Black History Month at the BMHC Lab

50 Years Later. . . Remembering Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Era

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Where were you in 1964? Freedom Summer was the movement to attempt to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi, which had historically excluded most Blacks from voting. Did you know that many Freedom Summer participants came from the Bronx? 

The Black experience has had an impact on all of our lives. What does it mean to you? And how does it relate to the Bronx experience? As we celebrate 50 years of Civil Rights, please join us to celebrate Black History Month, Bronx community-style! Join us for an afternoon of learning about Civil Rights through jazz, storytelling, story-sharing and film, all while shopping, eating locally, and enacting your rights! 

TIME: 3:00 – 4:00pm
Food and Art Vendors, Voter Registration, and Film
Community Collaborations:  Vendors, Voting & Videos

- Film: Screenings of Freedom Song (2012), a compilation of films pertaining to Civil Rights, produced by Pam Sporn’s students of the nearby Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School (named after a noted Civil Rights activist who took part in Freedom Summer). 

- Shopping: Bronx vendors sell their food and crafts

- Garifuna cards and coloring books by Isidra Sabio of Afro-Latin Publishing
- Garifuna shirts and merchandise by Ivan Moreira
- Oils, incense, soaps, dresses, and jewelry by Khaddija Dukureh of Nature's Garden Beauty Supply, 1083 Southern Boulevard
- CDs and poetry chapbooks by Dr. Hetty Fox
- Promotions by El Maestro Cultural & Educational Center/Juan Laporte’s Boxing Gym, 1300 Southern Blvd
- Food by Hold the Garnish.

Registration: In partnership with the Bronx Chapter of the National Action Network


TIME: 4:00 – 5:00pm
Storytelling, Story-sharing, and Film
Digital Diaspora: Stories of the Black Experience


Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) is a multimedia community engagement initiative where individuals are encouraged to explore the rich and revealing historical narratives found within their own family photograph collections. 

DDFR will lead an interactive workshop with the community in which members are encouraged to share their family photos and stories around Civil Rights and the Black experience, to give VOICE to their histories, as we pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer and voting rights. Prior to the workshop DDFR will screen the trailer to their upcoming documentary, Through A Lens Darkly, which just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Please bring photos from your family albums that represent the significance of the Black experience and Civil Rights in your lives. They can be actual photos or photos on your smartphone. Photos from all time periods are welcome but pictures from the 1950s, 60s, 70s are a plus!  

TIME: 5:00 – 6:00pm
Antoinette Montague presents: Sweet Jazz and Blues of Inspiration: The Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement then…still needed now

Jazz vocalist Antoinette Montague celebrates Black History Month and pays tribute to the Civil Rights era with a pride of a people who helped make America beautiful – From Africa to slavery, historic Civil Rights March songs from Mahalia Jackson to Curtis Mayfield – Montague helps the "People Get Ready," with songs that continue to inspire today. 

About Antoinette Montague: 

Born and raised in Newark, Antoinette Montague was drawn to the music by her mother who was always singing and sounded like Ella Fitzgerald. Montague’s interest was further jump-started by her dad. “On Saturdays my dad would drop me off at the Newark Public Library on his way to work. There I would listen to Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.” Years later Montague met up with the renowned Etta Jones, who became her mentor. “She encouraged me. It’s going to be wonderful,” she said. Montague released her first CD, “Pretty Blues,” in 2006 featuring pianist Mulgrew Miller, saxophonist Bill Easley, drummer Kenny Washington, and bassist Peter Washington — the same group of influential jazz players featured on the new release “Behind The Smile.” She has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Kitano Jazz, Jazzmobile’s Summer Breeze Concert Series and as curator and Mistress of Ceremonies for the tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor, and an upcoming event, "A Lions Roar: A Tribute to Detroit’s own Barry Harris” for PJS Jazz in Mt Vernon, NY.   

About DDFR: 

Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) is a multimedia community engagement initiative where individuals are encouraged to explore the rich and revealing historical narratives found within their own family photograph collections.  The highlight of the initiative includes a touring DDFR Roadshow ( that activates family photographic archives; (, an online web portal that creates community across time and space; and the DDFR SocialNet (, a user-generated-content driven social community where people can upload and share their family photographs and stories. This important and timely project provides a gathering place where all these lost, neglected and discarded shards of history can be used to educate, illuminate and entertain (  DDFR Roadshows combine public media screenings and community photo sharing sessions to reveal the fullness of Who We Are and the hidden history of a community as told by the images and stories of the people who live there. Digital Diaspora Family Reunion activates personal family photographs and the stories behind them to create community and celebrate shared values, demonstrating that what unites us is greater than our differences. DDFR’s upcoming documentary, Through A Lens Darkly, just premiered at the Sundance FIlm Festival.

About National Action Network: 

National Action Network is one of the leading Civil Rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern Civil Rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.


*BMHC programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Programs are also made possible with support from the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., and The Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund.