Celebrate Black History Month

Issue 232

A special calendar of events in New York.

Indypendent Staff Feb 6, 2018

This calendar is available as a PDF and as a special pullout centerspread in the February Indypendent.

9 AM–5 PM weekdays • FREE
EXHIBIT: “Identity
“Identity” showcases works in fiber that explore imagery of people of the African diaspora. The exhibition features pieces by nine artists who use a variety of tools including embroidery, soft sculpture, quilt and mixed media. With elements of swag, spirituality, icons, music and social justice, the works illustrate the varying backgrounds and traditions that govern the artists’ lives.
Arsenal Gallery
The Arsenal Building, Central Park at 64th St. & Fifth Ave.

Various times • $15 per screening
FILM SERIES: Fight the Power: Black Superheroes on Film
From blaxploitation icons to supernatural avengers to anti-colonial outlaws, this series spotlights industry-defying images of black heroism and empowerment in films that are as socially and politically subversive as they are downright fun. More info at
BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave., Bklyn

PHOTOGRAPHY: “Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood
Since 2011, Zun Lee has embedded himself in the lives of African-American families, many of them from the Bronx and Harlem, photographing the intimate details of their everyday lives. This exhibition brings into focus the narratives of real fathers as caretakers, interrogating and dispelling stereotypes of black masculinity and absent fathers.
Bronx Documentary Center
614 Courtlandt Ave, Bronx, New York 10451

6:30 PM–8:30 PM • $15
TALK: Black Is Beautiful: Fashion and Consciousness
Documentary photographer Kwame Brathwaite and his son Kwame S. Brathwaite join historian Tanisha Ford to reflect on the impact of Brathwaite Sr.’s pioneering “Black Is Beautiful” photographs. Beginning in the late 1950s, Brathwaite helped popularize an Afro-centric vision of female beauty featuring unstraightened hair and dark skin, then considered exotic in mainstream American media and popular culture.
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St., Mnhtn

Untitled (Sikolo with Carolee Prince Designs), 1968 by Kwame Brathwaite.



Angela Davis, a wanted woman. Source: FBI.

7 PM–9 PM • FREE
TEACH-IN: The Power of Black Feminism
A discussion on the history of black feminism and its lessons for a new generation of activists today. This gathering will also be the start of a month-long reading group surrounding Angela Davis’ Women, Race, and Class.
Brooklyn Free School
372 Clinton Ave., Bklyn


FEB 8–FEB 25
8 PM Thurs–Sat, 3 PM Sun • $18, students and seniors $15
THEATER: Josh: The Black Babe Ruth
The play dramatizes the life, loves and ultimately the tragic decline of Josh Gibson, who, with 962 career home runs, was one of baseball’s greatest sluggers. Despite his abilities, Major League Baseball club owners and Gibson’s own personal demons prevented him from playing in the big leagues.
Theater for the New City
155 First Ave., Mnhtn

Josh Gibson. Source: Baseball Hall of Fame Library.


11 AM–4 PM • FREE with museum admission
TALK: Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass
Wish Frederick Douglass a very happy 200th birthday. Gather around Mr. Douglass, portrayed by historian Michael Crutcher, to learn about his lifelong fight for equality and ask him about his role in abolishing slavery.
New York Historical Society
170 Central Park West, Mnhtn

Giancarlo Esposito, left, and director Spike-Lee in School Daze. Credit: Columbia Pictures.

7 PM • $15
SCREENING: School Daze
Spike Lee will be on hand to introduce this special 30th-anniversary screening of his fresh, funny and formally audacious film. School Daze follows a self-styled radical (Laurence Fishburne) as he tries to shake up political consciousness at a historically black college. Bursting with energetic musical numbers, School Daze offers deft mix of comedy and commentary, touching insightfully on colorism, class and African-American identity.
BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave., Bklyn

6:30 PM • FREE

Alain Locke. Source: Wiki Commons.

BOOK LAUNCH: The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke
Alain Locke was a writer, philosopher and the architect of the philosophy behind the Harlem Renaissance, an awakening of artistic creativity and racial pride centered in Harlem. The new biography, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey Stewart, tells the story of how Locke came to his view of Harlem as a crucible of race consciousness. A book signing will follow.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Blvd., Mnhtn

8 PM • $45 in advance, $50 day of

Uncle Jam brings the funk this Fat Tuesday. Source:

MUSIC: The 6th Annual “Funky Fat Tuesday” Celebration with George Clinton and Parliament and the Funkadelic
George Clinton lands the mothership for a night of ass-liberating funk. Uncle Jam hosts what’s become an annual Mardi Gras celebration for a sixth straight year.
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
237 W. 42nd St., Mnhtn

7 PM–9 PM • $25
TALK: A Tribute to Basquiat
Contemporary artists and collaborators pay homage to the resounding legacy of Jean-Michel Basquiat. In celebration of the ways in which art shapes lives, each participant discusses a work of art in Basquiat’s oeuvre that has inspired them and their practice. Participants include Cey Adams, graffiti artist and former creative director of Def Jam, and photographer Maripol.
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy

Jean-Michel Basquiat. ‘Untitled,’ 1982. Acrylic, spray paint and oilstick on canvas. From the collection of Yusaku Maezawa. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

7 PM–9 PM • $7, $5 for students, free for kids under 12
DANCE: Fancy Footwork in the Diaspora
The event will trace the routes of rhythmic footwork from Africa and Europe to the Western Hemisphere with a discussion led by dancer and choreographer Mercedes Ellington, accompanied by tap dancer Max Pollak. Featuring an Afro-Peruvian zapateo performance by the Afro-Peruvian Ensemble.
Bronx Music Heritage Center
1303 Louis Nine Blvd.

7:30 PM–9 PM • $20, seniors $15, children $10
MUSIC: Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz
A multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes’s kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite, Ask Your Mama — Hughes’s homage to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s. Ask Your Mama is a twelve-part epic poem which Hughes scored with musical cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel, boogie-woogie, bebop, Latin cha-cha and Afro-Cuban mambo music, European influences, West Indian calypso and African drumming — a creative masterwork left unperformed at his death
Jamaica Performing Arts Center
153-10 Jamaica Ave., Queens

9 PM • $20
Join comedic emcee RadhaMUSprime along with her trusty sound god, DJ Jahmedicne, and special guests as she celebrates the 28 most important days of the year.
Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette St.

6:30 PM–8 PM • FREE
TALK: Freed African Americans in the West Village
African Americans in Greenwich Village during the 19th century formed an enclave of free and self-emancipated people living, working and thriving within the confines of an oppressive society. Learn of several little-known but not forgotten abolitionists, entrepreneurs and radical thinkers whose efforts enhanced the lives of many, especially within the community known as Little Africa at this talk hosted by scholar Jamila Brathwaite.
Hudson Park Library
66 Leroy St., Mnhtn

7:30–9PM • $15 in advance, $18 at the door, student & senior discounts available
PERFORMANCE: Black Queer Women Night
Time to celebrate Black Queer Women lives and art with everybody! A special event curated by Layla Zami & Oxana Chi, following up on Black Herstory Night (2017), this time in cooperation with the International Human Rights Art Festival.
Dixon Place
161A Chrystie St.

6:30 PM–8:00 PM • $11
CLASS: Seneca Village and the Archaeology of Central Park
Before Central Park, there was Seneca Village, home of some 300 free African Americans and recent immigrants from Germany and Ireland. It was a center of diversity, political activism and an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Then, in 1857, it was violently razed to make way for the future park. Learn more about this important facet of New York history.
Prospect Heights Brainery
190 Underhill Ave., Brooklyn

2 PM • $5 donation
SCREENING: I Am Not Your Negro
Writer James Baldwin’s reflections on the boundaries of race and the necessity for multi-issue coalition-building in the Civil Rights movement. Rich historical footage connects the ongoing struggle for black freedom and equality to today’s movements. $10 Southern brunch served at 2 p.m., screening at 3 p.m. Discussion to follow the film.
Freedom Hall
113 W 128th St., Mnhtn

Poet Sonia Sanchez is among the powerful voice narrating Soundtrack’63 at the Apollo Theater on Feb. 24. Source: APB Speakers.

8 PM • $53–$88
PERFORMANCE: Soundtrack ’63
A live musical documentary covering the 1963 Civil Rights Movement up to today’s Black Lives Matter Movement with spirituals, protest songs and current popular music performed by an 18-piece orchestra. Jazz, hip-hop and soul mix with a captivating video installation of archival footage and animation, along with commentary by Dr. Cornel West and poets Sonia Sanchez and Abiodun Oyewole.
Apollo Theater
253 W 125th St., Mnhtn

6:30 PM • FREE
TALK: Theater-In-Black In Harlem
This free-ranging conversation will touch upon the legacies of Harlem theater companies that include W.E.B. Du Bois and Regina Anderson’s KRIGWA and Langston Hughes and Louise Thompson’s Suitcase Theater, as well as successive companies such as those developed by Amiri Baraka and others.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Blvd., Mnhtn

6:30 PM • $5
DISCUSSION: Black Writers in a Post-Obama America
Does literature by black writers demand a response to the country’s racism? Especially today, is there an onus on writers of color to shine a spotlight on racial injustice? Hear from authors Kaitlyn Greenidge, Bernice McFadden, Garnette Cadogan, and Quincy Troupe in a panel discussion moderated by the novelist Elizabeth Nunez.
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont St.

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Photo (top): Soundtrack ’63 at the Apollo this February. Credit: Rapport Studios.

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