AMNH Kwanzaa 2012 & Black History Month "Stories We Tell" Event

by - 2/22/2013 03:09:00 PM

One of the things I like about living in New York City is the many ways the city celebrates Black American culture and history. Different festivals, films and live events can be enjoyed by families in many areas and places. One place that is holding different activities that celebrate the culture of the Black community is The American Museum of Natural History.

American Museum of Natural History Kwanzaa 2012

It's no secret that we LOVE this museum. There's always something going on there! Back in December, we visited the AMNH for their 44th annual Kwanzaa celebration with Kwanzaa 2012: First Fruits of the Harvest.

American Museum of Natural History Kwanzaa 2012

Sadly we were still recovering from being sick over the holidays so my son spent most of his time sleeping in the stroller. Still it was good to be there. While my son slept I enjoyed the music and dancing. I was able to catch master storyteller and actress Linda Humes on the below video for the opening performance

American Museum of Natural History Kwanzaa 2012

I was also able to visit with the different vendors showcasing during the event.

American Museum of Natural History Kwanzaa 2012

So many wonderful crafts and amazing back stories.

I was hoping to stay the whole day for the other activities, but since my son was sick we needed to head back home and rest. So I missed out on the following
  • Karamu with B. Smith, where shares her reflections on what Kwanzaa and offered tips on creating a Kwanzaa Karamu feast that inspires togetherness and unity.
  • Balance Dance Theatre, dance performance “Guardians” from Higher Ground: Still Rising!, based on African folklore, which lead into Black in the Box, an electrifying new work.
  • Film Screening: The Black Candle, narrated by Maya Angelou, is a landmark documentary film that uses Kwanzaa as a vehicle to explore and celebrate the African-American experience. Popcorn was included!

While I was sad to miss out on the rest of the AMNH Kwanzaa 2012 celebration, I knew that for Black History Month the AMNH would have Global Weekends: Stories We Tell

American Museum of Natural History Global Weekends: Stories We Tell Black History Month

The American Museum of Natural History celebrates Black History Month with Global Weekends: Stories We Tell on Saturday, February 23, from 11 am to 5 pm. The festivities, which include family-friendly activities and live musical performances, are presented in association with Community Works and New Heritage Theatre Group.

The day’s activities, performers, and artists include:
  • 11 am to 4 pm in the Grand Gallery: Jerry Craft, creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award- winning comic strip, and contributor to Essence and Ebony magazines, will show visitors how to use simple shapes to create comic book characters and stories. In celebration of opening their Manhattan Showcase School in Harlem this spring, Edible Schoolyard NYC will run seedsprouting workshops all day long and provide seed packets to visitors.
  • 12 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Internationally renowned master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston, performing on the traditional 21-stringed kora, will breathe life and spirit into traditional and contemporary stories from African and African-American oral and cultural traditions.
  • 1 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Composers Concordance will explore the influence of African-American and Native American music on classical and contemporary music. The performance will include a commissioned narrative poem by two-time National Slam Champion and HBO Def Poetry Jam performer Roger Bonair-Agard; exciting new music from Valerie Coleman, founder of the Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds; and works by Dan Cooper, Otto Luening, Milica Paranosic, and Gene Pritsker.
  • 2 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Camille A. Brown, 2012 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award winner, will perform a solo excerpt from her new work Mr. TOL E. RAncE, which celebrates the humor and perseverance of the black performer and examines stereotypical roles dominating current popular black culture. A Q&A and workshop to follow.
  • 4 pm in the Cullman Hall of the Universe: The event concludes with the world premiere of “Rites of Passage,” a special hip-hop, jazz, and youth performance group collaboration by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Delfeayo Marsalis, and IMPACT Repertory Theatre. A Q&A will follow, moderated by Museum Assistant Director of Cultural Education Monique Scott.

Thank you to The American Museum of Natural History for honoring the Black American cultures in so many ways. I hope some of my readers visit AMNH and enjoy the events for Black History Month.

For more information, visit

Please Note: As media, I received tickets to review the exhibit. No other compensation was received. Views expressed are always 100% my own.

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