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Black History Month @ MPL 2018 Published on: February 1, 2017

Celebrate Black History Month at Montclair Public Library!  There is so much to celebrate, we couldn’t fit it all in one month.  Check out the list of events taking place this February & March:

Thursday, February 8 at 6pm
Second Annual 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 18 at 2pm
Before She Was Harriet
Hear award-winning children’s book author/illustrator duo Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome talk about their new book Before She Was Harriet, the story of Harriet Tubman.  Together the Ransome’s have written a number of books including Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick DouglassBenny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History, and Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong.  Books will be available for purchase at the event through Watchung Booksellers.  Register.

Thursday, February 22 at 6pm
Alice Hooe Foster: Shaping Montclair
Alice Hooe Foster, the first African American woman to graduate from Montclair High School, contributed greatly to Montclair’s social justice initiatives in the early 20th century, including the founding of a YWCA for African American women and girls. Montclair resident, former teacher, and historian Betty Holloway will share her extensive research on Foster’s life and contributions to the community at this evening presentation. Register.

Saturday, February 24 at 1pm
The African American Film Festival
The featured movie will be In Search of the Light by Jacqueline Cofield. This documentary includes interviews with a range of African-American artists living abroad: Sam Middleton, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Ed Clark, Richard Mayhew, Vicente Pimentel, Angelbert Metoyer, Frank Bowling, Nanette Carter, Mary Ann Rose Gentry, Sam Gilliam, Bill Hutson, Elizabeth Catlett, Najjar Abdul Musawwir, Richard Gibson, and Ealy Mays.  The screening will be introduced by Willliam Skeet Jiggetts, chair of the African American Cultural Committee of the Montclair Art Museum. Register.

Friday, March 2 from 7-8:30pm
Open Book/Open Mind: Unseen – Rachel Swarns in Conversation with Darcy Eveleigh
Unseen: Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives
Hundreds of stunning images from black history have long been buried in The New York Times archives. None of them were published by The Times–until now. UNSEEN uncovers these never-before published photographs and tells the stories behind themThe authors will sign copies of their book at the close of the event. Watchung Booksellers will have copies for purchase in the cafe area.  This event is free to the public but registration is strongly advised to ensure a seat. There will not be a waitlist. Thanks to our series sponsors The Montclair Foundation and Investors Foundation for their support.  Register.


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

Tuesday, February 6 at 7pm
A Message From the Past, a Roadmap to the Future: Black Women Leaders
Presented by Dr. Sandra Lewis. Black women have a long history of impact on social change. Explore some women whose work reveals key goal mapping and implementation strategies. Chart a course forward on you personal change journey.  Register.

Tuesday, February 27 at 7pm
Romare Bearden to Kara Walker: African American Art Since 1945
Between the two world wars, millions of African Americans set out on an odyssey known as the Great Migration. In the course of this journey, they created a new identity that would alter the landscape of modern art. Join us as we celebrate Black History Month and explore the rich contributions these pioneers made to American culture and art from 1945 to the present day.  Register.

Tuesday, March 20 at 7pm
Martin Luther King, Newark, and the Cool Spring of 1968
Newark’s late 1960s story is often told through the interweaving of histories of black power and violence. By examining events too often overshadowed by the great attention paid to the uprising of 1967 – including the first National Conference on Black Power held in Newark days after the “riot,” Martin Luther King’s visit to Newark in March 1968, and the aftermath of his assassination just days later –  this class offers new historical visions of Newark, black power, and the legacy of the 1960s. Register.

Thursday, March 22 at 7pm
Ella and Louis: A Celebration of Jazz’s Greatest Duets
Between 1946 and 1957, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong teamed up to create some of the most timeless duets in the history of recorded sound. To celebrate Fitzgerald’s upcoming centennial, Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum, will take attendees on a guided tour of Armstrong and Fitzgerald’s greatest moments, from their earliest Decca recordings for Milt Gabler to their Norman Granz-produced jam sessions backed by Oscar Peterson’s quartet to their timeless take on the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Riccardi will provide context and background to these seminal recordings and will share rare audio of interviews with Armstrong and Fitzgerald discussing their work together. Any fan of jazz, of vocals, of swinging, of scatting and of just plain good music should not miss this event!?. Register.

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