Jan 27 – Feb 1
The brainchild of Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month began as Black History Week in 1926. Black History Month has a special resonance Uptown since our beloved piece of NYC has played an outsized role in the making of much of that history. Walking the streets of Uptown you can still feel the legacy of Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Billie Holiday, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Ossie Davies, Ralph Ellison and countless others. Black History Month is not an abstract concept here. Simply step out of your doors and go searching for it. You won’t have to look far and you won’t be disappointed.
One of the best places to go digging for that history is the indispensable Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (515 Malcolm X Blvd). The venerable institution houses a treasure trove of Black history and boasts a busy and acclaimed roster of events, panels and forums. Late last year they hosted a conversation with Hip-Hop icon Rakim and Ralph McDaniels. Get this: you can read a chapter, by appointment only, from the classic The Autobiography of Malcolm X that was omitted from the published version.
Another place that looms large in my consciousness is The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center (3940 Broadway). Malcolm X literally put the Black in Led Black. Simply stated, The Autobiography of Malcolm X changed the directory of my life. The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational is a living, breathing testament to the vision, depth and scope of a man whose intelligence, determination and drive made him a giant among men. His outsized and larger than life presence can still be felt in the former Audubon Ballroom. When you enter this sacred space you can almost hear Malcolm telling it like it is, speaking truth to power resolutely and unapologetically, with the audience enraptured responding back, “Make it plain Malcolm, make it plain.” Malcolm X lives!
By the way, familia, our site began broadcasting on a daily basis exactly ten years ago. We are now the big 1-0. I can’t believe that we have been around for a decade. Thanks for the support and please continue to spread that Uptown Love.
Keep checking us out at www.uptowncollective.com.
The Uptown Collective
The UC’s mission is to become “the” definitive, transformative and community-based force impacting the arts, culture, business and New York City’s overall perception of Upper Manhattan. Its objective is to reset, reboot and positively redefine Uptown’s artistic, political, cultural and business spheres via the online space as well the collective’s initiatives and functions.