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Black History Month Celebrations in Rochester and Syracuse

by Carolann Verrioli

Throughout history, Black teachers, artists, scientists, and leaders have been innovating and changing the course of American history for the better. Unfortunately, these achievements were often overlooked because of discrimination due to the color of their skin. This is why we celebrate Black History Month every February, a time dedicated to recognizing the achievements of Black Americans.

Here at Goodwill, one of our core values is to "Live a Culture of Belonging." We value the diversity that each person brings to our team, and we support the goals and celebrate the achievements of our Black leaders and team members all year round.

Below are events celebrating Black History Month in Rochester and Syracuse!


The City of Rochester’s slate of Black History Month celebrations kicks off tomorrow with An Evening of Art and Jazz, 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 1 in the City Hall atrium, 30 Church St. Presented by the City’s Black Heritage Committee, An Evening of Art and Jazz features an art exhibit opening in the City Hall Link Gallery and a live jazz performance. The focus of all these events is Celebrating African Americans in the Arts.

The City's Black Heritage Committee has planned a slate of other events:

  • City Hall Concerts 12:00–1:00 p.m., Wednesdays, Feb. 7 and 21 at the City Hall atrium, 30 Church St. Free and open to the public.
  • Keynote Address 5:30–7:30 p.m., Thursday, February 22, at the City Hall atrium, 30 Church St. Free and open to the public.
  • Heritage Gospel Concert featuring Akoma and Voices of Thunder, 6–8 p.m., Wednesday, March 2 at the Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 351 Joseph Avenue. Free and open to the public.
  • Women’s Recognition, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5 at the City Hall Atrium, 30 Church St. Free and open to the public.
  • Youth Gala, 6–8 p.m., Thursday, March 14 at the Loretta C. Scott Center for Human Services, 57 St. Paul Street Free and open to the public.
  • Black Heritage Gala, 6 p.m., Saturday, April 13 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E. Main St. $75; purchase tickets here.


  • Take a look at Syracuse University's Black History Month events, hosted by SU's Multicultural Affairs within the Student Experience Division! The month's celebrations kick off with the Black History Month Information Fair today, February 1st, 1:00-3:30 p.m. at the Schine Student Senter. View all other events here.
  • Black History Month Trivia Night, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Saturday, February 24 at the Brady Market, Gifford St., Syracuse 13204. Price $5-$20. Purchase Tickets.
  • 16th Annual Black History Month Jazz Cabaret, 4:00-8:00 p.m., Sunday, February 25 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. Price $35-$40.