Black History Month at Greenwich House

Greenwich House is proud to commemorate Black History Month. In celebration of the momentous accomplishments, rich histories and inspiring futures of Black communities in our city and throughout the world, Greenwich House has a number of intergenerational events planned.
On February 16th, Center on the Square will be hosting a screening of “The Defiant Ones” starring the legendary actor Sidney Poitier. The Oscar-winning film tells the story of two prison escapees, portrayed by Poitier and white actor Tony Curtis respectively, who are chained together and must cooperate to survive in the American South in the 1950s.
On February 23rd, Center on the Square will be hosting a screening of “The United States vs. Billie Holliday” a 2021 film focusing on the US government’s campaign to discredit the iconic jazz singer as her haunting song “Strange Fruit”, which alluded directly to the scourge of anti-Black lynchings, grew in popularity. Holliday is portrayed by contemporary singer Andra Day in her first leading role, for which she has been nominated for an Academy Award.
Both screenings will be accompanied by a discussion, facilitated by Donna Coles, Assistant Director of Our Lady of Pompeii.
On February 24th, Barrow Street Nursery School students will be treated to an intergenerational storytelling and movement activity about another legendary jazz artist, saxophone player John Coltrane. The children will learn about Coltrane’s childhood from the picture book “Before John Was a Jazz Giant.”
And on February 25th, students from our Youth Community Center after-school program will participate in a Black History Month trivia game hosted by members of our Older Adult Centers at Our Lady of Pompeii. The adults will ask the children questions about African-American achievements in the fields of politics, arts, sports and the Civil Rights movement. After the game, some of our older adults will share personal stories about their experiences coming of age during the Civil Rights Movement.
“In African-American communities, we have strong bonds with our elders.” said Nicole Brown, Director of Our Lady of Pompeii Senior Center. “Those that have come before us have overcome so much. I have Southern roots and the relationship between generations was very important in my upbringing. We lean on our elders because of their knowledge and wisdom but they look to us to be the leaders of our future.”