Explore Black History Month
by Erin O’Hara, 02/12/2009
- black history month/
- Neighborhood Spotlight: Harlem
- Explore Black History Month
This year, Black History Month is like no February before it, as the nation basks in the afterglow of electing our first black president. In celebration of Barack Obama's inauguration and of milestones past—from the civil rights movement to the birth of hip-hop—commemorate NYC’s black heritage by taking a tour of important landmarks throughout the City.
Harlem has long been home to groundbreaking political figures, writers, musicians and more. Tour guides can show you the streets, churches, restaurants, theaters and homes that have molded many of these community leaders—W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Malcolm X, just to name a few. Experience the neighborhood’s vibrant personality with Harlem Heritage Tours, whose Harlem Renaissance– and civil rights movement–focused walking tours are led by native Harlemites (so that you can "experience the real Harlem," as it points out on its website). For those interested in NYC music history, Harlem Spirituals focuses on the prominence of jazz and gospel in the neighborhood—tours even include live performances at clubs and churches. If you'd rather follow your taste buds, A Taste of Harlem Food Tour will provide a flavorful trip through restaurants and the menus of some delicious Harlem hideaways.
But Harlem isn't the only NYC neighborhood where black culture thrives. Hush Tours explores other spots in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens where hip-hop originated more than 30 years ago, focusing on popular artists of the past and present. And for out-of-towners, Gerber Tours offers a two-day Black History Tour for students whose itinerary goes beyond Harlem, including multicultural landmarks, like the United Nations and Ellis Island, and even hotel accommodations.
Celebrate Black History Month this February in New York City, home of the nation’s first school for children of slaves and the first place in the United States to pass a law banning race-driven housing discrimination—among many other triumphs. All the more reason to tour NYC’s history-rich landmarks of black culture.