual Black History Month Step Off
February 24, 2012 at 7 p.m.
19 Clinton Ave.
Albany, NY 12207
Price: $17 in advance/$22 day of show
In an annual celebration of African American culture, Palace Theater hosts its Black History Month Step Off in the Capital Region. For performing arts lovers who have never witnessed stepping, this is a must see. The fast-paced steps and percussive dance moves showcase some of the best choreography in New York. Like all art, there’s a lesson to be learned in this stepping performance, as it communicates themes of culture and society and their roles in African American culture.
Black Brooklyn Renaissance: The New Generation
February 11 to 12, 2012 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Ave. (Ft. Greene)
Price: Free admission
The Brooklyn Arts Council will showcase two different shows featuring cutting-edge performances in jazz, gospel, dance, spoken word, contemporary soul and more. Attendees will have the honor of watching the area’s young performers celebrate the contributions of African Diaspora (the journey of African descendents to cities across the globe) in Brooklyn.
From the Streets, from the Clubs, from the Houses
Thursday, February 23, 2012 to Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 8 p.m.
St. Mark’s Church (at Second Avenue)
131 East 10th Street
New York, NY 10013
Price: $9 children, $12 members, $18 adults
Danspace Project has brought together a multitude of talented choreographers featuring various forms of black-instigated popular dance, including hip hop and voguing. Featuring Darrell Jones, Niall Noel Jones, Nicholas Leichter and Regina Rocke, New Yorkers have three chances to catch what’s sure to be an amazing display of dance and movement.
Harlem Fine Arts Show
Sunday, February 12 at Noon
Riverside Church Theatre
91 Claremont Ave.
New York, NY 10027
Nothing can communicate the collective and individual experiences of a culture quite like visual art. The Harlem Fine Arts Show showcases modern works by artists that celebrate African Diaspora and reflect the culture through illustrated interpretation. This year, in celebration of its 16th annual exhibit, come to the Riverside Church Theatre to be inspired by one of the largest collections of art by both up and coming and world renowned African American artists from around the world.
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Miriam Longobardi is a freelance writer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.