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Black History Month inauguration highlights Newark Public Library’s January programs
December 19, 2007
Media only, please contact:
J. Dennis Papp at (973) 733-7798

The Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, announced its schedule of programs for January, which will be highlighted by the opening of its Black History Month celebration. The festivities include a number of events to be held through March 1 and an exhibition. All of the library’s January events are free and open to the public. For more information, call the number listed with the program description, or visit www.npl.org for adult programs and kidsplace.npl.org/calendar.html for children’s programs.

The exhibition for Black History Month celebrates black America’s love affair with books; the fact that African-Americans, at one point in their history, were not allowed to read, and that African-Americans currently maintain a newsworthy and steadily growing amount of reading organizations/book clubs/literary societies in greater Newark, around the country, and abroad. Curated by local author and historian Sandra L. West, Entrusted To Our Keeping: The Legacy of African-American Literary Societies in Newark, The Nation, The World will be installed on the second-floor gallery from January 23 to March 22. A gallery tour and reception will be held on January 23 at 5:00pm. The reception will be followed by a community discussion at 6:00pm, moderated by Dr. Margaret Hayes of Bethany Book Club, on the impact of the controversial hip-hop generation upon the sanctity of African-American literature.

There will be memorabilia, current statistics, information about very early (1800) literary societies, wall quote about Sons of Freedom (inaugurated by W.E.B. DuBois), documentation on Newark groups, greater Newark groups, national organizations, and reading groups in Africa. Specific items include a photograph of Louis Reyes Rivera, editor of John O. Killens’ Great Black Russian, an original letter from late Ann Petry, author of The Street that discusses possible names for what eventually became the Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society, a photo of Susan Robeson talking about her book, and memorabilia from Newark’s Phillis Wheatley Book Club of early 1900s.

Emphasis will be given to the Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society, a group founded by Sandra L. West and encouraged by the late James Brown, Newark Public Library Black Studies Librarian, that has been in-residence at the library for more than 20 years.

Entrusted To Our Keeping has been funded in part by a grant from PNC Bank and a General Operating Support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Following are the January programs for the library’s Black History Month celebration. Additional ones will take place in February and March.

Wednesday, January 23, Centennial Hall, 6:00pm - What’s Hip-Hop Got to Do With It?
Dr. Margaret Hayes of Bethany Book Club will be the moderator for this community discussion about the impact of hip-hop upon African-American literature. Special Guest: Nina Mitchell Wells, New Jersey Secretary of State. Panelists: Ron Kavanaugh, MosaicBooks.com; Herb Boyd, Baldwin’s Harlem: A Biography; Gilda Rogers, Arrested Development: The State of Black Achievement and Education in Hip-Hop America; Irene Daniels, Newark Literacy Campaign; Elyse Smith, student, Bloomfield College; Edna Bailey-Wood, motivational speaker.

Wednesday, January 30, Centennial Hall, 6:00pm - Author’s Talk: The Harlem Writers Guild.
Members of the Guild will read from their works, discuss the writing life, and autograph books.

The library announced the winners of its Design-A-Bookmark contest that was held during National Children’s Book Week. The top-three winners were Laura R., 1st place, Branch Brook Branch Library; Janiya C., 2nd place, Springfield Branch Library; and Tiffany M., 3rd place, Branch Brook Branch Library. Those receiving honorable mention were Alyssa B., Branch Brook Branch Library; A’Dorian M.-T., Main Library; D’Ondre R., Springfield Branch Library; Chancel S., Springfield Branch Library; and Isa K., Vailsburg Branch Library. Selected bookmarks are posted on the Web site.

The library’s current exhibition, The World in Prints: An International Survey of Graphic Arts, Contemporary and Historic, concludes on January 12. On view are hundreds of the library’s most important and interesting prints, many for the first time. For more information call the show’s curator, William J. Dane, at 973-733-7745.

On Saturday, January 26, the Hooray for Children program series, which presents live performances by puppeteers, storytellers, magicians and theater groups, will present Sharon McGruder in Raps, Rhymes ‘N Reasons. Celebrate the richness of African-American traditions as McGruder combines movement, songs and real life experiences with a variety of African tales, myths and stories. It begins promptly at 10:30am in the main library’s Centennial Hall. For further information call 973-733-7797, or visit kidsplace.npl.org/calendar.html.

Free computer classes—in English and Spanish—are being held in the Technology Training Center, which is located on the third floor of the main library. Class size is limited to ten participants. Some classes are designed for first-time computer users (Mouse Clinic, Typing), while others are for those with more computer literacy (Word Processing, Email, Internet, Creating a Résumé). For more information on the calendar of classes for January, please call 973-733-3603.

Following is the January list of Programs at the Branches, an initiative funded by the Newark Public Schools.

Wednesday January 16, 3:30pm - Clinton Branch Library, 39 Bergen Street, 973-733-7754
Veona Thomas’ Tell Me A Story

Join us on a journey through Native-American, African and African-American traditions. Veona Thomas will use puppets, props, instruments, call and response, sign language, the language of each culture, and singing to bring you to other parts of our world.

Saturday January 19, 11:00am - Madison Branch Library, 790 Clinton Avenue, 973-733-8090
Debbie Kirkland presents African American Tales

Celebrate the richness of African-American history and traditions with dynamic storyteller, Debbie Kirkland, as she performs a variety of tales, myths and stories. Debbie will teach you some words in Swahili.

Saturday January 19, 11:00am - Van Buren Branch Library, 140 Van Buren Street, 973-733-7750
Fun On A String Puppets and Marionettes

Join Miss Penny as she uses puppets and marionettes to make you laugh. There will be many surprises and lots of fun as we meet some of her friends, including Twinkles, and Octavius the Octopus.

Saturday January 19, 11:00am - Weequahic Branch Library, 355 Osborne Terrace, 973-733-7752
Veona Thomas’ Tell Me A Story

Join us on a journey through Native-American, African and African-American traditions. Veona Thomas will use puppets, props, instruments, call and response, sign language, the language of each culture, and singing to bring you to other parts of our world.

Wednesday January 23, 4:00pm - Branch Brook Branch Library, 235 Clifton Avenue, 973-733-6388
Debbie Kirkland presents African American Tales

Celebrate the richness of African-American history and traditions with dynamic storyteller, Debbie Kirkland, as she performs a variety of tales, myths and stories. Debbie will teach you some words in Swahili.

Friday January 25, 3:30pm - Springfield Branch Library, 50 Hayes Street, 973-733-7736
Debbie Kirkland presents African American Tales

Celebrate the richness of African-American history and traditions with dynamic storyteller, Debbie Kirkland, as she performs a variety of tales, myths and stories. Debbie will teach you some words in Swahili.

Wednesday January 30, 4:00pm - North End Branch Library, 722 Summer Avenue, 973-733-7683
Debbie Kirkland presents African American Tales

Celebrate the richness of African-American history and traditions with dynamic storyteller, Debbie Kirkland, as she performs a variety of tales, myths and stories. Debbie will teach you some words in Swahili.

Following are additional programs at various branch locations.

The Branch Brook Branch Library, 235 Clifton Avenue, 973-733-6388, will present a film, titled Our Friend Martin, on Wednesday the 16th at 4:30pm. There will be a winter storytime on Tuesday the 22nd at 10:30am and on Friday the 25th at 10:30am for ages 3-6. A craft, making a snowflake, will take place on Wednesday the 29th at 4:00pm.

The Clinton Branch Library, 739 Bergen Street, 973-733-7754, invites children to write a letter or poem or draw a picture to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King on Wednesday the 16th at 3:30pm. On Wednesday the 23rd at 3:30pm, make an "I Have a Dream" bookmark. On the 29th at 3:30pm, children will have the opportunity to solve a variety of puzzles.

The First Avenue Branch Library, 282 First Avenue, 973-733-8091, will present a magical movie adventure and story hour about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 16th at 4:00pm.

The Main Library Children’s Room, 5 Washington Street, 973-733-7797, will present Bingo Time for children in grades 1 through 8 on Friday the 18th and 25th at 3:00pm. The room invites children to pay tribute to Dr. King with a poem, drawing or essay from January 22 through 24 at 3:00pm.

The North End Branch Library, 722 Summer Avenue, 973-733-7683, invites children aged 5 to 8 to make a Handprint-Dove Unity Wreath, on Wednesday the 9th at 3:30pm.

From January 2 to 5, the Roseville Branch Library, 99 Fifth Street, 973-733-7770, invites children and teens to write or design their plans for 2008 in a special Roseville Branch booklet.

The Springfield Branch Library, 50 Hayes Street, 973-733-7736, invites children to design a bookmark in celebration of Dr. King’s birthday on Wednesday the 9th at 3:30pm. The branch library continues its free SAT Prep Classes on Wednesdays from 5pm to 7pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 1pm, through May 8, 2008. The Charles E. Thenen Foundation provided funding for these classes.

The Vailsburg Branch Library, 75 Alexander Street, 973-733-7755, invites children to learn math and strategy by playing various board and card games on Tuesdays at 3:30pm. For those in grades 3 to 7, on Wednesdays at 4:30pm, it will be Anime Night, featuring samples from various popular animated series. On Wednesdays at 6:30pm, students in grades 6 and up are invited to bring in and discuss new comics, manga, or graphic novels; January topics include unveiling the new Captain America and a look at the classic manga, Lone Wolf and Cub. End the week on Fridays, from 3:30 to 5:00pm, with stories, crafts and games of a seasonal nature.

The Van Buren Branch Library, 140 Van Buren Street, 973-733-7750, will hold a storytime for ages 5 to 12 on Monday the 7th, 14th and 28th at 4:00pm. On Thursday the 10th at 4:00pm, children will learn of Dr. King’s legacy and make birthday cards. There will be a toddler time for those aged 2 to 5 on Wednesday the 23rd at 6:30pm at which there will be stories, finger plays and hand rhymes. Children aged 8 to 12 will learn about poetry and write their own on Thursday the 17th at 4:00pm. On all Tuesdays at 4:00pm, children will play various board games and puzzles.

The Weequahic Branch Library, 355 Osborne Terrace, 973-733-7751, will hold Catch a Matinee for seniors and adults on various Tuesdays at 11:00am, showing Booker on the 8th, The Story of Gospel Music on the 15th, and To Kill a Mockingbird on the 29th. Two youth programs are planned: writing a poem or story for a Dr. King remembrance on Wednesday the 16th at 3:30pm for those aged 7 to 14; and Wednesday the 23rd at 3:30pm, a “snow-less” snowman craft for ages 6-12.

 

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