Mannes Sounds Festival is proud to celebrate the Black History Month (February 15)

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02.02.2023 - Article

A celebration of Black History Month - a cooperation of Mannes Sound Festival and the German Consulate General

The first celebration of the Black History Month in the USA was initiated by Black educators and The Black United Students at Kent State University. It took place between February 2-February 28 of 1970.

In 1976, during the United States Bicentennial President Gerald Ford recognized the Black History Month and it became a nation-wide celebration of the great accompaniments of the Black community.

The precursor to Black History Month was “ Negro History Week”, established by historian Carter G.Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History“. The choice of the second week of the month of February was made because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and that of Frederick Douglass on February 14. Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. These two dates have been honored by the Black community since the 19th century.

In Germany the Black History Month has been celebrated since 1990, started by the Initiative of Black Germans in Berlin. Prominent members of this group, such as May Ayim or Audre Lorde, turned to writing poetry or autobiographies to express their emotions and share their experiences. They sought to bring together the scattered Black population across Germany, as it dealt with the aftermath of German colonialism.

The theme of the 2023 celebration in the US is ”Black Resistance “.

Our event, curated by Gayle Fekete, the Interim Dean of the School of Drama of The New School, features works by extraordinary Black composers and poets, who have always stood for racial equality and justice. The young musicians and actors of Mannes School of Music and the School of Drama at the College of Performing Arts at The New School, are joined by several talented children from the Bronx School for Music. The mission of the school, founded in 2020 by Polish-American Pianist and Mannes alumni Philip Kwoka, is to provide Bronx children and their families with affordable and high-quality music instruction. Since its opening, the Bronx School for Music has been empowering a community that has been historically underserved in socio-economic circumstances and under-represented in the classical music educational system.



Consulate General of Germany in New York and Mannes Sounds Festival present a production of Mannes School of Music and the School of Drama at the College of Performing Arts, and with the participation of students from the Bronx School for Music curated by Gayle Fekete

Lena McLin: ”He Had a Dream“ for soprano and piano

Maya Angelou: ”Touched by an Angel“, poem

Margaret Bond: ” Troubled Water“ for piano

William Grant Still: African Dancer from Suite for violin and piano

Florence Price: Selected songs

Paul Laurence Dunbar: ”We Wear a Mask“, poem

George Walker: Sonata for Piano No.5

Scott Joplin: Solace for piano

John Lewis: Django for piano

Ian Mullings: Fantasia for piano

Spirituals for voice and piano: Deep River Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Joseph C.Philips,Jr.: ”Never Has Been Yet“ for piano and narration - words by Langston Hughes

Florence Price: ”Clouds“

Nikki Giovanni: ”Ego Tripping“, poem

Adolphus Hailstork: ”Scherzo No.1“ for piano

James P.Johnson: Carolina Shout

Duke Ellington: ”In A Sentimental Mood“

Herbie Hancock: ”Maiden Voyage“ - arrangements for piano

Langston Hughes: ”I Dream a World“, poem

Valerie Coleman: ”Red Clay and Mississippi Delta“ for wind quintet

Location & Time

German Consulate General

Wed, February 15, 2023

Doors open at 6:00 PM, Concert starts at 6:30 PM.

Please register here.

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