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Library Celebrates African-American History Month
Press Release 12/29/98

The Newark Public Library will hold an Opening Reception on February 4 to open the exhibition, African-American Inventors and Innovators: Historical and Contemporary Contributions. The reception formally inaugurates the Library's celebration of African-American History Month. Keynote speaker for the evening will be Dr. Winifred Latimer Norman, granddaughter of Lewis Latimer (inventor of the carbon light bulb filament and member of Thomas Edison's team).

The exhibition, which will be installed on the second-floor gallery of the main library from February 4 through March 20, was curated by the Library's Mary Teasley. It focuses on significant contributions made by African Americans who have changed everyday life and the world, highlighting the variety of inventions and innovations from the fountain pen and the traffic light to the gas mask and the Laserphaco Probe. Special emphasis is given to contributions by New Jersey inventors, such as Newarker John Standard, who invented the refrigerator, and Meredith Gourdine, who invented a generator using the EGD "electrogasdynamics" channel that allowed for the cheaper transmission of electricity. The intent of the exhibition is to acquaint the public with the breadth and depth of the contributions that African Americans have made, and to be a teaching tool for students of all ages.

In addition to the exhibition, the celebration consists of more than a dozen free cultural programs to be held at the main library, 5 Washington Street. The schedule includes a salute to Black America on Stage (together with a special series of "Kids' Time at the Theater" presentations), as well as distinctive Hooray for Children and F.E.W. Harper Literary Society programs.

Funding for this festive celebration has been provided by a Community Development Block Grant/HUD, administered by the City of Newark; the Krueger-Scott Mansion Cultural Center; and a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Block Grant, administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

Following is the complete schedule of free programs. To hear a listing of the current week's programs, call the Program Hotline recording at 733-5643; check the Library's home page (www.npl.org) for a monthly listing of programs by clicking-on "Programs & Exhibits," then selecting "Bulletin Board." For additional information, or possible schedule changes, call Mary Teasley at 733-7735.

Exhibition:
African-American Inventors and Innovators: Historical and Contemporary Contributions
curated by Mary Teasley.
Second-Floor Gallery
January 28 to March 20

J A N U A R Y
14 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Annual Lecture presented by Rev. Dr. William D. Watley, Senior Pastor of St. James AME Church of Newark.
Centennial Hall; 6pm

23 Hooray for Children program: Sharon McGruder, from the McCarter Theatre, shares the richness of the African-American culture through songs, dance, tales, myths, and stories in "Raps, Rhymes and Reasons."
Centennial Hall; 2pm

F E B R U A R Y
3 Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society remembers Dr. John Henrik Clarke (1915-1998).
African-American Room; 6:30pm

4 Opening Reception for African-American History Month programming and exhibition. Keynote address by Dr. Winifred Latimer Norman, granddaughter of Lewis Latimer who was a member of Thomas Edison's team and invented the carbon light bulb filament.
Centennial Hall; 6pm

8 As part of "Kids' Time at the Theater" for Black America on Stage, the Phoenix Ensemble presents KEEP BANGIN', a new stage performance of the famed percussionists from the Broadway hit Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk.
Centennial Hall; 10am

11 Black America on Stage: A Phoenix Ensemble production of John Brown: Trumpet of Freedom, a marvelous portrayal of this perplexing American legend.
Auditorium; 6:30pm

13 Wincey Terry and Troupe in a family program entitled "African Discovery Through Music."
Centennial Hall; 2pm

20 Black America on Stage: the African Globe TheatreWorks presents Lorainne Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun.
Auditorium; 2pm

20 Hooray for Children program: Jasper and Henry, the Blues Duo, take the audience on a fascinating excursion through history as they perform traditional African-American rhythms, songs, and folklore.
Centennial Hall; 2pm

22 As part of "Kids' Time at the Theater" for Black America on Stage, the Phoenix Ensemble presents KEEP BANGIN', a new stage performance of the famed percussionists from the Broadway hit Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk.
Centennial Hall; 10am

23 An evening with Professor Mwatabu Okantah, internationally known poet and instructor in Pan-African Studies at Kent State University.
Centennial Hall; 6pm

25 An illuminating discussion by William L. Katz, author of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage, followed by traditional dance and music presented by Ken Littlehawk, a Black Indian. Program is co-sponsored with NJPAC.
Auditorium; 6pm

27 A program from the Sensational Poets at Centennial Hall series, featuring Dorothy Alexander, plus David Messineo's special performance of "Wild One," a six-minute reconstruction of the 1962 Motortown Revue.
Centennial Hall; 11am

27 Black America on Stage: A Phoenix Ensemble production of Blood Knot, a modern portrait of Brotherhood, set in apartheid South Africa.
Auditorium; 2pm


 

 
         
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