Westfield Memorial Library and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Westfield collaborate on Black History Month Events



February is Black History Month, and the Westfield Memorial Library and the Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. Association of Westfield invite you to celebrate! Panel discussions, art exhibits, and music – all honoring the generations of African Americans who struggled to achieve full citizenship in American society.


Black History Month Events at the Library


Saturday, February 3 at 1:00pm

Opening Reception. Refreshments will be served.


Saturday, February 3 at 2:00pm

Our Westfield: The Black Experience

A panel of Westfield elders share insights and experiences that span almost a century in our town. Panelists include Mary Withers, Wallace Brown, Gladys Edwards and Joyce Pretlow. Library Director Allen McGinley moderates the discussion.


Monday, February 5 at 7:00pm

Exhibit Opening: African Americans in Westfield from 1720

The Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. Association of Westfield will unveil its engaging and informative exhibit of African American history in Westfield dating back to 1720. It’s a timeline of events that takes visitors on a historical journey from slavery and colonial times through the present day.


Thursday, February 8 at 7:00pm

Artful Stitches: A Mosaic of Black Fiber Artists

Join presenter and local fiber artist Lisa Shepard Stewart for a trunk show of her quilts, wall hangings and accessories created with ankara prints, mud cloth, korhogo fabrics, Ghanaian batiks and more.


Thursday, February 15 at 7:00pm

Book Discussion:  “Zora & Langston:  A Story of Friendship
& Betrayal”
by Yuval Taylor

Explore the intimate and abiding friendship between Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes.  Did Charlotte Osgood Mason, their wealthy patron, undermine their artistic collaboration? Library Director Allen McGinley moderates.


Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 pm

Before it Became a Park,
It was a Neighborhood

A mostly African American neighborhood grew around Turkey Swamp in the “Big Woods” area of Westfield between 1905 and 1960. This is the story of the lives, families, and events that led to the demise of their neighborhood.


Tuesday, February 27 at 7:00 pm

Spirituals: Songs from
an Enslaved People

Presenter Donnell Carr will teach the language of spirituals while the audience participates in song. The African American spiritual is widely recognized as a singular and vitally important form of American folksong.

Said Elisa Freeman Sananman, who is Co-Chair, along with Donnell Carr, of the History and Education Committee at MLK, “We look forward to a lively month of programming at the library which I believe will bring the community together in appreciation of the challenges, opportunities and contributions of African American experience in Westfield.”

Stop by the library at 550 East Broad Street, visit our website at www.wmlnj.org and see how we can make your life in Westfield even better.

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