The theme for Black History Month in 2019 is “Black Migrations” which follows the continuous movement of blacks from the South to the industrialized North and beyond. Many argue that the Black Migration birthed of the Harlem Renaissance era. The black experience during the Great Migration became an important theme in the artistic movement that would have an immeasurable impact on the culture of the era for generations of African Americans to come.
On Sunday, February 24th, the COMTO New York Chapter celebrated Black History Month by honoring the richness and uniqueness of black culture in the arts through visiting the world-famous Apollo Theatre. On that day, several members and friends of the organization partook in an historic tour guided by Mr. Billy Mitchell, commonly known as Mr. Apollo! This special event was an opportunity to learn more about the historic venue itself, past performers, memorable performances, and its impact on the black community. This eventful tour also provided access to behind-the-scenes and once in a life time experiences, such as touching of the legendary tree of hope for luck and walking the renowned Apollo stage. It was in this same context that the late great Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown and the Quintessential Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin, once executed prior to performing. Mr. Apollo’s insight and amiable self, allowed all in attendance to recollect and share their early musical memories, laugh and openly enjoy the moment
In conclusion, a visit to the world-famous Apollo Theatre would not have been complete if not for one of our own COMTO NY members. Thanks to the hidden talents of the NY Chapter Executive VP, Mr. Richard Watson, the tour finished on a high note, no pun intended. He approached the stage and shared his vocal talents with the tour group, who served as audience members. Everyone enjoyed his impromptu performance as they provided him a rousing round of applause.
By celebrating Black History Month through the expression of culture, history and a guided tour of an important institution such as the Apollo Theater, we at COMTO NY are highlighting support for community, professional comradery and most important, educational awareness.
We hope you will join us at our next outing!