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BY MADDISON FARRIS

In 1976, President Gerald Ford made the month of February a nationally observed month of appreciation and honor for the black Americans who’s achievements are too often overlooked and neglected. All throughout February, events and celebrations are held in remembrance of the phenomenal accomplishments that have been achieved through dedication and devout perseverance for equal rights.

Every year the president of the United States issues a national decree which announces the theme of that year’s black history month. The 2020 theme is “African Americans and the Vote” in honor of this month being the 150th anniversary of the 15th amendment which gave African Americans the right to vote.

There is no shortage of celebrations for this great time of remembrance in Queens this month. Here is a list of events and gatherings that are planned for the coming weeks:

Queens Black Restaurant Week

Feb. 1 – 10

This borough-wide event will be supported by black-owned restaurants, and will offer special deals to those who have the event wristbands or who mention “Black Restaurant Week”. Wristbands can be found here

The Black Community and Mental Health: A Dialogue

Feb. 6, 12 to 1 p.m. (Elmhurst Hospital, 79-01 Broadway, Auditorium (Rm. A1-22), Elmhurst)

Attend this panel discussion at Elmhurst Hospital to learn about the black community and mental health in honor of black history month. Panelists will include “America’s Psychologist” Dr. Jeff Gardere and psychiatrist Dr. Jessica Clemons of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. You can register here

Free movie: ‘Strange Fruit’

Feb. 7, 3 to 5 p.m. (Queens Library Langston Hughes, 100-01 Northern Blvd.)

This free event is showcasing the first documentary to focus on the life and legacy of the great Billie Holiday classic, Strange Fruit. You can register here.

Black History Shirt Design for Kids

Feb. 8 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (Seed Capital Cafe, 114-53 Farmers Blvd.)

For $20 kids can enjoy making a t-shirt to celebrate black history month! Light refreshments will be provided, and the cost includes a t-shirt. Register here

Black History Month Speed Networking

Feb. 13, 6 to 8 p.m. (Mother Earth Juice Bar & Cafe, 116-03 Metropolitan Ave.)

Attend this event to mingle with small business owners and entrepreneurs to grow your network! Meet and make new friends all while enjoying healthy juices, vegan cheesecake and more. Bring your friends and your business cards! Register here

Free movie: ‘Stormy Weather’

Feb. 14, 3 to 5 p.m. (Queens Library Langston Hughes, 100-01 Northern Blvd.)

Take a trip to the Langston Hughes Library and catch a free viewing of “Stormy Weather” featuring Bill Williamson and his career along with the rising star, Selina. Register here

Black History Month Pop-Up Shop

Feb. 22, 4 to 8 p.m. (St Benedict the Moor Church, 17117 Brinkerhoff Ave.)

“St. Bonaventure-St. Benedict the Moor Liturgical Dancers, Young Adult Ministry and the Rhymes Lowery Dance Theater are hosting a Black History Month Salute to: The Unsung Heroes of Yesterday and Today.” Tickets can be purchased for $25 and can be found here

The 1st Ever International Black History Month Film Festival with Live Performances!

Feb. 22, 5 to 10 p.m. (Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 153-10 Jamaica Ave.)

For black history month, Queens Underground is hosting a film festival evening that will showcase talent from all around the world and provide live entertainment. This is the first-ever black history red carpet event, and submissions from all genres including comedy, dance and theatrical performance will be proudly displayed throughout the evening. Tickets can be purchased online for $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

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