CLAREMONT — Bronxites looking to celebrate Black History Month in their borough can head to the Bronx Music Heritage Center starting on Feb. 17 for a variety of events focusing on Afro-Latino culture.
The celebration will kick off on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. with a screening of the documentary "Nana Dijo: Irresolute Radiography of Black Consciousness," a collection of narratives meant to showcase the black experience.
(WARNING: Trailer contains profane language)
Viewers will then get to take part in a question and answer session with the film's director Bocafloja, who will also deliver a spoken word performance.
The screening will also feature music from the Irka Mateo Folk Quartet that will focus on the figure of the "Palenquera," black women in the Caribbean who worked to abolish slavery, according to the Bronx Music Heritage Center.
The celebration will continue on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. with a book release party for "Dreaming Rhythms, Despertando Silencios," a collection of Nuyorican poetry by Carmen Bardeguez-Brown, who will perform a reading along with multiple other poets. The event will also feature music from Grammy nominated-percussionist and Bronx Music Heritage Center Co-Artistic Director Bobby Sanabria.
On Feb. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m., the center will host an opening reception for a multimedia exhibit honoring Elombe Brath, an artist and activist from The Bronx who got involved with the local jazz scene at a young age. The exhibit will feature artwork and photographs, along with performances from Sanabria, Jazz pianist Valerie Capers and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Jimmy Owens.
The Bronx Music Heritage Center is located at 1303 Louis Nine Blvd., and all of the Black History Month events are free of charge.
The group decided to focus on celebrating Afro-Latino culture this year as a way to connect their community with the African-American community and to honor their strong presence in The Bronx, according to Co-Artistic Director Elena Martinez.
"Their history has been part of us, and it is part of us," she said, "and we're using the programs this month to celebrate that."