Must-Visit Places in New York City for Black History Month

There are many famous black history sites to visit in New York City during February, which is Black History Month. This list highlights five places that are prominent places in the black history of New York City. Many of the key Black History Month sites are in Harlem.

Black History Month provides an opportune moment to explore and honor the profound impact of the African American community on the city’s cultural, social, and political landscape. From historic landmarks to cultural institutions, this article guides you through must-visit places in New York City that celebrate and reflect on the enduring legacy of African Americans.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center, located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem, is one of the leading research centers focusing on the preservation and collecting of information on the experiences of people of African descent. According to information provided by the Schomburg Center’s website, the Center is divided into several divisions: General Research and Reference Division, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, Art and Artifacts Division, Photographs and Prints Division, and Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division. These divisions feature documents, artifacts, recordings, photographs, artwork, and other items that highlight the African and black experience.

Apollo Theater

This famous entertainment landmark was built in 1914 in the heart of Harlem. It has been the showcase for some of the most influential and popular African-American performers and acts. Performers ranging from Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holliday to Luther Vandross, James Brown, and Mariah Carey have performed at the Apollo Theater. The Apollo Theater is an excellent place to visit during Black History Month, and they offer tours that highlight the significant contributions of blacks and Latinos to American music and entertainment. The Apollo Theater is located at 125th Street in the heart of Harlem.

Studio Museum in Harlem

This Black History site, located on the famed 125th Street between Lenox and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. (7th Avenue) in Harlem, is a museum featuring collections of artifacts, photographs, and art that captures the African-American culture and black life in New York City. Founded in 1968, it contains an extensive collection of photographs by renowned Harlem photographer James VanDerZee and art by Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Norman W. Lewis. The Studio Museum in Harlem is a great place to visit for Black History Month and has free admission on the first Saturday of each month.

African Burial Ground

The largest known findings of an intact colonial African cemetery in America were discovered by archaeologists in 1991. The burial grounds contained the skeletal remains of 400 people of African descent, and the remains of more than 200 other burial sites were undisturbed. Artifacts were also found at the site, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark. The African Burial Ground Memorial site is located on Duane St. between Broadway and Elk Streets and is open to the public from 9AM to 4PM, Monday through Friday. It should be a place to visit for Black History Month.

Abyssinian Baptist Church

This historic church, located at 132 W. 138th Street just off Lenox Avenue, is one of the most noted houses of worship in Harlem and New York City. According to information on Wikipedia.org, the church was founded in 1808 by a group of African-American worshipers who were unhappy with segregated seating in a white church; it has been a leading place in the struggle for civil rights and social justice. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., who pastured the church from 1908 to 1936, brought the church to prominence. He was succeeded by his son, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who went on to become a popular and powerful United States Congressman. The current pastor, Calvin Butts, is also a respected social and political leader. The Abyssinian Baptist Church should be a place to visit during Black History Month.

New York City’s celebration of Black History Month opens doors to a world of discovery, reflection, and inspiration. By visiting these significant landmarks and cultural institutions, you not only pay homage to the enduring legacy of the African American community but also gain a deeper understanding of the city’s rich and diverse history. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a visitor, exploring these places in New York City during Black History Month offers a meaningful way to connect with the narratives that have shaped not just the city but the nation as a whole.

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