Black History Month has its roots in 1926, when the organization now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History initiated the first "Negro History Week," according to the Library of Congress. In 1975, President Gerald Ford issued a message on the observance of Black History Week, and in 1976, ASALH expanded the observance to the month of February. Since then, U.S. presidents and Congress have signed proclamations and passed laws, respectively, to continue the annual monthlong observance. This year's theme is "The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity."
TAKE AND MAKE: ADINKRA SYMBOLS
Make an adinkra cloth using foam and paper, for children 5 to 12, Feb. 1-27, Brentwood Library, 34 Second Ave.; free, library cardholders only can register to pick up a craft kit; brentwoodnylibrary.org, 631-273-7883.
THEMED ACTIVITY BOX
"Neon-Sign Art," experiment with contemporary African American art inspired by artist Glenn Ligon, for children 13 to 17, Saturdays through Feb. 28, Brentwood Library, 34 Second Ave.; free, teen library cardholders only can register to pick up a box kit; brentwoodnylibrary.org, 631-273-7883.
EXHIBIT: ‘JAZZ GREATS’
Display of the contributions and achievements of six celebrated performers who lived on Long Island: John Coltrane of Dix Hills, Billy Mitchell of Rockville Centre, Seldon Powell of Hempstead, Buddy Tate of Massapequa, Hale Smith of Freeport and Clark Terry of Glen Cove; during museum hours Wednesdays to Saturdays, through summer at the African American Museum of Nassau County, 110 N. Franklin St.; tours are $5 self-guided, $8 docent-guided, $10 tour and a video by appointment only; mask required and temperature taken in lobby; 516-572-0730, theaamuseum.org.
The Patchogue Arts Council and the Museum of Contemporary Art Long Island present "Generations of Color," which brings together female African American artists across the age spectrum working in a variety of media, each with a unique voice, united by their successes in a world that has put barriers of both race and gender before them; viewing by appointment only from 2 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Feb. 27; MoCA LI, 20 Terry St.; free, email email@example.com to request a viewing at least 24 hours before planned visit, maximum of four guests per group; masks required upon entry into the gallery, guests must practice established social distancing protocol; patchoguearts.org, 631-627-8686.
ONLINE: CELEBRATE ART HISTORY: ART TALK
Mary Vahey examines the work of Amy Sherald, a contemporary portrait artist known for her painting of former first lady Michelle Obama and creative depictions of African Americans, which continue to leave an impression on society; 1 p.m., hosted by Freeport Library; free, visit freeportlibrary.info for a Zoom link; 516-379-3274.
VIRTUAL: REMAKING BLACK POWER — WOMEN IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Author Ashley Farmer discusses how Black women activists re-imagined womanhood, challenged sexism and redefined the meaning of race, gender and identity in American life; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., hosted by Patchogue-Medford Library; free, register for a GoToMeeting link; pmlib.org, 631-654-4700.
VIRTUAL: HIGHLIGHTS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY IN AMERICA
Highlights of milestones, achievements and firsts of African Americans in the film and television industry; 7 to 8 p.m., hosted by Rogers Memorial Library; free, register for a Zoom link; myrml.org, 631-283-0774, ext. 523.
ONLINE: MOVIE DISCUSSION: 'TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM'
Discuss the documentary (2019, rated PG-13, 2:00) available to watch on Hoopla; 7 to 8:30 p.m., hosted by Uniondale Library; free, register for a Zoom link; uniondalelibrary.org, 516-489-2220, ext. 204.
VIRTUAL: BREAST CANCER AND WOMEN OF COLOR, WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
In honor of Black History and National Cancer Prevention Month, join Memorial Sloan Kettering experts for a virtual interactive discussion of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, when to get screened, and what to do if you receive a breast cancer diagnosis; 6:30 p.m., presented by Memorial Sloan Kettering; free, register; nwsdy.li/mskbrstcanc, 347-931-6814.
VIRTUAL: SIP N’ CHAT: 'MAYA ANGELOU AND STILL I RISE'
Discuss the biographical documentary (2016, not rated, 1:54) available to watch on Kanopy; 7 to 8 p.m., hosted by Copiague Library; free, library cardholders can register for a Zoom link; copiaguelibrary.org/online_library_programs_adults, 631-691-1111.
ONLINE PROGRAM: FILM DISCUSSION: 'THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO'
Discuss the drama (2019, rated R, 2:01) starring Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors and Danny Glover, available to watch on Hoopla and Kanopy; 1 to 2 p.m., Long Beach Library; free; visit longbeachlibrary.org for a Zoom link; 516-432-7201.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH VIRTUAL CELEBRATION
Ceremony to celebrate select honorees who have made social contributions through actions and deeds; 12:30 p.m., hosted by The Nassau County Courts Black History Committee and The Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association; free, visit nwsdy.li/celebratebhm for a link close to the time of the event and use password 0926.
VIRTUAL EVENT: UP, UP AND AWAY — AFRICAN AMERICANS IN SPACE
Hear about remarkable African Americans who helped shape America’s space program and introduced millions to the wonders of the universe, learn about scientists Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan as well as astronauts Mae Jemison and Ronald McNair; noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Port Washington Library; free; visit pwpl.org for a Zoom link; 516-883-4400.
RUNNING SCARED, RUNNING FREE: ESCAPE TO THE PROMISED LAND
Interactive virtual program, participants meet Carolina, formerly enslaved, who is a conductor on the Underground Railroad living in Stony Brook. She shares the stories of abolitionist movements led by Harriet Tubman, helping participants navigate the Underground Railroad and recruiting participants to design an escape route using quilt patterns and planetary constellations; the program kicks off with an introductory overview on the history of slavery on Long Island; 1 to 2 p.m., presented by Ward Melville Heritage Organization Educational and Cultural Center; $10, call to reserve, space is limited; wmho.org, 631-751-2244.
VIRTUAL: PODCAST DEEP-DIVE
Discuss the podcast "Noire Histoir," a platform that discusses Black literature, historical facts and motivational stories. In honor of Black History Month, participants are encouraged to choose at least two episodes of the podcast to discover a new book, learn a new historical fact or be immersed in an inspirational story of the historically marginalized; 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Westhampton Free Library; free, register for a Zoom link; westhamptonlibrary.net, 631-288-3335, ext. 4.
VIRTUAL: OPERA IN EBONY
Tanisha Mitchell pays tribute to legendary African American singers who performed at such prestigious venues as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and the Royal Opera House, featuring sound clips of Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price, Paul Robeson and George Shirley; 2 p.m., hosted by Elmont Memorial Library; free, register for a link; elmontlibrary.org, 516-354-5280, ext. 223.
ONLINE PROGRAM: THE SUGAR AND SPICE SOUL BAND
Performance of Motown jams with a sweet mix of disco and soul music; 2 to 3 p.m., hosted by Long Beach Library; free; visit longbeachlibrary.org for a Zoom link; 516-432-7201.
Compiled by Gina Tabarus with LaToya Rodriguez, Daniel Variano and Keri Wall-Treudler