entertainment

10 Things to Do During Black History Month in NYC

Black History Month is a time to celebrate, learn and support the Black community. While you should be doing this every day, February gives you an opportunity to see what the city has to offer in uplifting and supporting Black New Yorkers. So, if you're looking for cool events and activities for the entire month, we found ten things to do during Black History Month 2023 in NYC.

20 Things (Big & Small) You Can Do to Support Black History Month


Bruce Glikas/Contributor/Getty Images

1. Attend a Broadway Show

Broadway is currently host to amazing Black stories like the reimagined big-band-inspired adaptation of Some Like It Hot (from the minds of Amber Ruffin and Matthew Lopez). Or check out shows featuring Black leads making history in their own rights like Emilie Kouatchou in The Phantom of the Opera, where she is the first Black woman to play Christine (and FYI, you can catch her in the show until April 16 ). There's also Lillas White in Hadestown, the first woman cast in the role of Hermes.

John Lamparski/Contributor/Getty Images

2. Try a Walking Tour of Harlem

On February 18, retrace the steps of W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr., and more icons through the historical landmarks of Harlem. The Big Onion hosts a walking tour known as the Historic Harlem: Celebrating Black History Month. Learn about the Harlem Renaissance and how the upper Manhattan enclave became the "Captial of Black America." The walk lasts for two hours, where you'll stop at places like The Apollo Theater, The Schomburg Center and Striver's Row.

Shahar Azran/Contributor/Getty Images

3. Check Out a Show At the Apollo

This landmark is known for a host of events in February and beyond. Need a laugh? On February 2nd, the Apollo is hosting its classic The Apollo Comedy Club including comedians like Jerrel Beamon, Nema Katt and Ricco Da Great.

Speaking of classics, the theater's signature series—Amateur Night at the Apollo—returns on February 22nd with new performers. Luther Vandross, Lauryn Hill and H.E.R. are some of the many legends who've performed in the famous talent show, so you might want to get your tickets now to see the next big star hit the stage.

253 W. 125 st, New York, NY or www.apollotheater.org

Robert Alexander/Contributor/Getty Images

4. Explore Past and Present Artwork

NYC Parks is presenting an exhibit at the Arsenal Gallery starting February 2nd. "Heritage: Exploring the Past, Present and Future in Black Art" offers a look into the Black experience through the lens of NYC Parks' employees. Explore a variety of art mediums, including vintage posters that are so NYC. The exhibit is completely free and open to the public, so head over to Central Park and check it out.

830 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

Desiree Navarro/Contributor/Getty Images

5. Join a New York Public Library Event

The New York Public Library is offering a plethora of Black History Month activities. Attend a virtual discussion about the short story "The Book of Martha" written by author Octavia Butler. Join an in-person talk about The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict or It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillian. Plus, a few libraries across the five boroughs are hosting movie screenings. Check out films like The Women King, One Night in Miami and Muhammad Ali, to name a few. (Note: Check the NYPL website to find out your local library movie showings and in-person book discussions.)

6. Support Local Black-Owned Businesses

The city is buzzing with Black-owned businesses, so explore the five boroughs for clothes, home decor and more. Don't know where to start? Luckily, February is hosting a few pop-up shops and markets around the city. On February 18th, the New Women Space is hosting a day filled with trinkets, foods and artisans right in Brooklyn. Plus, check out another curated market in the borough in collaboration with City Point Bklyn. If you're a creative or enjoy art, this event is sure to be on your radar at the end of the month.

Pool/Getty Images

7. Celebrate Kentanji Brown Jackson and Thurgood Marshall

Head on over to the King Manor Museum in Queens to celebrate and learn about two historic Supreme Court justices: Kentanji Brown Jackson (who was the first Black woman to be on the court) and Thurgood Marshall (who was the first Black Supreme Court Justice). The event is free and open to the whole family. You'll be able to learn more about them and their historic titles as well as let the kiddos create their own mini gavel to take home.

150-03 Jamaica Ave., Queens, NY

8. Enjoy a Taping of Drunk Black History

If you enjoy Drunk History, you're going to like this parody of the hilarious comedy series. Comedians Brandon Collins and Gordon Baker-Bone host this event, where alcohol fuels unpredictable retelling of some of history's prominent Black figures. The hosts will be joined by Calise Hawkins, J.D. Williams, Electra Telesford and more. Sit back and prepared to laugh your way through the night.

149 7th St., Brooklyn, NY

Bloomberg/Contributor/Getty Images

9. Have Fun At the Black Future Festival

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is bringing back its annual Black Future Festival. The all-day event celebrates and highlights the African Diaspora and the month as a whole. The entire family can enjoy hours of storytelling, workshops, performances and more. It'll run from February 19 to February 26.

145 Brooklyn Ave., Brooklyn, NY or www.brooklynkids.org/

10. Grab a Bite At a Black-Owned Restaurant

What better way to celebrate Black History Month than by checking out a Black-owned restaurant? NYC is home to so many delicious delicacies. To find the best of the best, one PureWow editor compiled the top 26 restaurants in the Big Apple to try. A few favorites include Brown Butter, Lolo's Seafood Shack and Bunna Cafe.

26 Black-Owned NYC Restaurants You Can Order from Tonight