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.
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