Greetings! We give thanks to the late Dr. Carter G. Woodson, “The Father of Black History,” who created Negro History Week in 1925, which gave birth to Black History Month in 1976. Woodson’s organization, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, has set the national Black history theme for 2012 as “Black Women in American Culture and History.”
- National Black Touring Circuit presents the Black History Month Play Festival Feb. 3-26, honoring African-American political heroes and sheroes A. Philip Randolph, Zora Neal Hurston, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Rep. Barbara Jordan. Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. For locations and more information, call (212) 279-4200.
- The opening play of the festival is “When the Chickens Come Home to Roost,” an open dialogue between the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, and his protegee, Malcolm X, written by Laurence Holder and directed by the original director, Allie Woods. The production stars Ted Lange as Muhammad and Marcus Naylor as Malcolm X. It opens Fri., Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. and runs through Sun., Feb. 6 at the Dwyer Cultural Center, 258 St. Nicholas Ave. , entrance on 123rd Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and St. Nicholas Avenue. Seating is limited. For more information, call (212) 222-3060 or visit www.dwyercc.org.
- Also at the Dwyer Tues., Feb. 7 is the second annual National Black HIV/Aids Theatre Initiative, 7-10 p.m., featuring guest artist performances commemorating National Black Family HIV/Aids Awareness Day. Free.
- The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture presents “Lyrics From Lockdown”: One man. One mic. Forty characters. Two unbelievable stories of wrongful imprisonment told through hip-hop, theater, spoken word, blues, comedy, calypso and classical music. Written and performed by Bryonn Bain, and directed by Mei Ann Teo. Special preview for New York City public schools Fri., Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. and a Black History Month performance Sat., Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. At the Langston Hughes Theater, 515 Malcolm X Blvd. Free with RSVP; to reserve, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call (212) 491-2234 or visit www.showclix.com/event/LyricsfromLockdown.
- Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson star in “The Mountaintop,” Katori Hall’s Olivier Award-winning drama, directed by Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon with original music by Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and Tony Award nominee Branford Marsalis. In a limited engagement at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St. For tickets, visit Telecharge.com.
- “Black Angels Over Tuskegee,” the story of the pioneering first African-American fighter pilots, now playing at the Actors Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47th St. between Eighth and Ninth avenues. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com.
- Alicia Keys presents “Stick Fly” (“When it comes to family…you’re stuck”), a new play by Lydia R. Diamond directed by Kenny Leon. Now playing at the Cort Theatre on Broadway, 138 W. 48th St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com.
- Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act,” the stage musical based on the 1992 movie of the same name, features funky, soulful songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater and the dynamic debut of Patina Miller. At the Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway. For more information, visit www.sisteractbroadway.com.
- “Platanos y Collard Greens,” David Lamb’s hilarious hit romantic, comedic Off-Broadway play, is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud, inspire you and make you think. The play welcomes VH1’s “Basketball Wives” star Royce Reed at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave., 25th Street between Lexington and Third avenues. For show schedules, call (212) 352-3101 or visit www.platanosand collardgreens.com. For group sales, call (646) 522-4348.
- “TNT”: The legendary Temptations and the Four Tops perform their greatest Motown hits Sat., Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow, Westbury, N.Y. For tickets and more information, call (516) 334-0800.
- “A Tribute to Motown” led by brilliant musical director Ray Chew, currently the musical director of “American Idol,” formerly of the world famous Apollo Theater. Thurs., Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. The evening features legendary artists, a celebration of Motown founder Berry Gordy and a tribute to the late Nickolas Ashford, of the famed songwriting-producing team Ashford & Simpson. Hosted by CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien. For tickets, call (866)614-4183 or visit carnegiehalltickets.org.
- Aretha Franklin comes to Radio City Music Hall Fri., Feb. 17 and Sat., Feb. 18 at 8 p.m., 1260 Sixth Ave. For tickets and more information, visit www.radiocity.com or call (212) 247-4777.
- “Her Word as Witness: Portraits of Women Writers of the African Diaspora,” created and photographed by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn. On view now through March 31 at the Skylight Gallery, 1368 Fulton St., between Brooklyn and New York avenues in Bed-Stuy. For more information, call (718) 636-6949 or (646) 573-2422 or visit www.restorationplaza.org.
- “Red Tails,” the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Support it, take a friend and pass the word on. See your local listings for times and locations.
- “Sing Your Song,” a candid documentary profile of Harry Belafonte, his life and activism and his support of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. A personal and intimate look at his life as an activist and humanitarian. Thurs., Feb. 2 at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave., at West Third Street. For more information, call (212) 924-7771 or (212) 924-5246 or visit www.ifccenter.com.
- Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe presents Keith Holmes, author of “Black Inventors.” Holmes introduces inventions, both past and present, that Black people developed and patented globally. Sat., Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. at 2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd. and Sun., Feb. 5 from 2-4 p.m. at York College in Jamaica,Queens. For more information, call (212) 665 7400 or visit www.huemanbookstore.com/event.
- The Apollo Theater celebrates its 78th birthday and Black History Month with Open House Weekend 2012. Three free days featuring “Community Sing,” with 10-time Grammy winners Take 6, Fri., Feb. 3; “Community Dance,” with Forces of Nature and Ballet Hispanico, Sat., Feb. 4; and “Community Jam,” artist and band performances, Sun., Feb. 5. All at the Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St. No tickets or reservations are required for Main Stage activities, with the exception of “Community Sing.” The weekend will also include heath screenings provided by Harlem Hospital. For more information, call (212) 531-5305. Preregistration is strongly suggested at ApolloEducation.org.
Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM daily with “Imhotep’s On-Air Guide to Black Events” and “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to midnight (simulcast on WLIB-AM/WBLS-FM from 7-8 p.m.). The full show can be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2. IGB is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with the GBE 2.0 “Global Black Experience” and “Global Beat Experience,” Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. We are archived online with both shows at www.wbai.org. To reach us about your event, email email@example.com, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at GBELIFE.