Black History events throughout Queens 1

Tuffy Questell, left, and Samson Styles during preparation of the Afrikan Poetry Theatre’s annual Black History Month Film Festival.

Even with February half over, numerous institutions still have full calendars of events celebrating the historical, cultural and educational aspects of Black History Month.

The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria is hosting the Afrikan Poetry Theatre’s Black History Month Film Festival 2021 online at

The first part, “The Journey of the Black Creative” runs through Feb. 28. It incudes works by student filmmakers Sonia Diaz and Shantel Moses; a documentary by Taaqiy Grant; a sitcom written and directed by Vernon “Smij” Williams; and films by Felicia Harden, Loukman Ali and Shawn Cornelius. BET Correspondent Samson Styles is the host.

Part two is the Future of Black Cinema panel, which includes Tiffany Joy Butler of MoMI, plus commentary from Harden, Styles, Naizi Nasser and others on the successes and challenges of black independent file and television. The video premiered this week and will continue to be available.

The Afrikan Poetry Theatre is in Jamaica.

MoMI also will host a free online screening of “MLK/FBI,” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 23. Sam Pollard’s 2020 film chronicles the campaign of surveillance carried out on the Rev. Martin Luther King in the 1950s and 1960s as ordered by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Pollard moderated by director Jamila Wignot. The presentation is sponsored by ICF Films. Registration is available at The suggested contribution is $10.

Flushing Town Hall’s Black History Trilogy, begun Feb. 5, continues on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. with an online presentation of “Divine Sass: A Tribute to the Music, Life and Legacy of Sarah Vaughn.” The performance stars Tony Award-winning Broadway actress and singer Lillias White, who also conceived of and wrote the show.

Part three of the trilogy will be at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26 when Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner André De Shields performs excerpts from his one-man show “Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory.”

Interested viewers can RSVP to one or both shows online at The showings are free but there is a recommended donation.

The Queens Public Library has numerous activities from fun to educational. Information on all the events and related books and resources that can be found online at

Feb. 18 will offer Black History trivia at noon, followed at 1 p.m. by a jazz performance by saxophonist Antoine Roney and his son, drummer Kojo Roney. At 5 p.m. there is a salute to the work of inventor Benjamin Banneker.

Children ages 4 to 7 are invited at 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 19 to an arts and crafts project with Ms. Jeanne, the youth services manager at the Flushing Library, using paper, scissors, glue and crayons.

“The Rhythms of Our Roots with Urban Stages,” a study of musical patterns and beats brought from Africa through the ages, takes place at 4 p.m. on Feb. 19. Families will be encouraged to create drums from materials found at home.

Jazz musicians Vuyo Sotashe and Alphonso Horne will perform on Feb. 19 as 7 p.m.

Maria Varela, who worked as a photographer and field worker for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from 1963 to 1967, will speak on the conditions and inequities confronting African Americans living in the South at 5 p.m. on Feb. 22.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be the featured guest during a special Story Time presentation at 11 a.m. on Feb. 23.

Professor Gretchen Sorin will offer the talk “Driving while Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights” at 4 p.m. on Feb. 23. Sorin will discuss the history of black motorists and the travel guides that kept them safe.

Comic book artist Alitha Martinez, whose works have appeared in Iron Man, X-men, Black Sun, Marvel Age Fantastic Four, Black Panther and Voltron, will offer a talk at 3 p.m. on Feb. 24.

The exploration of scientist and inventor Benjamin Banneker continues at 5 p.m. on Feb. 25 with a look at how modern technology has been influenced by his work in both mathematics and astronomy.

Ms. Jeanne, the youth services manager at Flushing, will be back with another arts and crafts project for children ages 4 to 7 at 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 25.

In “Story Songs from the African Diaspora,” at 4 p.m. on Feb. 26, French-Haitian musician Anaïs Maviel explores what people can learn from music in a children’s program as she performs traditional songs from the African diaspora with voice, drums and n’goni, a West African string instrument.

She then will lead a Circle Singing workshop where participants are invited to share in improvisatory, call-and-response style singing.

Author Edwidge Danticat will speak at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26.

She is the author of several books, including “Breath, Eyes, Memory,” an Oprah Book Club selection; “Krik? Krak!,” a National Book Award finalist; “The Farming of Bones”; “The Dew Breaker”; “Create Dangerously;” “Claire of the Sea Light”; and “Everything Inside.”

Her memoir, “Brother, I’m Dying,” was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography.

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