Somerset County Library System of New Jersey | Connect, Explore, Share, Discover

The catalog system is down for maintenance Sun 1/19 5:30 P.M. through Mon 1/20 7 P.M. All branches *except* Bridgewater, Hillsborough, and Warren are closed Mon 1/20 for the holiday.

SCLSNJ Celebrates 50 Years of Black History Month

//SCLSNJ Celebrates 50 Years of Black History Month

SCLSNJ Celebrates 50 Years of Black History Month

Black History Month has been observed every February for the last 50 years since its conception at Kent State University in 1970. This month-long commemoration was established to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments and experiences of African-Americans throughout history.

In 2019, over 1400 Somerset County residents explored Black History Month with the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) through programs, displays, and more. This year, SCLSNJ will continue to connect Library customers to Black History Month through a series of programs that delve into the achievements of African-Americans.

Attendees will have the opportunity to discover the local presence of African-Americans throughout time with authors Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills. The New Jersey-based authors will discuss their book “If These Stones Could Talk” on February 18 from 7-8:30 p.m., at SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch, located at 64 Washington Street in Rocky Hill.

“Many people don’t know that the African-American presence dates back prior to the Revolutionary War in this region,” said Mills, whose family goes back five generations in Central New Jersey. 

“If These Stones Could Talk” explores the presence of African-Americans in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain, and surrounding regions in New Jersey. The authors spent over a decade researching and writing about the local history of African-Americans including slavery; involvement in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars; influence on cuisine; and more. Buck and Mills are continuing their journey in uncovering the local past, including Somerset County.

“We really took on a monumental path going county by county,” said Buck. “Right now we are working with the Somerset County Historical Society in the Van Veghten House.”  

In addition to this program, Library customers can also share in the joy of the music of artists such as Ray Charles, Etta James, and Nat King Cole; learn about the history of slavery in New Jersey; and enjoy southern cuisine with Chef Jesse Jones, author of “Pow! My Life in 40 Feasts: A Cookbook and Memoir.” 

“SCLSNJ is looking forward to exploring the compelling history and culture of African-Americans during the month of February with our Library customers,” said Darryl Voorhees, manager of adult services programming and collaborations. “We are excited to connect our community to lectures, live music, and author presentations.”

Discover Black History Month programming at SCLSNJ’s 10 branches:

Southern Cuisine: Cooking Demonstration Featuring Chef Jesse Jones (adults)

  • February 1, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Manville branch, located at 100 South 10th Avenue in Manville. Registration required: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/1851622.

Forever Ray (adults)

The Underground Railroad in Paterson, New Jersey (adults)

  • February 8, 2-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/1687536.

To Etta with Love: Featuring Rhonda Denet and the Silver Fox Songs Trio (all ages)

  • February 15, 2-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Bound Brook Library branch, located at 402 East High Street in Bound Brook. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/2774423.

Rocks in the Garden: A Public History of Slavery in Morris County (adults)

  • February 15, 2-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Hillsborough Library branch, located at 379 South Branch Road in Hillsborough. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/3137870.

New Jersey’s Paul Robeson (1898 -1976): Celebrating Black History Month (adults)

  • February 15, 2-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Somerville Library branch, located at 35 West End Avenue in Somerville. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/2833262.

“If These Stones Could Talk:” A Book by Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck (adults)

  • February 18, 7-8:30 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch, located at 64 Washington Street in Rocky Hill. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/2992130.

Freedom Songs: The Music of Black History (families)

  • February 19, 7-7:45 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s North Plainfield Library branch, located at 6 Rockview Avenue in North Plainfield. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/3145927.

Slavery and the Quaker Abolition Movement in New Jersey (adults)

  • February 20, 7-8 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/1735066.

West Africa on the East Coast: Presented by Dr. Michael Norris (adults)

  • February 22, 2-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Peapack & Gladstone Library branch, located at the Municipal Complex on School Street in Peapack. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/3118303.

The Life, Times, and Music of Nat King Cole: Featuring Vocalist Stephen Fuller and Pianist Fred Fischer (adults)

  • February 22, 2-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Warren Twp. Library branch, located at 42 Mountain Boulevard in Warren Twp. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/2816956.

Milestone Negro Spirituals Until the Civil War: When Folk Songs Bring Freedom (adults)

  • February 29, 2-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch, located at 100 South 10th Avenue in Manville. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/2818066.

From Jazz to Soul, Volume 2: Featuring Rhonda Denet and the Silver Fox Songs Trio (all ages)

  • February 29, 3-4 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s North Plainfield Memorial Library branch, located at 6 Rockview Avenue in North Plainfield. For more information or to register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/3054480.
By |2020-01-14T08:01:45-05:00January 14th, 2020|SCLSNJ News|
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