In August 1619, the first documented Africans to arrive in the English-speaking colony of what would become Virginia were transported on the “White Lion,” a Dutch man-of-war ship carrying enslaved cargo from the West Coast of Africa. This February, several organizations are presenting the 2nd Annual Black History Month in Kingston (BHMK): An inspirational selection of historic, educational, engaging activities and art exhibitions will showcase and pay tribute to the legacy and contributions of African-Americans in Kingston and the surrounding areas. A proclamation ceremony will be held on February 1 at City Hall followed by a free community dinner in the evening at the YMCA.
On 1st Saturday, February 2nd, there will be the official Kick-Off event including art exhibits, performances, spoken word, dance, vendors and more.
400 Years: The Struggle & Celebration will feature a variety of works—paintings, photos, sculptures, fabrics, videos and more—by African-American artists (and others if the work has a strong African-American theme). Pieces may represent both negative and positive concepts to tell the story of African-Americans in America from 1619 to 2019.
Exhibits of artwork will be shown in participating galleries including:
- The Lace Mill, 165 Cornell Street
- Kingston Artist Collective, 63 Broadway
- the idea garden, 346 Broadway
- Peace Nation Cafe, 636 Broadway
- Center for Creative Education, 15 Railroad Avenue
400 Years: The Struggle & Celebration will be a non-jury show and all applicants who address the theme will be accepted. There is a submissions form to complete here.
Each gallery may have its own specifications re: deadline, hanging fees, size/number of works and artist sale of works. Please contact James Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (347) 387.6874 with any questions about the art exhibits and the process of submitting works.
In addition to the 400 Years: The Struggle & Celebration citywide art exhibits, BHMK will include participation from a variety of organizations, churches and businesses including lectures and workshops at the AJ Williams-Myers African Roots Library, along with Kingston Library’s Super Saturday, Valentine’s Day Bring Your Dude Dance, Rondout Neighborhood Recreation Center, UPAC performances, Maritime Museum, 2nd Annual BHMK Gala, The 1st Annual Sojourner Truth Walk, Nubian Cafe, and many more events.
The lead sponsors of this year’s celebration are Harambee, MyKingstonKids, Ulster Savings Bank and Radio Kingston.
For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/blackhistorymonthkingston and