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Bill Cosby to Help Celebrate Black History Month in Jamaica

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | January 30, 2014 9:02am
 Bill Cosby will participate in a discussion at York College on Feb. 6.
African American History Month
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QUEENS — Jamaica residents will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of theater performances, discussions, movie screenings and visit from the stars.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby will join Frank Savage, a businessman and competitive sailor, for a discussion Feb. 6 at York College.

The panel talk begins at 6 p.m. and runs until 8:30 p.m. at the Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center, 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd.

During the free event, the guests will talk about their recent books — Cosby's "I Didn't Ask to Be Born: But I'm Glad I Was" and Savage's "The Savage Way."  After the discussion there will also be a Q&A with the guests, according to York College.

On Feb. 25, from noon to 2 p.m, the college will also host a Nelson Mandela tribute, with a panel discussion with experts on Mandela and the Anti-Apartheid Movement. It will be moderated by Ron Daniels, a political science professor at York College.

The African Students Association is also sponsoring a dance performance as part of the program.

The Jamaica Performing Arts Center will also host a number of events related to Black History Month.

On Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, residents will have a chance to watch "Amazing Grace From the Auction to the White House," a dance and theatrical event in which audience participation is part of the performance.

The event takes spectators through the journey of the African-American experience — moving from slavery to the Civil War period to the Jim Crow era to the Civil Rights movement, organizers said. "Amazing Grace" concludes with the election of Barack Obama, the nation's first African-American president.

Historic artifacts related to slavery will be on display.

Two 90-minute performances are scheduled for Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m and Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20. 

Also at JPAC, children can watch a 45-minute hip-hop musical theater performance about the life and accomplishments of two other famed African-Americans — Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and actress Debbie Allen.

The show, prepared by Mr. Chris’ Musical Experience, is for children up to age 8, and is scheduled for Feb. 7 and Feb. 28. Shows will run from 10:30-11:15 a.m and from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tickets are $4 for adults, $8 for students.

Throughout February, the Queens Central Library on Merrick Boulevard will be showing a variety of movies related to African-American History.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” screens on Feb. 20 at noon, while “The Color Purple” will show on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. and Academy Award nominated “12 Years of Slave” on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.

There will also be a variety of free music performances, including a concert on Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. by Grace Drums, a percussion and vocal ensemble of women who use traditional West African percussion instruments combined with elements of R&B.