Free Events for Adults
Discover events across the Library to celebrate Black History Month. From book discussions to trivia, find out how you can get involved.
Free Events & Programs for Kids & Teens
Black History Month programs for kids include special storytimes, STEAM activities, movie screenings, arts and crafts, comic book chats, and much more!
Freedom Narratives: David Wright Faladé, Ilyon Woo with Lynn Nottage
Tues, Feb 7 | 6:30 PM | Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Join authors David Wright Faladé and Ilyon Woo for this conversation with Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Lynn Nottage as they explore intimate narratives about fighting for freedom and America’s complex, ever-changing notion of what it means to be free.
Black Lives in the Diaspora: Past / Present / Future
Thurs, Feb 9 | 6:30 PM | Schomburg Center & Online
Join the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Howard University and Columbia University, for a discussion on the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which are the subject of the first book in this new series, Vital and Valuable: The Relevance of HBCUs to American Life and Education.
The Harlem Chamber Players' 15th Annual Black History Month Celebration
Thurs, Feb 16 | 6:30 PM | Schomburg Center
Registration closed. This event is full.
Enjoy an evening of music by the Harlem Chamber Players and guest performers at their 15th annual Black History Month concert at the Schomburg Center. The night includes the world premiere of Episodes in an Unforeseen Departure by avant-garde jazz pianist–composer Aruán Ortiz, hosted by Terrance McKnight, artistic director of the Harlem Chamber Players and WQXR host.
Treasures: Black Progress and Representation
Delve deeper into the Library’s collections, exhibitions, and resources, including the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures, with our digital guide on Bloomberg Connects, the free arts and culture app. Use the app to explore the Library onsite, or from anywhere! Plus—for Black History Month, explore a special tour that features Black creators and activists reclaiming and establishing space in various fields and illustrates evolving representations of Black identity around the world.
Explore the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures
Listen to Dalila Scruggs, Curator of the Photographs and Prints Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, talk about Elizabeth Catlett's sculpture Political Prisoner, which is on view in the Polonsky Exhibition, Catlett’s life and work, and the Schomburg Center’s history and holdings.
Discover the Oldest Digitized Photos in the Schomburg Center's Collections
The Schomburg Daguerreotype collection makes accessible the oldest photos in the Schomburg Center’s Photographs and Prints Division, which houses more than 500,000 photographs, lithographs, and engravings by and about Black people in the U.S., Africa, and the wider African Diaspora. Our Digital Collections now include 17 portraits dating from the 1840s and 1850s, most of them featuring Black subjects.
Black History Month at the Library for the Performing Arts
This year, the Library for the Performing Arts celebrates Black History Month by recognizing and celebrating a number of Black artists dedicated to the performing arts. From opera to jazz to theater, these are just a few of the Black artists whose work has made an impact and who have inspired the next generation.
Researching Black History at NYPL
The Library offers myriad ways to engage with Black history, including hundreds of thousands of items in circulation, the archival collections of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, LibGuides, and more. Discover where to begin with iconic figures including major figures from the arts such as Maya Angelou, Paul Robeson, Nat King Cole, and Zora Neale Hurston
Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures
Through February 28 | Schomburg Center
From Wakanda to West 135th Street! Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures marks the 10th anniversary of the Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival. Visit this new exhibition to explore a decade of memories, photos, and art created for the festival, discover the history of Black comic books dating back to the Golden Age of Comics, and imagine Afrofuturist worlds with brand-new titles.
Through March 11 | Schomburg Center
Highlighting the work of Harlem-based photographer Austin Hansen (1910-1996) and the experience of Black photographers illuminating the fullness of Black life, constructing a catalog of survival that includes joy, pageantry, and leisure alongside struggles for justice, dignity, and equity. Been Seen places the work of Hansen in conversation with seven contemporary photographers: Dario Calmese, Cheriss May, Flo Ngala, Ricky Day, Gerald Peart, Mark Clennon and Lola Flash.
The #SchomburgSyllabus is an archive of new and recent educational resources relating to Black studies, movements, and experiences. By connecting these materials to the Schomburg Center’s collections, we honor and recognize the source and strength of Black self-education practices, collective study, and librarianship. The #SchomburgSyllabus is curated by Schomburg Center staff and organized into 27 themes to foster a greater understanding of the Black experience.
Explore the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List
For nearly a century, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has preserved, protected, and fostered a greater understanding of the Black experience through its collections, exhibitions, programs, and scholarship. In response to the uprisings across the globe demanding justice for Black lives in 2020, the Schomburg Center published its Black Liberation Reading List. The 95 titles on the list represent books we and the public turn to regularly as activists, students, archivists, and curators, with a particular focus on books by Black authors and those whose papers we steward. Explore the lists for kids, teens, and adults, and discover which titles are available in accessible formats.
Black History Month: Suggested Reading
Explore these thematic reading lists that complement and expand on the Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List (see below) and discover the lives and legacies of influential Black figures, key moments in the history of Black America, and picture books for younger readers celebrating Black characters and families.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, one of The New York Public Library’s renowned research libraries, is a world-leading cultural institution devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.
- Learn about the Schomburg Center’s research divisions and further resources.
- Visit the Schomburg Shop online.
- Sign up for the Schomburg Connection e-newsletter.
Explore web exhibitions presenting an array of special materials from The Schomburg Center.
Watch Now: Past Events
Discover a series of special conversations conversation with creative storytellers—composers and pianists, photographers, educators, and art critics.
More Resources for All Ages
Discover more book recommendations, craft ideas, STEAM activities, and much more with articles, listicles, and research ideas from our expert librarians.
Get Updates from the Schomburg Center
Sign up for the latest news, events, exhibitions, and programs from the Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Visit the Schomburg Shop and see a selection of books, clothing items, tote bags, mugs, and more created by Black and Brown artists for all ages.
Support the Schomburg Center
Are you passionate about our mission to celebrate and preserve Black culture and history? Join the Schomburg Society today for discounts, invitations to exclusive events, and more.