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Library Celebrates African-American History Month
Press Release 1/11/00

The Newark Public Library will hold an Opening Reception on February 3 to open the exhibition, African-American Firsts: Lest We Forget. The reception formally inaugurates the library’s celebration of African-American History Month. Keynote speaker for the evening will be Viola H. Sanders, president of Vii's Services, Inc., whose mission is to share historical truths about the heritage of Black people. Ms. Sanders is also the curator of six exhibitions and publishes an annual Historic Black Heritage Calendar.

The library’s Mary Teasley and Deloris Walker-Moses curated the exhibition, which will be installed on the second-floor gallery of the main library from January 15 through March 4. It will represent some of the most significant firsts achieved by African Americans, focusing on those in New Jersey. With about 3,000 documented Black firsts, those individuals and historical sites selected for inclusion in this exhibition were from major documented sources. It is hoped that all who patronize this exhibition will become more enlightened by the numerous achievements of African-American firsts, and a greater sense of pride will be developed by all African Americans, especially the youth.

In addition to the exhibition, the celebration consists of fourteen free cultural programs to be held at the main library, 5 Washington Street. The schedule includes a salute to Black America on Stage, 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, and by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, 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 ( 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 or the James Brown African-American Room at 733-5411.

Exhibition: African-American Firsts: Lest We Forget, an exhibition curated by Mary Teasley and Deloris Walker-Moses.
Second-Floor Gallery
January 15 through March 4


13 Martin Luther King, Jr., Annual Lecture presented by Rev. Dr. William D. Watley, Senior Pastor of St. James AME Church of Newark.
Centennial Hall; 6:30pm

22 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


2 Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society remembers the Civil Rights Movement with a special guest speaker.
African-American Room; 6:30pm

3 Opening Reception for African-American History Month programming and exhibition. Keynote address by Viola H. Sanders.
Centennial Hall; 6:30pm

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

8 Black America on Stage: The African Globe TheatreWorks presents August Wilson’s Fences.
Centennial Hall; 6pm

10 An extraordinary lecture on James Brown, the celebrated librarian and community leader, presented by Amiri Baraka.
Centennial Hall; 6pm

15 Black America on Stage: An encore performance by The African Globe TheatreWorks of August Wilson’s Fences.
Centennial Hall; 6pm

17 The male chorus of First Timothy Baptist Church of Newark presents a lively evening of inspirational music.
Centennial Hall; 6:30pm

19 Celebrate the music of Black composers with soprano Jacquie Myers in concert.
Centennial Hall; 2pm

22 Black America on Stage: The Black Spectrum Youth Theatre presents two performances of The Mystery of Phillis Wheatley.
Centennial Hall; 1:30pm and 6pm

26 Hooray for Children series presents Julie Pasqual in African and Afro-American Folktales.
Centennial Hall; 2pm

29 The Drama Club of Arts High School presents excerpts from The Colored Museum.
Centennial Hall; 6:30pm


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