Black History Month is the time to honor the accomplishments of African Americans and their place in history; there is no better way to introduce kids to black culture than to visit the various family-friendly events in New York.
The first Balck History month was celebrated half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. In 1925 Carter G. Woodson decided it was time to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to society, science, and culture. Today, we continue to honor Black History Month with artistic performances, history lectures, celebrations, and more! As these traditions continue, there are more and more ways to celebrate this month. That’s why we have round-up family-friendly events around the city for Black History Month to celebrate black culture and achievements.
Looking for more family-friendly events happening in February? Check out The Top Kid-Friendly February Events in Brooklyn for 2020.
Dance with Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance - Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Join Cumbe for an afternoon of music and dancing! Learn new movements, hear new rhythms, and express yourself to the beat. During all afternoon classes on January 30, dancers invite children to feel the joy and vitality of rhythms rooted in Africa. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum (145 Brooklyn Avenue) will host the traditional vibrations of West African Djembe (3-3:30 pm) to the electric bass in Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” (4-4:30 pm). Kids will receive a fun, educational, energetic experience they’ll love.
The Met: Celebrate Black History Month: Focus on African Arts - Upper Eastside, Manhattan
Celebrate Black History Month by exploring the exceptional artistic achievements of sub-Saharan Africa in The Met’s acquisition of African art. Observe thoughtfully the masterpieces that encompass a millennium of art in a mixture of items, ranging from the omnipresent wood to natural clay, ivory, and beadwork. The special Black history Month activities take place during the first weekend of February 2-3 between 1 and 2 pm. Discover the limitless creativity of skilled African craftsmen in The Met on 1000 Fifth Avenue.
Black History Month Films on Kanopy - Corona, Queens
In honor of Black History Month, Queens Public Library, on 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, will host screenings of Kanopy’s in-depth collection of movies both by and about notable African Americans for free with your library card. Enjoy the work of groundbreaking pioneers in cinema and their powerful documentaries — My Brooklyn, the Central Park Five, and many others.
For Kids By Kids: Black History Month - Gravesend, Brooklyn
Come join a Brooklyn Public Library children’s librarian who will lead storytime and fun literacy activities for the whole family to enjoy. Children age 10 and up are welcome to participate in the event on February 14. Organizers will be doing an educational and fun exercise for Black History Month. 107 Norman Ave
Black History Month - Movies Under the Stars: Harriet - Brownsville Playground, Brooklyn
Honor Black History Month at this free family film on February 14! This powerful biopic centers on Harriet Tubman as she conquers epilepsy, slavery, misogyny, and racism to liberate hundreds of enslaved people. Born into slavery, she escaped and undertook 13 rescue missions saving more enslaved people, using the network of antislavery communities and safe havens known as the Underground Railroad. This movie will take place indoors in the Brownsville Recreation Center (1555 Linden Boulevard). Guests are advised to arrive before 6:30 pm to get their seats for the film.
Black History Month: African-American History in Parks - Roy Wilkins Park, Queens
Discover more about parks, statues, and other green spaces in New York City that highlight and honor the black contributions to United States history. Many of New York City’s parks and memorials acknowledge African Americans who have formed the landscape of our culture. But on February 1, between 11:00 am–12:30 pm your family can get a free guided visit to the monuments and green spaces like Marcus Garvey Park (6316, Mt Morris Park W, Manhattan) and Hattie Carthan Community Garden (654A Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn) that celebrate the achievements and lives of distinguished African Americans.
Saturday Discovery Club African American Explorers - Pomonok, Queens
Educational games and family activities organized by the Queens Public Library (158-21 Jewel Ave, Flushing) will be available for you to join during the Discovery Club series (February 24, 2 pm.) Children ages 6-12 will learn about the achievements of African-American explorers through strategic games and exercises.
African Popup Festival - Harlem, Manhattan
This event is part of the Taste of Africa Week celebrating Black History Month. On February 22 families and friends are invited to taste rice dishes as chefs from across different regions will be presenting rice recipes representing their various countries. MIST Harlem (46 West 116th Street) will host famous chefs who will introduce you to traditional dishes from Nigeria, Jamaica, Senegal, Ghana, Haiti, and more.
Black History Month: Brooklyn and the Underground Railroad - Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn
If you want your little ones to learn more about the history of local black communities, you can relive their path to New York. The Underground Railroad was a network of sanctuaries for enslaved women and men escaping slavery in the South to seek freedom in the North. Join the Urban Park Rangers on February 22 at 11:00 am-12:30 pm for a walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park, highlighting the borough’s link to freedom.
12th Annual Black History Month Celebration with the Harlem Chamber Players - Harlem, Manhattan
Are you ready for some virtuoso music? The performance will feature maestro pianist Joseph Joubert and his wife, soprano Renay Joubert, as well as members of The Harlem Chamber Players. Terrance McKnight of WQXR will be hosting and performing at the venue. This concert will celebrate #HarlemRen100 with music by Florence Price and George Walker, and poetry by Langston Hughes. The venue will take place on February 13 at 6:30 in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard.
Black History Month - Movies Under the Stars: Black Panther - St. John's Park, Brooklyn
This blockbuster is based on the Marvel Comics character Black Panther. The storyline follows T’Challa’s homecoming and challenges as King of Wakanda when his sovereignty is questioned by a new rival in a fight with global importance. Enjoy the exciting action in free screening with the whole family. The screening will take place in St. John’s Park, Brooklyn (Troy Ave) on February 26 so go before 3:30 pm to get the best available seat for the movie.
Celebrate Black History Month — George Washington Carver Workshop, Queens Botanical Garden
Dr. George Washington Carver made essential contributions to the field of botany. Also known as “Wizard of Tuskegee,” he had an exciting life and numerous achievements. Learn more about him and his contribution to biology at the fun workshop organized by the Queens Botanical Garden (43-50 Main Street, Flushing). Children will follow in Dr. Carver’s steps, using flowers to create a healing lotion and have fun with their discoveries. Don’t forget to register for the event beforehand. February 20, 1-2:30 pm.
We The Dream: A Kundalini Yoga and Sound Experience for People of Color - Greenpoint, Brooklyn
A special Kundalini Yoga and Sound Experience are open for yoga lovers of all ages. Organizers want to honor the culture of People of Color with healthy exercises, Kundalini Yoga, Meditation and a Healing Sound Journey through Gongs and Tibetan Bowls. This is a great way to teach your children to love their bodies in an afternoon of remembrance and celebration of the Dream. Save the date February 1st (2-4 pm.) and visit the Sacred Arts Research Foundation (107 Green St., Brooklyn).