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Library announces Black History Month program schedule
Press Release January 16, 2003

The Newark Public Library’s celebration of Black History Month features a diverse group of programs for children and adults as well as an exhibition honoring African-American history, art and biography. This year’s theme is "The Souls of Black Folk: Centennial Reflections." An opening reception at the main library on Thursday, January 30, inaugurates the festivities.

William J. Dane, keeper of prints and posters, curated the exhibition, entitled African-American Traditions in Works on Paper. It features original prints, posters and unique materials from the Special Collections of the Newark Public Library. Several posters and prints pay tribute to the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Others celebrate popular figures from the world of entertainment: Eddie Murphy, Bill Robinson and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Among the original signed prints are those by Jean Eda Byrd, Ben Shahn, James L. Wells, James Edward Jones and Mel Edwards.

The exhibition will be installed on the main library’s second-floor gallery, from mid-February through March 22. It is on view during library hours: Monday, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5:30pm; and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 8:30pm. For answers to general questions and additional information on the exhibition (only), patrons may call Mr. Dane at (973) 733-7745.

Following is the listing of programs for the library’s Black History Month celebration. All are free and open to the public. For more information, call Herb Williams at (973) 733-3610, or visit the Library’s home page at

Exhibition African-American Traditions in Works on Paper, curated by William J. Dane. Second-Floor Gallery; mid-February through March 22; library hours.

25 Hooray for Children series presents "Raps, Rhymes ’N Reasons." Experience the richness of African-American traditions as Sharon McGruder combines movement, songs and real life experiences with a variety of African tales, myths and stories. Auditorium; 2pm.

30 Opening Reception for exhibition and programming. Entertainment to be provided by the Sankofa Dance Troupe and Asante’s African Safari. Centennial Hall; 6pm.

5 The Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society presents a Catherine Peppers Production of Then and Now in celebration of Black History Month. Centennial Hall; 6:30pm.

11 A showing of Strange Fruit, a documentary with a devastating yet inspiring reminder of when racial terror raged through the country and when Blacks and Whites worked together to stop it. Program includes a musical performance by Ronnell Bey. Centennial Hall; 6pm.

13 The musical group Inspired Voices presents "Faces of Our People," a program of Black history told through the song and the poetry of Langston Hughes. (Two performances.) Centennial Hall; 10am and 6pm.

15 An all-day series of programs (at Rutgers Newark), cosponsored with Rutgers University, culminates with the 23rd Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series presented by Rutgers Professor Dr. David Levering Lewis on the theme "DuBois in Africa." Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers Newark; begins 9am.

22 Hooray for Children series presents "Anansi, Spiderman of Africa," performed by the Crabgrass Puppet Theatre, using colorful rod puppets. The performance is based on West African tradition. Anansi the spider is a clever trickster! The classic folklore character spins a tangled web of tales. Auditorium; 2pm.

27 Join legendary vocalist Regina Belle as she performs her many hits in her home state. Centennial Hall; 6pm.


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