Black History Month: Ways to Celebrate this February

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 February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements and rich contributions by African-Americans in U.S. history. In this Rockaway Times month-long series, we give our readers a smattering of facts, events, films and other cultural experiences happening that serve as a teaching moment for the entire family.

FACT:

Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month grew out of Negro History Week, the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African-Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. As proclaimed by President Trump, the theme of this year’s observance is “African Americans and the Vote,” which coincides with the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment, which in 1870 prohibited the government from denying or abridging a citizen’s right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Today, this guarantee is enforced primarily throughout the Voting Rights Act of 1965, an enduring legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights movement.

 

EVENTS:

Saturday, February 8

2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

TOUR OF HISTORIC FLATBUSH BY THE MUNICIPAL ARTS

SOCIETY

From a rural village to a flourishing, diverse neighborhood, Flatbush is one of Brooklyn’s most historic black neighborhoods. On this tour, see why this once pastoral area quickly became a real estate developer's dream. This two-hour tour includes stops at Prospect Park’s Parade Grounds, the Kings Theatre, the historic district of Albemarle-Kenmore Terraces, and the area’s first public school. Tickets are $20 for MAS members, $30 for the public. For more info and tickets, visit: www.mas.org/events/historic-flatbush/ 

Thursday, February 13,

4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

TEEN BLACK HISTORY MOVIE: Selma

Queens Library – Peninsula

Ages 13-17

Learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma. For more info, call 718-634-1110 or visit: queenslibrary.org.

92-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd

 

Saturday, February 22

11 a.m.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

PROGRAM

Far Rockaway Church of Christ

Black History Month Program with brunch served at 11 a.m., and program beginning promptly at 1 p.m.

21-25 Nameoke Ave, Far Rockaway

 

Saturday, February 22

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

BROOKLYN & THE

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

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 for a walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park highlighting the borough's link to freedom. To register, visit: www.nycgovparks.org/reg/rangers. Registration opens on Wednesday, February 12.

334 Furman Street, Brooklyn

 

FILMS:

LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind. Rockaway locals may relate to this film, which tells a powerful narrative about how hometowns are kept alive by the people who love them, despite sweeping changes. Available on Amazon Prime.

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By Kami-Leigh Agard

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