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Here's Where to Celebrate Black History Month in Brooklyn

By  Camille Bautista Alexandra Leon Rachel Holliday Smith and Leslie Albrecht | January 29, 2016 3:54pm | Updated on January 31, 2016 5:42pm

 Toni Morrison will read from her book “God Help the Child
Toni Morrison will read from her book “God Help the Child" on Feb. 2 at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope.
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Brooklyn Public Library

BROOKLYN — Brooklyn has traditionally been a hub for African-American artists, activists and entrepreneurs, making its mark as the birthplace of first black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and home to Weeksville, believed to be one of America’s first free black communities.

Cultural institutions and organizations around the borough are celebrating Black History Month this February with a series of programs and events dedicated to the legacy of the African-American community.

Check out DNAinfo’s roundup of what’s going on in Brooklyn:

All Month

Black Artstory Month’s INSIDE/OUTSIDE Self-Guided Artwalk
Where: Myrtle Avenue, between Flatbush and Classon avenues
When: All day, Feb. 1 to Feb. 29

A group of 15 New York-based artists have assembled interior and exterior murals and art installations on Myrtle Avenue. The artwork will explore the need for communities to gather and build themselves in both private and public spaces. An additional exhibit will be located at BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Feb. 2

Brooklyn by the Book, with Toni Morrison
Where: Congregation Beth Elohim, 274 Garfield Place, Park Slope
When: 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, will read from her book “God Help the Child.” The novel centers around the character Bride as she moves from her abuse as a child into her adulthood. Morrison will participate in a conversation with Princeton Professor Claudia Brodsky, and a Q&A session will follow. Tickets are sold out but you can join the wait list here.

Feb. 5

Black Artstory Month Kickoff: Meet Me at the Gym
Where: Ingersoll Community Center, 177 Myrtle Ave., Downtown Brooklyn
When: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Black Artstory Month kicks off with a night of performance, art and community building featuring gospel group Manifest, Sophia Dawson and her Roller Skating Crew, Victorious Dance Company, live painting by Ashton Agbomenou, art workshops with SONYA (South of the Navy Yard Artists), and more. All ages are welcome.

Feb. 6

“Radical Black History” at First Saturdays
Where: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights
When: 5 p.m.

February’s free “Target First Saturdays” programming includes an interactive exhibit on black radicalism, a monologue performance series on the topic of racial profiling, a screening of a Black Panthers documentary and a free concert by Brooklyn-based singer Charles Perry.

Second Annual Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights All-Star Reunion
Where: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave., Crown Heights
When: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Councilman Robert Cornegy’s office celebrates the central Brooklyn community by honoring local residents and contributors. This year’s honorees include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater alumna Dwana Smallwood, Michael Bonham-King, and Chinita J. Pointer. The free event features music by DJ Hard Hitting Harry, along with various performances. RSVP to Ofalcon@council.nyc.gov.

Feb. 7

Eric Foner on the Underground Railroad
Where: Dweck Center at the Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights
When: 12:30 p.m.

Scholar Eric Foner discusses the story of fugitive slaves and antislavery activists who helped them reach their freedom through the Underground Railroad.

Feb. 10 to Feb. 12

Remembering...Stories of the African-American Experience
Where: Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, 212 Tompkins Ave., Bed-Stuy
When: Feb. 10 and Feb. 11, 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.; Feb. 12, 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.

This multi-media presentation explores the historical accounts of slavery, with teachings from Mount Pisgah’s Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood. Tickets are $10. For more information, email info@creativeoutlet.org.

Feb. 12

Black Artstory Month Conversation: Art as Protest, Protest as Art
Where: Leisure Life, 559 Myrtle Ave., Clinton Hill
When: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A panel of artists will discuss the collective power of radical artistic communities by sharing their experiences. The talk will be moderated by Erica Cardwell and feature performance artist Jamal T. Lewis, community organizer Janisha R. Gabriel and NYPL exhibitions manager Isissa Komada-John.

Feb. 13

Where: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave., Crown Heights
When: 2:00 p.m.

In this “B Scene” event co-hosted by BRIC Arts, attendees will screen community-produced films and television programs about African-American communities, relationships and history — and why they matter.

Feb. 16

We Be Darker Than Blue: An Intergenerational Sisterhood Through Artistic Activism
Where: The Stoop at BRIC House, 647 Fulton St., Fort Greene
When: 7 p.m.

Stop by the stoop for a night of poetry and spoken word with Black Arts movement writer Sonia Sanchez, Brooklyn poet Mahogany Browne, and queer poet and visual artist Jess X Chen. The artists will participate in a Q&A after the reading, and open the mic to poets in the audience.

Feb. 18

The Green Book Chronicles
Where: Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn Heights
When: 6:30 pm. to 9 p.m.

Postal worker Victor Green compiled the Green Book in the 1930s, a guide of black-friendly businesses that would welcome African-American travelers during segregation. “The Green Book Chronicles,” a documentary from Calvin Alexander Ramsey follows the rise and fall of those who used the guide to travel safely. The event features a discussion with Ramsey with raw footage from the upcoming film.

Feb. 19

Black Artstory Month Film: re-work/re-frame
Where: Pratt Institute’s Film/Video Center, 550 Myrtle Ave., Clinton Hill
When: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Short films and documentaries by Yisa Fermin, Lindsay Catherine Harris and Esteban del Valle will review and re-frame perceptions of black lives.

Feb. 19 to Feb. 21

'12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today'
Where: The Kumble Theater, 1 University Plaza, Downtown Brooklyn
When: Feb. 19 at 8 p.m., Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.

Check out a theatrical performance based on the book, “12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today.” The cast includes Wendell Pierce from “The Wire” and Roger Robinson of “How to Get Away with Murder.” A pre-show talk is scheduled an hour before each show, giving an opportunity to hear from the community. Tickets are $25, $15 for students, seniors, and groups of 10 or more.

Feb. 20

Dance of the African Diaspora for Kids
Where: Dweck Center at the Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights
When: 1:00 p.m.

Kids are invited to celebrate and explore the dance moves of West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and, of course, the United States, with experts on the dances of the African Diaspora. The event is free and open to the public.

Feb. 25

A Walk in History Clergy Tour & Breakfast
Where: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave., Crown Heights
When: 10 a.m.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the Weeksville Heritage Center present a tour of the African-American cultural institution, located in what many consider one of America’s first free black communities. RSVP at gmonrose@brooklynbp.nyc.gov or 718-802-4488.

Black History Month 2016 at Brooklyn Borough Hall 
Where: Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Downtown Brooklyn
When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This free event honors African-Americans born, raised and growing up in Brooklyn. Colvin Grannum, President and CEO of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation gives the keynote speech.

Where: Medgar Evers College, 1638 Bedford Ave., Crown Heights
When: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer will recognize and honor trailblazers in African-American history at an awards ceremony at Medgar Evers College.

Feb. 26

Black Artstory Performance: The Glass Eye featuring Hot Hands & members of Victorious Dance Company
Where: BLDG 92, 63 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn Navy Yard
When: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Glass Eye delves into the disembodiment of the black body through police violence as witnessed by the police body camera. The multi-disciplinary performance will feature song, dance and film that capture cases of police violence and the subsequent protests that followed.

Feb. 27

Trolley Tour at Green-Wood Cemetery
Where: Green-Wood Cemetery, Greenwood Heights
When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Learn about the lives of prominent black New Yorkers — including artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and New York’s first black female doctor — who are buried in Green-Wood Cemetery on this trolley tour with historian Jeff Richman. Tickets are $15 for Green-Wood members and $20 for non-members.