American Studies About Town

Our students select great events around town and online.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture presents The Harlem Chamber Players’ 16th Annual Black History Month Celebration. This free concert will feature three phenomenal Black women. The featured guest artist is Nathalie Joachim who will perform her latest work, Ki moun ou ye, from her album, which will be released on February 16th. In Ki moun ou ye Nathalie Joachim asks, “Who are you?” This is a question Nathalie has been answering since her previous album Fanm d'Ayiti, a love letter to Haitian women, the foremothers of Haitian music, and the matriarchs in her personal life. The multi-disciplinary performing artist Helga Davis will host this event.

Thursday, February 15th, 2024 from 6:30 p.m.– 8:00 p.m.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

515 Malcolm X Boulevard New York, NY, 10037

RSVP in required. For more information visit Harlem Chamber Players

Music Monday


This February, experience the magic of "Natural Woman: A Queen of Soul Salute" with songstress Elissa Carmona and the award-winning Morrisania Band Project (MBP)!

Elissa will be joined by Kevin Belle (keyboardist), Greg Daffin (bassist), Roné Greaves (vocalist), Wasi Moodie (drummer), and Ameaga Rogers (guitarist). Let's celebrate Aretha Franklin's musical legacy and artistic activism during Black History Month 2024. Save the date for a soulful night!

Monday, February 19th, 2024 from 6:00 p.m.–17:00 p.m.
The Forum at Columbia University,
601 W. 125th St., New York, NY 10027 Atrium West

To register please go to The Forum

James Miller, Lois and Arthur Stainman Research Assistant, The American Wing, The Met.
Free with Museum admission, though advance registration is recommended.

Join Museum experts, including curators, conservators, scientists, and scholars, for a deep dive into a selection of exhibition objects in the galleries. Hear new insights and untold stories from Met insiders and take a closer look at the works of art. 

Tuesday, February 6th, 2024 from 11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m.
The Met Fifth Avenue

1000 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10028

For more information visit


Born in Detroit but long based in New York City, Rod Williams is a renowned pianist, keyboardist and composer, with degrees in electronic music and interactive performance from SUNY Brooklyn College. A skillful accompanist who has worked with Cassandra Wilson, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Geri Allen, James Carter, Julius Hemphill, Ronnie Burrage, Marcus Belgrave, and Tulivu Donna Cumberbatch among many others, Williams’ own highly original work is under-appreciated–as Peter Watrous put it in the New York Times, "Rod Williams is one of the many musicians in New York who toil in the background but shouldn't. Mr. Williams deserves to be heard in his own context more often". This is a rare opportunity to hear Williams in a solo piano performance.

Saturday, February 3rd, 2024 from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Pelham Fritz Recreation Center

18 Mount Morris Park West New York, NY 10027

For more information visit


The photographs in The Ways of Langston Hughes: Griff Davis and Black Artists in the Making offer an intimate look at Langston Hughes with students, writers, visual artists, and performers in different periods of their maturation. Davis’s photography is complemented by archival material from the Schomburg Center’s collections and letters reflecting decades of personal correspondence.

To attend this free event you may RSVP here. 

Thursday, February 1st from 6-8 PM
Schomburg Center

515 Malcolm X Boulevard New York, NY 10037

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black and Chain-Gang All-Stars. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He was a National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" honoree, the winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and the Saroyan Prize, a finalist for the National Book Awards, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circles' John Leonard Award for Best First Book, along with many other honors. Raised in Spring Valley, New York, he now lives in the Bronx.

In conversation with Adjunct Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Creative Writing Advisor in Fiction, Molly McGhee.

Art + Life is an intimate conversation series of poets and writers organized by Columbia’s Undergraduate Creative Writing Program for majors and aficionados. It has hosted writers like Pam Grossman, Morgan Parker, Tommy Pico, Jenny Zhang, Eileen Myles and many others, and provides an opportunity for students to ask the invited reader questions and to engage in roundtable discussions with the artist.

Thursday, February 1st, 2024 at 6:00pm 
Columbia University: Lenfest Center for the Arts

615 West 129th Street New York, NY 10027

Register here for this free event

Join New York Historical Society in honoring the contributions of Black Americans through engaging exhibitions, virtual programs, and guided tours that spotlight inspiring stories and pivotal moments in the struggle for racial equality. 

You can explore Our Composite Nation: Frederick Douglass' America. Discover his vision of freedom, citizenship, and equal rights and his hopeful plea for America to live up to its founding ideals.

The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West, at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)