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Black History Month @ MPL Published on: February 2, 2017

Celebrate Black History Month at Montclair Public Library! Check out the list of events taking place this February.

Wednesday, February 1 at 7pm
Don Miller’s “The King Mural”
Join us for a presentation by Craig Miller, Dr. Judy Miller and Frank Gerard Godlewski about Montclair Artist Don Miller. Miller painted The Martin Luther King Freedom Mural that is permanently installed at the National Library In Washington DC, in his studio at 180 Bloomfield Avenue. Craig Miller, son of Don Miller, will discuss the art of the King Mural and his father’s art-making process. He will share the presentation recently offered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, with photos of Don Miller making the mural, and discuss the importance of the imagery in the mural. Register.

Saturday, February 4 at 2pm
Lincoln Center Local: Free Screenings – Voices of a People’s History of the United States
This Lincoln Center commission commemorates the 35th anniversary of Howard Zinn’s seminal book, A People’s History of the United States, with music and spoken-word performances that will bring to life the extraordinary history of ordinary people in the book: those who built the movements that made the United States what it is today, ending slavery and Jim Crow, protesting war and the genocide of Native Americans, creating unions and the eight-hour work day, advancing women’s rights and gay liberation, and struggling to right the wrongs of the day. Register.

Monday, February 6 at 7pm
Black National News Service – The Associated Negro Press: The Best Kept Secret of American Journalism History
Tuskegee Institute graduate Claude Barnett established the Associated Negro Press (ANP) in 1919 in Chicago. Through 1964, ANP serviced what is arguably America’s greatest ethnic/group press with a national and international news coverage that was remarkable for its substance and scope. This slide presentation tells the story of the news agency and the great newspapers it served during the golden age of America’s Black 4th Estate. Presented by Lawrence Hogan, Ph.D., Professor of History, Union County College. Register.

Saturday, February 11 at 10:30am
Understanding Your Roots: African-American Genealogy & History Research
Learn how to utilize FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com, in addition to library databases, to conduct African-American genealogy and history research. Register.

Saturday, February 18 at 2pm
African American Read-In
We invite everyone to celebrate African American authors by participating in an African American Read-In! Choose your favorite passage from a book, poem, or speech by an African American and sign up for a two-minute time slot to read your chosen piece aloud. Join us as we come together to read, hear, and shine a spotlight on African American literature. Please email reference@montclair.bccls.org to sign up and submit your reading. To attend without reading a passage, please register.

Sunday, February 19 at 2pm
Montclair NAACP’s 100th Anniversary Celebration
This year, we will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Montclair chapter of NAACP. Mr. Albert E. Pelham, president of the Montclair NAACP, will be our guest speaker. The community event will kick-off with a solo performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing by Adrian Sneed, student at Montclair High School. In addition, the Usaama Dance Company will share a special dance performance. Enjoy samples of healthy Jamaican cuisine provided by Vital of Montclair. Register.


Adult School classes
To register for Adult School classes, click here.

Tuesday, February 21 at 7pm
The Real Story of the Tuskegee Airmen
Presented by the son of one of the Tuskegee Airmen, this will be a comprehensive treatment of the “Tuskegee Experiment.”  From the tireless pre-war work of civil rights advocates, through the airmen’s adventures am misadventures in the face of omnipresent obstacles of segregation, racism and rejection, to their considerable impact on post-war America and the civil rights movement. It will take you into the hearts and minds of the airmen themselves – who they were, where they came from, what they wanted, and what drove them to succeed. Register.

Thursday, February 23 at 7pm
The Harlem Renaissance: Courage, Grace and Vision
The Harlem Renaissance was the beginning of an explosion in creativity that transformed African-American identity and history, but it also transformed American culture in general.  Never before had so many people of all backgrounds read the thoughts of African-Americans and embraced the black community’s productions, expressions, and style in art, literature, music, dance, and theater. Help us celebrate Black History Month by signing up for this class, which will introduce you to the pantheon of inspired artists who produced astonishing and ground-breaking works. Register.

Friday, February 24 at 10:30am
American Slavery
From 1619 until the early-19th century, the Atlantic slave trade shipped millions of West Africans against their will to America to provide cheap labor. Explore the lives of slaves as well as their family relationships, working and living conditions, sustaining religion and resistance. Register.

Thursday, March 2 from 9am to 5:30pm
Studio Museum of Harlem & The Apollo Theater
Enjoy a guided tour of the Studio Museum which has earned recognition for its role in promoting works of artists of African descent, both national and international. See works from their permanent collection of more than 1,600 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs. After lunch at Mann’s Soul Food, the “ sweetheart of soul food,” where you will enjoy classic Southern home cooking visit the legendary Apollo Theater, the place where stars are born and legends are made. As you tour the Harlem landmark, learn about the history of the theater and the stars whose careers were launched there. Register.

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