Boro to fete Black History Month with music, poetry

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Queens residents will have the choice to attend everything from an off-Broadway musical and poetry readings to house tours and a quilting workshop as a variety of borough institutions celebrate Black History Month.

The Queens Library, Corona’s Louis Armstrong House, the Queens Historical Society and Queens College will all host events throughout the next few weeks to honor February’s national Black History Month.

On Thursday, the library will present “Warriors Don’t Cry,” a chronicle of the true-life story of Melba Beals, a prominent figure in the civil rights movement for being one of the nine black students to enroll in then-racially segregated Little Rock Central High School. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. at 85-41 Forest Pkwy. in Woodhaven, as well as Saturday at 2 p.m.

The library will also host “Harlem on My Mind,” which celebrates the Harlem Renaissance through a poetry presentation at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Langston Hughes Library branch at 100-01 Northern Blvd. in Corona.

On that same day, the library’s South Ozone Park branch at 128-16 Rockaway Blvd. will present a tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 2:30 p.m., while the Langston Hughes site will host an event on quilt patterns during the time of the Underground Railroad at 3 p.m.

Other upcoming Queens Library programs include a presentation of the account of black Artic explorer Matthew Henson journey to the North Pole at Langston Hughes Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and the Harlem Quartet’s performance at Jamaica’s Central Library at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. at 3 p.m. that same day.

The Louis Armstrong House, at 34-56 107th St. in Corona, will celebrate the jazz musician’s contribution to civil rights as well as giving tours of the house each Saturday this month at 2 p.m.

For reservations, call 718-478-8274 or e-mail the museum at Adult admission is $8 and seniors must pay $6, but children will get in free.

The Queens Historical Society, at 143-35 37th Ave. in Flushing, will hold an archaeological dig Feb. 28 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Long Island’s North Shore during which a Hofstra University anthropology professor will discuss findings at the site that suggest the area may have once held slave quarters.

Queens College will present “Ghetto Chronicles,” a musical journey through inner city living as told through the stories of eight young multi-ethnic actors, rappers and singers, Feb. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the LeFrak Concert Hall.

The show had a four-year run at more than 75 off-Broadway venues and public schools.

The school, at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing, will host several other events, all of which will take place from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the school. On Feb. 17, there will be a performance of “The History of Stepping,” a discussion on the meaning and origins of the dance phenomenon known as “stepping” that will take place at the patio room of the dining hall.

“Haiti: The Unknown,” a discourse on the island nation, will take place Feb. 22 at the Campbell Dome, while a panel discussion with members of the school’s student body who have been affected by Haiti’s recent earthquake will be held Feb. 24 at the dining hall’s Q-Side Lounge.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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