By Kami-Leigh Agard
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 and films that serve as teaching moments for the entire family.
Established in the mid-1960s, the Rockaway Community Corporation (RCC) was the first official organization in Rockaway to be led by African Americans. It coordinated poverty-oriented services for the area's low-income population. Some of RCC’s early successful activities included launching a publicity campaign to combat lead poisoning and prevent the closing of the local Legal Aid office.
Black History Month is celebrated differently around the world. In the U.S, and Canada, black history is celebrated in February. However, the U.K., Ireland, and the Netherlands honor it during the month of October. In 2014, Ireland became only the fourth country in the world to celebrate Black History Month.
Tuesday, February 19
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m
George Washington Carver Workshop
Queens Botanical Gardens
Most NYC school children are off next week, so why not grab the troops and head to the Queens Botanical Garden’s George Washington Carver Workshop. Called the “Wizard of Tuskegee,” Dr. George Washington Carver made significant contributions in the field of botany. Students will learn how plants played a very important role in his early life and later achievements. Also, following in Dr. Carver’s footsteps, use plants to paint and create a healing lotion to take home. Registration required but drop-ins welcome upon availability. Admission: $10 per child. For tickets and more info, visit: eventbrite.com and search: Mid-Winter Break Family Programs: George Washington Carver Workshop.
43-50 Main Street, Flushing
Saturday, February 22
BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROGRAM
Far Rockaway Church of Christ
Black History Month Program with brunch served at 11 a.m., and program beginning at 1 p.m.
21-25 Nameoke Ave, Far Rockaway
Saturday, February 22
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
BROOKLYN & THE
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.
334 Furman Street, Brooklyn
“Hair Love,” which received a lot of love at the 2020 Oscars for Best Animated Short Film, tells the tender and empowering story of an African-American father learning to do his daughter, Zuri’s hair for the first time. The six-minute film, presented almost entirely in mime, is the brainchild of former NFL wide receiver-turned-movie director, Matthew A. Cherry. In a recent interview, Cherry shared that he wanted the film to combat negative stereotypes about black fatherhood. Check out “Hair Love” on YouTube.