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Mercer County Commemorates Black History Month Through Story, Music, Art

February is Black History Month, and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes invites residents to participate in any of the many events being held in celebration at Mercer County Library, Mercer County Community College and throughout the county. “Black history is American history, and I encourage people of all ages to discover and learn about our differences while recognizing our harmony," Executive Hughes said.

If These Stones Could Talk

Feb. 19, noon; New Jersey State Library, 185 W. State St., Trenton

In recognition of African American History Month, the State Library will be having authors Elaine S. Buck and Beverly Mills talk about their book, If These Stones Could Talk. The program will be  from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 Reading Room.

Cemeteries have stories to tell. The authors found many stories behind the headstones in the Stoutsburg Cemetery, which is in New Jersey’s Sourland Mountain Region. Offering a unique window into our past, the stories you will hear, collected with diligence and devotion, consecrate the collected lives of a minority Black community in a predominantly White region.

Ms. Buck and Ms. Mills are the founders of Friday Truehart Consultants, named after Beverly Mills' 4th great-grandfather who was brought to Hopewell from Charleston in the 18th century by his master, Reverend Oliver Hart. His is one of the stories in the book. Both women work closely with K-12 educators from school systems interested in including African-American history in their lesson plans and curriculum. They are founding members who serve on the Advisory Board of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, have been Trustees of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association for the past 35 years, and are members of the National Council of Negro Women and the Sankofa Collaborative, a resource that will ensure that material and resources relating to African-American history will be readily accessible statewide to a broader and more diverse audience. Beverly Mills is the first African-American woman to hold the elected position as Councilwoman, Pennington Borough, and Elaine Buck is Church Clerk for the Second Calvary Baptist Church of Hopewell, N.J.

Please feel free to join us at this free event. All are welcome. RSVP is appreciated to Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.



BLACK HISTORY MONTH: RESTORING A CULTURAL LEGACY

Events at Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. (609) 586-4800 | mccc.edu
Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.
 students in MCCC’s Fashion Design program will present the show “Who Am I?”

Feb. 12 at noon the West Windsor Campus, a Panel Discussion titled “Wisdom Through the Ages.”

Feb. 16, performers will commemorate Black artistry through spoken word, storytelling, African drumming and more.

Feb. 28,  noon, Kerney Campus will host the Closing Ceremony. The Academy Award-nominated superhero film “Black Panther” will be screened  at 3 p.m. on the West Windsor Campus (LA 229) and t at 5 p.m. in Kerney Hall at JKC.

Black History Month at Mercer is presented by the MCCC Black History Committee and the American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC). Many events are open to the public. For information about events on the West Windsor campus, contact Student Life at (609)-570-3435. For information about events at the James Kerney Campus please call Steve Waniak at 609-586-4800 ext. 3165.


EVENTS THROUGHOUT MERCER COUNTY

Through March 3, Stand Up Men, Trenton City Museum, 299 Parkside Ave., Trenton (609) 989-3632 | ellarslie.org Stand Up Men is a celebration of Trenton’s African-American male artists and their use of canvas, photography, and sculpture to convey the pathos of what it means to exist as a man within the realm of Trenton’s Black culture and beyond. We invite you to explore the world within Trenton which is largely ignored or subsumed by perceptions of rampant violence and urban decay. “Stand Up Men” inhabits the world of the quiet, deliberate Trenton arts movement forged in love, life, and courage. Works of Will Kasso Condry, Habiyb Shu'Aib and Autin Dean Wright.

Feb. 7,  6:15 p.m. Trenton Children's Chorus Black History Month Celebration: Total Praise; Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau St, Princeton. For more information visit https://www.trentonchildrenschorus.org/

Feb. 8 - 10. To My Unborn Child: A Love Letter From Fred Hampton; Passage Theater, Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 E. Front St. Trenton, 609-392-0766.  Murdered by Chicago Police at 21 as he lay by his pregnant lover, visionary Black Panther Fred Hampton preached a humane, compassionate revolution against racist brutality, child hunger, poverty, and capitalism. His critical voice for justice comes alive again in Rich Bradford’s play about change, love, and legacy. For more information visit passagetheatre.org

Feb. 23 & 24, 10 a.m.
America We Serve! 4 Centuries of African American Soldiers. 
The Old Barracks, 101 Barrack Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08608
Come hear about the brave African American soldiers that helped shape our nation's history! Learn about the integral role they played in our military, from the early days of our nation's infancy all the way up to World War II. Meet the dedicated reenactors and living historians who will be exhibiting throughout the day, sharing their knowledge and passion about African American military history with our visitors. Represented regiments will include The Harlem Hellfighters of WWI, the 6th Regiment USCT of the Civil War, the 369th Regiment portrayed by Ebony Doughboys, and others. barracks.org


MERCER COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

Wednesdays, Feb. 6, 13, 20 & 27, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., Ewing Branch. Celebrate Black History Month with picture books, nonfiction books and middle grade books. For children ages 6 to 16. Listen to stories. Also, looking for participants to read lines in a brief play.  Light refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Feb. 6, 6:30 p.m., Hopewell Branch. What Everyone Gets Wrong about Black History in Space Age. African Americans have been contributing to the space program since its inception.  Who are these people and why haven't we heard about them before now? Join us to learn the answers! Registration is requested.

Feb. 11, 2 p.m. Lawrence Branch; Feb. 20, 2 p.m., West Windsor Branch; and Feb. 28, 1:30 p.m., Robbinsville Branch. Movie: BlacKkKlansman In the midst of the 1970s civil rights movement, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first black detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department. He sets out to prove his worth by infiltrating the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and convinces his Jewish colleague (Adam Driver) to go undercover as a white supremacist. (2018). Rated R; 135 minutes

Feb. 12, 10:30 a.m., Story Time, Twin Rivers Branch. Learn about heroes from Black History at this week's story time. For ages 2 – 5, with a caregiver.

Feb. 13, 2 p.m., Hopewell Branch. The Short of It – Ralph Ellison. The short story -- short in length, but full of content!  Each month we read and discuss three short stories by the same author. This month's author is Ralph Ellison and his short stories, “King of the Bingo Game,” "Flying Home,” and “Afternoon.” No registration necessary.

Feb. 20, 7 p.m., Ewing Branch, Three Centuries of African-American History in Trenton. Learn about the people and places associated with Trenton's African-American community from its founding to the mid-twentieth century. Presented by Jennifer B. Leynes, author of Three Centuries of African-American History in Trenton: Significant People and Places, which was published by the Trenton Historical Society with support from the New Jersey Historical Commission. She serves on the Trenton Landmarks Commission and is employed as a Historic Preservation Specialist by the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office. Registration is required. Call 609-882-3148.

Feb. 21, 7 p.m., Lawrence Branch, The Life and Legacy of Jack Sherrod. This presentation by historian Alvin Corbett will honor Black History Month through the personal story of Jack Sherrod, showcasing his evolution from a slave to a United States Colored Troops soldier during the Civil War, and ultimately, to a free landownerRegistration is suggested. Call 609-883-8294 or email lawprogs@mcl.org.

Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Lawrence Branch, The Education of Fannie Sherrod. From the moment enslaved Africans were brought to the Americas, sold and kept as chattel for free labor, the act of re-educating them was fraught with fierce opposition, anger and fear.  In his talk entitledThe Education of Fannie Sherrod, historian and Sherrod descendant, Al Corbett, discusses the history and struggle to educate African-Americans pre and post Civil War.  Through an exploration of his family history, Corbett explains the evolving role religious communities had in educating America’s enslaved and freed populations. Registration is suggested. Call 609-883-8294 or email lawprogs@mcl.org.

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