Wow. It seems like just yesterday I was raising my fists, picking out my fro’, and blasting CB4’s “And I’m Black Y’all” through my sound system. And now, we’re already nearing the close of Black History Month. They really did give us the shortest month of the year. But it ain’t over yet, and if you still feel like you haven’t really had the chance to engage in or attend some sort of Blackity-Black activities, look no further than right here. As usual, we got you with this week’s roundup of amazing virtual events. Keep reading to find out more.
Before we begin, The Creative Collective NYC has teamed up with BLK HST to present BLK HST: Reclaiming Our Stories, an interactive virtual three-room exhibit highlighting incredible African-Americans who left an amazing impact on the culture. Visit their website now to RSVP and explore these oft-untold stories.
The Manhattan Theatre Club will present The Past Is the Past as the first production in MTC’s virtual Curtain Call series, streaming on demand now through Sunday, February 28 only. Written by Drama Desk Award winner Richard Wesley, The Past Is The Past was originally produced in MTC’s 1974-1975 season. The reading stars Emmy Award nominee Jovan Adepo and two-time Emmy Award winner Ron Cephas Jones and is directed by Oz Scott. Tickets to the reading are free and can be reserved by visiting their website
As a part of the as the inaugural Black Girl Freedom Week, the Black Girl Freedom Fund launched a series of virtual programming to continue celebrating the possibility, dreams, power, and leadership of all Black girls—Black cis and trans girls, Black gender expansive youth, Black fem(mes). Their final program, titled “Ensuring Black Girl Futures Through Public Policy,” will host leaders from Girls for Gender Equity as they share a national policy agenda for Black girls, including updates to the Black Girls’ Bill of Rights, originally curated in 2016, from 4:30-5:30pm ET. To stream the event, be sure to visit 1Billion4BlackGirls.org
If you’re in South LA, join FX in celebrating the premiere of its upcoming fourth season of Snowfall. The network is teaming up with the Official Black Wall Street to hold a Snowfall Neighborhood Car Wash, a themed car wash experience with elements of the show and a branded content hub that will house Season Four highlights and a selection of Black-owned businesses within the area. The car wash is a COVID-19 safe, contact-less event and will be available through reservations only. For the exact location and info on how to secure your free car wash, be sure to visit their website. Season Four of Snowfall premieres Wednesday, February 24 only on FX and the next day on Hulu.
Lena Waithe and her production company Hillman Grad Productions have joined forces with Women Under The Influence (WUTI) to curate a series of screenings celebrating Black love and sisterhood. A portion of the proceeds will also go to Walls Of Worth which is a revitalization project for Black-owned businesses. Curated around themed weekends, The Drive-In at LA’s Exposition Park will feature three nights of cinema and events offering a host of different perspectives around each topic. The films are a combination of classic, independent, arthouse and cutting-edge cinema that passionately champion the work of women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Starting tomorrow, The Drive-In will feature classic films such as Waiting to Exhale, Set It Off, Cinderella, Sylvie’s Love, Girlhood, and Watermelon Woman. For more information on exact showtimes, be sure to visit here to secure your tix.
Grammy-nominated artist Bryson Tiller will host a special livestream concert performance, “Trapsoul Series” in partnership with the digital live platform Moment House. Sponsored by Jack Daniels, the concert will feature Tiller as he performs his biggest hits off his Trapsoul album. An exclusive Spotify presale opened up on February 17, but general on-sale tickets are available today starting at 10am PT. For more information, please visit Moment House’s website.
The National Museum of African-American Music (NMAAM) invites you to join them for their new virtual artists showcase, Sips and Stanzas Presents: Say It Loud! Tune in at 7PM EST on Facebook Live as they celebrate Black History Month with poetry, music, and more, in collaboration with Southern Word.
The New Federal Theatre is celebrating Black History Month with a retrospective reading series featuring noteworthy plays. This week’s reading is The Meeting by Jeff Stetson, directed by Ajene D. Washington. The play, which premiered at NFT in 1987, is “an imaginary encounter between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in 1965 in a hotel in Harlem. Differing in their philosophies but alike in their mutual respect, the two men debate their varying approaches to the same grave social problems. Both are prepared to die for their beliefs but neither is aware of how soon assassins’ bullets await them.” The Meeting was also televised on American Playhouse in 1989. Joseph L. Edwards will portray Dr. Martin Luther King, Tyler Fauntleroy as Resheed and Beethovan Oden will portray Malcolm X. To access this free reading, which will be available now through the 22nd, head on over to their website.
The Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) is showcasing a special advanced global screening of Gregory Everett’s award-winning documentary, 41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers. The documentary features exclusive interviews from Black Panther party leaders Geronimo Ji Jagga, Elaine Brown, and Kathleen Cleaver, and retired Los Angeles City Councilmember and former L.A.P.D. Police Chief Bernard Parks. The film was the first part of a docu-series by Everett that follows the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense from its glorious Black Power beginnings through to its tragic demise. The film also explores the Black Panther ethos, its conflict with the L.A.P.D. and the U.S. Organization, and the events that shaped the complicated and often contradictory legacy of the L.A. chapter. As a tribute to the late filmmaker, who was tragically lost to COVID-19 on January 24 of this year, PAFF will host a global screening fundraiser supporting his family on February 20 at 8p.m. ET. To reserve your virtual/online screening seat now, be sure to go here.
Erick the Architect will host a first-of-its-kind virtual festival on his Twitch channel. Future Proof Fest will feature live performances and beat-making, meditation, live art, merch drops, exclusive remixes/covers and more; a 4-hour interactive event of positivity and creativity, all on the theme of how to “future proof” yourself to be the best you. Check out the trailer below and be sure to avail yourself to his Twitch channel at 2:22pm ET.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will showcase Primer for an Impossible Conversation, a new virtual theater work by David Neumann, Marcella Murray, and Tei Blow that uses conversation to explore the distances between people talking about race. Building on their Obie Award-winning performance Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed, that interweaves personal stories, historical events, and science fiction on the set of a TV talk show, Primer for an Impossible Conversation brings the artists’ ongoing dialogue about race to audiences in a multidisciplinary, digital format, in conversation with Chicago author and cultural critic Mikki Kendall. The event will take place via Vimeo starting at 6 pm CST. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and can be reserved by visiting here or through calling the MCA Box Office at 312.397.4010.
The Black Public Relations Society and the Black Theatre Network (BTN), in association with SimonSays Entertainment, have come together to create Black Inspiration: a virtual audience development initiative for the Broadway-bound production Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III. The first event through the partnership, Black Inspiration: An Artistic Continuum, A Dialogue, will take place at 7p.m. ET in celebration of Black History Month. It hopes to serve as the starting point for an ongoing conversation between the production and potential audiences. The event is free but an RSVP is required. You can register by visiting here.
Art Students League has unveiled its Public Programming for the month of February. Tied to their upcoming exhibition Creating Community: Cinque Gallery Artists, Program Curator Nanette Carter will be in conversation with Cinque Artist Ray Grist to shed light on the groundbreaking artists who got their start in Cinque and explore the themes of the show in further detail, as well as, encourage a continued discussion about the eclectic collective. The Cinque Gallery exhibition celebrates a diverse selection of late twentieth-century and contemporary artists who participated from 1969 – 2004 in this pioneering artist collaborative enterprise. To view the conversation, be sure to visit The Art Students League’s YouTube channel.