There are many ways you can celebrate Black History Month. Looking for inspiration? We’ve curated a diverse list of talks and events by museums and colleges that are now free to watch on-demand.
The State of Black Film
The Museum of The Moving Image
A panel discussion on the state of Black film. Moderated by Tiffany Joy Butler with panelists Ayana Barber, Samson Styles, Felicia Harden, Tuffy Questell.
Fashion Culture | Stella Jean in Conversation with Valerie Steele
The Museum at FIT
Stella Jean, the Italian-Haitian fashion designer, joins Dr. Valerie Steele, director of MFIT, for a discussion on expanding diversity in the Italian fashion system. Stella Jean, whose clients include Rihanna and Beyoncé, collaborates with artisans in Africa and Haiti, and has been an advocate for Black designers in Italy.
Social Justice Through Sound and Film
Grammy award-nominated conductor and singer, Professor Malcolm J. Merriweather will moderate a conversation with composer, Laura Karpman. Karpman’s setting of Sonia Sanchez’s poem, “Catch the Fire,” is an aria responding to the Tulsa Massacre as depicted in episode 9, Rewind 1921, of the sci-fi/horror/fantasy sensation, LOVECRAFT COUNTRY.
Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll
California African American Museum
African American women have played a pivotal part in rock and roll—from laying its foundations and singing chart-topping hits to influencing some of the genre’s most iconic acts. Despite this, Black women’s importance to the music’s history has been diminished by narratives of rock as a mostly white male enterprise. In “Black Diamond Queens,” Maureen Mahon draws on recordings, press coverage, archival materials, and interviews to document the history of African American women in rock and roll between the 1950s and the 1980s. On February 9, 2021 Mahon, Associate Professor in the Department of Music at New York University; Daphne Brooks, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Music at Yale University; Gayle Wald, Professor of American Studies at George Washington University; and visual artist Nikita Gale discussed the book and the ways in which the history of performance impacts the CAAM exhibition, “Nikita Gale: PRIVATE DANCER.”
Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America
New-York Historical Society
Presented in conjunction with the documentary Driving While Black, acclaimed filmmaker Ric Burns is joined by historians and authors Gretchen Sorin and Craig Steven Wilder for a discussion illuminating how the automobile transformed the African American experience in the early-to-mid-20th century and beyond. Discover how this film came together as well as the important subject matter it explores, including how the advent of the automobile offered a newfound sense of freedom while further exposing Black travelers to discrimination and violence on the road.
DuSable Museum with Jarrett Johnson and Alvin Chea
DuSable Museum Speaks with Jarrett Johnson and Alvin Chea about their Grammy-nominated A Capella version of the Black National Anthem
Inside Black Botany: A Conversation with the Curators
New York Botanical Garden
Join us for a conversation with Rashad Bell and Nuala Caomhánach, the curators of the online exhibit Black Botany: The Nature of Black Experience that seeks to acknowledge the complex relationship between enslaved Black people, nature, and the colonial environment—and reconsider the conscious omission of Black knowledge of the natural world.
A Conversation with Nikki Giovanni
The New School
The New School’s Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice was honored to host legendary poet, educator, and activist Nikki Giovanni for a special Black History Month 2021 conversation. Giovanni, one of the country’s most widely read poets and one of America’s most renowned poets world-wide, read from some of her most iconic poems before sharing insight on her life and work in a conversation with Melanie Hart, Senior Vice President of Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice and Chief Diversity Officer at The New School.
February 28, 2021: Zoom Webinar Capturing Beauty: The Artwork And Photography Of John Simmons
In celebration of Black History in America, The Jean Deleage Art Gallery at CASA 0101 Theater, Emmanuel Deleage, Executive Director, and Jimmy Centeno, Art Exhibit Curator, present “CAPTURING BEAUTY: THE ARTWORK AND PHOTOGRAPHY OF JOHN SIMMONS,” a Free Online Virtual Guided Tour by two-time Emmy Award-winning Cinematographer, John Simmons, of his multi-layered paper collage cartographies and his black and white photography images, representing a full spectrum of life, circa 1965 – 2021.
What were your favorite Black History Month events this year? Share in the comments!