2022 Black History Celebration - Newark Public Library

2022 Black History Celebration

2022 Black History Celebration

Acquired Taste: Contributions of the African Diaspora

to Food Culture in the Americas

Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture–January 15, 2022

Claudia L. Gordon, Lecturer

Our 2022 Commemorative Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecturer was Claudia L Gordon is Senior Accessibility Strategy Partner, T-Mobile, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Before joining T-Mobile, Ms. Gordon was Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance in the Obama Administration from 2009 through 2017.

Ms. Gordon, who is from Jamaica, is the first Black deaf female attorney in the United States. Ms. Gordon lectured on Civil Rights, Immigrant Rights, Women’s Rights, and the Rights of the Disabled.

Watch the lecture here on the Library’s YouTube page.

2022 Black History Celebration Opening, Wednesday February 2 at 6 p.m.

Michael Twitty

Michael Twitty, 2018 James Beard Book Award winner will open the celebration. Twitty, the first Black person to win the award, is an African-American Jewish culinary historian. He’s also a living history interpreter, chef and one of the few recognized international experts of his craft. His forthcoming book Kosher Soul is slated for an August 2022 release.

Thursday, Feb. 10: “Can I Fix You a Plate? Black Restaurants and Hospitality”

This program showcases an impressive panel whose members will explore and celebrate our rich history in restaurants, catering, BBQ, and spirits. Ongoing struggles and achievements in the industry and the future of Black restaurants will also be discussed.


Roger Apollon, Jr. -Brewer, Proprietor of FourCityBrewing and The Brew Council

Kai Campbell – Multiple restaurant owner, influencer and economist

Adrian Miller – Food writer, James Beard Award winner, attorney, and certified barbecue judge

Thérése Nelson– Chef, Recipe Consultant and Food Historian

Wednesday, Feb. 16: “From the Ground Up: The Struggle and Resilience of Black Farmers”

This discussion will look at the history of sharecropping; traditional farming; the class action lawsuit Pigford v. Glickman which outlines the ongoing fight for justice for Black Farmers; and the growth of community and urban farming.


Edward “Jerry” Pennick -Coordinator for Farm and Rural Policy, Tuskeegee University and Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund (ret.)

Karen Washington -Co-owner and organic grower at Rise & Root Farm in Chester, New York and co-founder of Black Urban Growers, BUGS.

Junius Williams – Attorney, Author, Activist and City Historian, Newark, NJ

Thursday, Feb. 24: “The Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast Program and The Nation of Islam’s Influence on Eating and Lifestyle”

This conversation features former political prisoner and Black Panther Party leader Ericka Huggins and Temple University professor Dr. Zain Abdullah as they review the two national organizations’ programs, platforms and mission to bring African-Americans healthier lives through eating in the 1970s.


Zain Abdullah, Ph.D. – Anthropologist and Associate Professor of Religion & Society and Islamic Studies, Temple University

Ericka Huggins -Human rights activist, poet, educator, Black Panther Party leader and former political prisoner

All programs are virtual and will be on Zoom and Facebook Live.

Past programs will be available for review on

the Newark Public Library’s YouTube channel.

The PNC Foundation is proud to support the Newark Public Library’s

Black History Celebration and programs.