African Americans have always been an essential part of New York City. Though the first Black residents were brought to the city against their will, African Americans later streamed into NYC from all over the country (and the world) seeking a better life. Black New Yorkers have enhanced all aspects of the city’s history and culture, particularly its music, literature, cuisine, and visual and performing arts. Here are some ways to explore and experience New York’s Black History and Culture.
The Apollo Theater – “Where Stars are Born and Legends are Made!” That motto is no empty boast; the illustrious Harlem showplace is one of America’s most historic and important theaters. For more than eight decades the Apollo has showcased an astounding roster of African-American stars and launched many of their careers. Pioneers of jazz, swing, bebop, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, and hip-hop have played the Apollo. Performances on the Apollo stage have transformed American (and global) music and culture.
Carnegie Hall; New York’s renowned concert hall that is synonymous with magnificent music. Throughout its history the hall has presented music superstars including Tchaikovsky, Caruso, Toscanini, Mahler, Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas, Judy Garland, and the Beatles to name a few. With its elegant design, near-perfect acoustics, and performances by the world’s greatest musical artists, Carnegie Hall is a place of pilgrimage for lovers of music.
New York’s Museum of Modern Art (known as MoMa) contains one of the world’s finest collections of modern art. In addition to its stellar permanent collection, MoMa presents temporary exhibitions (often one of the hottest tickets in NYC), and special events. But with six floors of galleries and thousands of works, navigating the vast museum can be challenging. So here is a concise guide to MoMa and it must-see artworks.
Samba is the national music of Brazil – and the quintessential sound of Rio de Janeiro. Both a musical genre and type of dance, samba has inspired festivals, food, fashion and visual arts. With its propulsive rhythm and voluptuous dance moves, samba is among of the world’s most popular music. Where better to experience authentic samba than its birthplace, Rio de Janeiro?