January 30, 2020

2020 Black History Month Events

Office of State History

The following are some examples of Black History Month Events taking place at museums and historical societies across New York State.  Check back often for updates.

New-York Historical Society
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
February 20th
"New York Urban League: 100 Stories of Black New York"
For over 100 years the New York Urban League (NYUL) has led the way in the education, employment, and empowerment of under-served African Americans across the five boroughs of New York City. During this time, they have inspired, influenced, and ignited over one million Black people to achieve their highest aspirations. NYUL remains a vital resource for our city’s African Americans and other under-served groups. They invest to transform the lives of over 8,000 families each year by providing quality higher education options, economic opportunity, and community engagement. Join us as NYUL reflects on the Urban League’s crucial work over the past century and explore the stories of those the League has personally impacted.
For More Information Please go to https://www.nyhistory.org/programs/new-york-urban-league-100-stories-black-new-york

The Arsenal Gallery
"Namesakes: Honoring African Americans in NYC Parks"
Many of New York City’s parks and monuments honor African Americans who have shaped the landscape of our culture. Monuments and green spaces of all sizes, from Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan to Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Brooklyn, pay tribute to the contributions and lives of notable African Americans from the 18th century to the 21st century. “Namesakes: Honoring African Americans in NYC Parks” is an exhibition of photographs that highlights a sampling of such namesakes throughout the city.
Exhibit runs through February 27, 2020
For More Information Please go to https://www.nycgovparks.org/art-and-antiquities/arsenal-gallery

Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC)
4:15 pm to 10:00 pm
February 22nd
"The 1st Ever International Black History Month Film Festival with Live Performances!"
February 22, 2020 will be an exciting Red Carpet Event showcasing the Vibrant cinematic talents of Artists, Filmmakers, Performers and Entrepreneurs exploring the Past, Present and Future of Black History.
For More Information Please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/film-festival-1st-ever-black-history-multi-genre-red-carpet-tickets-82619119009

Adelphi University
Garden City/Long Island
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
February 26th
"Simply Because People Refuse to See Me: The Black Lives Matter Movement in Historical Context"
In this presentation, Dr. Yohuru Williams explores the history of the struggle for racial equality in the United States from the Civil Rights era through the contemporary Black Lives Matter Movement with an exploration of key episodes and moments in U.S. History.
For More Information Please go to https://events.adelphi.edu/au_event/simply-because-people-refuse-to-see-me-the-black-lives-matter-movement-in-historical-context/

Foster Memorial AME Zion Church
Tarrytown/Hudson Valley
Amanda and Henry Fos­ter (mar­ried in 1845) founded Fos­ter Memo­r­ial A.M.E. Zion Church in 1860. It’s the old­est black church in Westch­ester County, and some say it may be the old­est black church in the state of New York. Dur­ing the Civil War, mem­bers of Fos­ter pro­vided food and shel­ter to fugi­tive slaves who were es­cap­ing the per­ils of slav­ery and mi­grat­ing north to Canada. Those who de­cided to set­tle in Tar­ry­town would seek refuge un­der the floor­boards in the church’s foyer. If you visit the church to­day, you will ex­pe­ri­ence the very same lo­ca­tion where fugi­tive slaves would hide.
Open Wednesdays 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Sundays 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
For More Information Please go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Religious-Organization/Foster-Memorial-AME-Zion-Church-432712086928329/

SUNY Dutchess
Poughkeepsie/Hudson Valley
SUNY Dutchess Black History Month Film Series
5:30 pm
February 3rd
Showing of the film "Rosewood." Discussion and Q&A will follow. Shown in collaboration with Communications Professor Camilo Rojas and the Communications Program.
For More Information Please go to https://dutchesstourism.com/event-view/28424_2020_02_03/

Black History Month Kingston
Kingston/Hudson Valley
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
February 24th
"Black Culture in American Cinema"
Filmmaker and historian Stephen Blauweiss will present an evening about the lesser-known history of Ulster County through a wide range of short films and rare photographs about the arts, music, dance and broader black culture, including some never-before-seen interviews.
For More Information Please go to http://www.blackhistorymonthkingston.org/events/full-calendar/133-black-culture-in-american-cinema-1

The African American Cultural Center 
Albany/Capital Region
4:00 pm
February 11th
"NCAAP History Past and Present"
For More Information Please go to https://www.aacccr.org/

University at Albany
Albany/Capital Region
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
February 26th
“The Brothers: A History of the Civil Rights Movement in Albany, New York”
For More Information Please go to https://www.albany.edu/multicultural/70537.php

Albany Institute of History & Art
Albany/Capital Region
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
February 1st
“Teaching Black History through Theater.”
The Albany Institute of History & Art will host a special program in honor of Black History Month entitled “Teaching Black History through Theater.” In the program, re-enactors Donald Hyman, Penny Meacham, Walter Simpkins, and Clifford Oliver will portray prominent local and national African Americans including Judge James C. Matthews, Sojourner Truth, Moses Viney, and Solomon Northrup. Each presenter will provide insight into how theatrical performances and re-enactments help tell the often unknown stories of important historical figures. There will also be a time for Q&A with event attendees.
For More Information Please go to https://www.albany.org/event/teaching-black-history-through-theater/30746/

Schenectady County Historical Society
Schenectady/Capital Region
2:00 to 4:00 pm
February 22nd
“Illegal Freedom and Illegal Slavery” with Professor Ken Aslakson
Union College professor Ken Aslakson will discuss antebellum New York, home to some of the time period’s most well-known runaway slaves. No person of African descent was ever completely secure in their freedom. Even those born free were susceptible to being kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.
For More Information Please go to http://schenectadyhistorical.org/event/illegal-freedom-and-illegal-slavery-with-professor-ken-aslakson/

Beekmantown Town Hall
Beekmantown/North Country
6:30 pm
February 27th
"Stories of African Americans in Beekmantown"
In recognition of Black History Month, "Stories of African Americans in Beekmantown" will be presented by Jackie Madison, president of the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association, as the first topic for the Beekmantown Bicentennial Speakers Series. This event will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2020, starting at 6:30 PM in the large meeting room of the Beekmantown Town Hall, 571 Spellman Road, West Chazy, NY, 12991.
For More Information Please go to https://www.goadirondack.com/event/stories-of-african-americans-in-beekmantown

Saranac Lake Free Library
Saranac Lake/North Country
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
February 10th
"Racism Study Group"
In "Beyond Charlottesville, Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism" by Terry McAuliffe, he look at the forces and events that led to the tragedy in Charlottesville, including the vicious murder of Heather Heyer and the death of two state troopers in a helicopter accident. He doesn't whitewash Virginia history and discusses a KKK protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. He takes a hard real-time behind-the-scenes look at the actions of everyone on that fateful August 12, including himself, to see what could have been done. He lays out what was done afterwards to prevent future Charlottesvilles - and what still needs to be done as American in general and Virginia in particular continue to grapple with their history of racism.
For More Information Please go to https://cefls.org/events-calendar/

Rome Historical Society
Rome/Central NY
5:30 pm
February 19th
"Abolitionist Gerrit Smth and the Underground Railroad topic of presentation"
Considered by many to be the most influential abolitionist, Gerrit Smith was known for his financial support of the anti-slavery cause. From the tiny hamlet of Peterboro NY, Smith pursued his belief in the ending of slavery by funding those who fought for its abolition. Author and historian Norman K. Dann will present the fascinating story of Gerrit Smith, the Underground Railroad, and more at the Rome Historical Society on February 19th at 5:30 PM.
For More Information Please go to https://romehistoricalsociety.org/

Rome Historical Society
Rome/Central NY
5:30 pm
February 26th
"African Americans and the Vote"
The topic of this discussion will be African Americans and the Vote which is the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s (ASALH) 2020 African American History Month theme. The panel will be moderated by RHS Trustee and AAHA President, Willie Talmadge. Panelists will discuss local African American participation and influence in elections, government, the Fifteenth Amendment of 1870, Nineteenth Amendment of 1920 granting women the right to vote, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which outlawed discriminatory voting practices.
For More Information Please go to https://romehistoricalsociety.org/

Utica/Oneida County Branch NAACP
Utica/Central NY
1:00 pm
February 1st
"African American Voting Rights Talk in Utica"
The Utica/Oneida County Branch NAACP is set to kick off Black History Month 2020 with its annual program at the Oneida County History Center.  The program features guest speakers, including County Legislator Evon Ervin and Councilman Delvin Moody, poetry recitals, dance presentations, music, and more. This local celebration follows the 2020 national theme, African Americans and the Vote, which addresses the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and black women for the right to vote
For More Information Please go to https://www.facebook.com/utica.naacp

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Cooperstown/Central NY
11:30 am
February 13th
"Celebration of the Negro Leagues"
This special program will highlight the efforts of Negro Leagues founder Rube Foster. Learn about some of the greatest players of black baseball, including Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Cool Papa Bell. Hear the story of Effa Manley, the only female member of the Hall of Fame. And find out more about the Hall of Famers who started their careers in the Negro Leagues before becoming household names: Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Willie Mays.
For More Information Please go to https://baseballhall.org/node/20540?date=0

Tompkins Center for History & Culture
Ithica/Finger Lakes
February 20th
"The Voting Vanguards Poster Project - Rejoice the Vote!"
Come to enjoy the exhibit opening of 12 exciting posters designed by student artists of the Lehman Alternative Community School. This celebration of Black History Month focuses on voting rights. These posters bring to light the names of sheroes and heroes who worked at great personal peril to obtain the right to vote and have their vote count. 
For More Information Please go to https://thehistorycenter.net/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=78

Rochester Museum and Science Center
Rochester/Finger Lakes
Ongoing Exhibit "Flight to Freedom: Rochester’s Underground Railroad"
Explore the paths that courageous freedom seekers followed through Rochester in this dramatic, interactive exhibition. Walk in the footsteps of Austin Steward, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Reverend Thomas James as they overcome huge obstacles to build free lives. Learn how they joined Rochester activists in the fight to abolish slavery and help others seeking freedom.
For More Information Please go to https://rmsc.org/science-museum/exhibits/item/9-flight-to-freedom-rochesters-underground-railroad

Merriweather Library
Buffalo/Western NY
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
February 17th
"Columnist to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Eye On History"
Columnist Eva M. Doyle would like to invite the community to join her in celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Eye On History Column. It will be held at the Merriweather Library located at 1324 Jefferson Avenue on Sunday, February 17 from 2 – 5 p.m. The program will include music, speakers, poetry, an exhibit of many of the Eye On History articles, a Black History book giveaway, and video clips of African American History programs that grew out of the column. Mrs. Doyle will be joined by retired Legislator Betty Jean Grant, and some of Buffalo’s best poets including Vonetta Rhodes and Taharqa Odinga. Storytelling will be by Sandra Bush, former Manager of the Merriweather Library. Light refreshments will be served from the Golden Cup Restaurant. This event is free and open to the public. The Eye On History Column began in the Challenger newspaper in 1979 and it continues today in the Criterion newspaper.
For More Information Please go to https://thechallengernews.com/2019/02/black-history-month-events-in-wny/

Niagara Arts and Cultural Center
Niagara Falls/Western NY
Ongoing Exhibit "Explore the Underground Railroad"
During the 1800s, many fugitive slaves came through the Buffalo Niagara region, crossing over to Canada—and to freedom. They used the Suspension Bridge and the Cataract House ferry in Niagara Falls. They traveled on boats from Lewiston and Youngstown. And some even swam across the river to freedom. The Underground Railroad—a secret network of people who assisted those escaping slavery by providing money, food, clothing, and temporary shelter—made this journey possible.
For More Information Please go to http://thenacc.org/freedom-crossing-home/

Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Branch
Buffalo/Western NY
February 6th
African Americans and the Vote
Presentation for Black History regarding voting; sponsored by Johnetta R. Cole Amvets Post 24.
For More Information Please go to https://buffalolib.libcal.com/event/6263447?hs=a

Reg Lenna Center for The Arts
Jamestown/Western NY
7:00 pm
February 5th
"Harriet - Movies at The Reg"
From her escape from slavery through the dangerous missions she led to liberate hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman is told.
For More Information Please go to https://www.tourchautauqua.com/events/harriet-movies-at-the-reg

Vauxhall Branch Library
Union/Southern Tier
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
February 12th
"Black History, Oral History, and Your Family's Story"
As presented by Dr. Katie Singer, History faculty at Rutgers University-Newark, there will be a brief introduction to the field of oral history, followed by examples from some local oral history collections and a short workshop for participants who are interested in recording their own family's oral histories.
For More Information Please go to https://www.tapinto.net/towns/union/sections/arts-and-entertainment/articles/union-announces-month-long-black-history-month-celebration