Celebrating Black History Month

Wikimedia Commons. Tuskegee Airmen - Circa May 1942 to Aug 1943.

Cities and towns throughout New Jersey are celebrating the extraordinary achievements of African-American pioneers with lectures, exhibits, performances, activities and programs.

Atlantic and Cape May Counties

The Atlantic City Free Public Library will offer an exhibit – Atlantic City Portraits of a People – throughout February in celebration of Black History Month. The exhibit will feature photos of six of the city’s influential African-American couples and also 100-year-old charcoal portraits of a local family.

Atlantic Cape Community College will celebrate Black History Month at its three campuses:

“Celebrating a Glorious Heritage & Looking Forward to a Promising Future,” begins with “King’s Dream,” an opening program in Cafeteria B at the Mays Landing Campus, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 13.

Worthington Atlantic City Campus will host two events, the Lest We Forget Traveling Slavery Museum, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14, in the second floor student lounge, featuring a lecture and a multimedia presentation; and Black History Month Trivia and Essay Readings, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 16, in the cafeteria.

At the Cape May County Campus, students and staff will perform poetry, spoken word, songs and music at an Open Mic Event, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14, in the dining room.

Burlington County

Bordentown: In celebration of Black History Month, DANCESPORA honors the rich heritage and accomplishments of African and African-American peoples with a dance concert. It will bring two exciting dance premieres: The Dreamer and Journey North choreographed by Heidi Cruz-Austin. Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. General Admission is $15, Students $10. For more information, call 609-451-0488.

Camden County

South Jersey played a key role in the Underground Railroad of freedom for slaves. “Pathways to Freedom” is a downloadable podcast audio tour highlighting five significant African-American sites in Camden County. In total, a series of five, full-length podcasts will premier each week in February. Visit

Cumberland County

Vineland: Cumberland County College will mark Black History Month as Dr. Everett N. Jones, III, renowned pianist and Assistant Professor of Piano at Wilburforce University in Ohio, returns to the college for the second consecutive year for a lecture/recital from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the George P. Luciano Sr. Theatre, in the Frank Guaracini Jr. Fine and Performing Arts Center at Cumberland County College, Sherman Avenue and College Drive. For more information, call 609-692-8499.

Essex County

Montclair: Montclair Art Museum is presenting “Creating Art: Conversations of African American Artists” on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 pm.

Newark: The Newark Public Library is presenting a two-month series of events and exhibitions exploring the world of black theater from Newark’s groundbreaking companies of the 1960s to Broadway stars like Ethel Waters and Lena Horne. “We Wear the Mask: Black Theatre in Newark & Near, From 1700s to 2012,” begins Feb. 1 and ends March 24. The free event will be held at Centennial Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Main Library at 5 Washington St. For more information, visit

Hudson County

Jersey City: Tuskegee Airman Lt. Calvin J. Spann will be speaking at the Jersey Coty Free Public Library on Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Mercer County

Trenton: Celebrating Black History Month, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 25-26, Old Barracks Museum, 101 Barrack St., Trenton. Presented by the Trenton Historical Society and the Old Barracks Museum. America We Served! Hear the living history of America’s Black Warriors by the veterans themselves and dedicated re-enactors. View displays of photos, literature and artifacts from war including a Tuskegee Airmen display. Talk to the storytellers of America’s black men and women at war. Admission is $4, $2 children. For more information, call 609-396-1776.

West Windsor: “Lifting as We Climb” is the month-long theme for Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) observance of African-American History Month. The varied schedule of events includes presentations by inspiring African-American leaders, dance and other entertainment, and an open house that explores the cultures of Africa. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Visit the MCCC website for a complete list if events

Monmouth County

Red Bank: The Red Bank Public Library will honor Black History Month with two special programs in February. The library, in conjunction with Two River Theater Company, will present “A Celebration of August Wilson” Monday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at the library.

Morris County

Fairleigh Dickinson University celebrates Black History Month with “The Art of Dance,” an exhibition of works by Mansa K. Mussa, a dance photographer and artist, through Friday, March 9, at the Library gallery of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham, 285 Madison Ave. A free opening reception and artist’s lecture will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Library’s Orangerie. For more information, call 973-443-8516.

Somerset County

Branchburg: Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) will celebrate Black History Month with a host of activities in February, including lectures and cultural presentations. All events will be at the college’s Branchburg Campus, 118 Lamington Road in the North Branch section of the township. This year’s theme is “Black Women in American History and Culture.” All Black History Month activities are free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call 908-526-1200, 8524.

Union County

Springfield: Ethel M. Washington, historian and author, tells the history of Union County’s Black Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War, who defended the nation’s ideals while facing discrimination in the ranks and at home. Barnes & Noble at 240 US Highway 22 in Springfield, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. The event is free. For more information, call 973-376-8544.

Warren County

Hackettstown: Philip E. Freeman, Sr. Assistant Director, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, will discuss the mission of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and statutory obligations. He will review the history of the civil rights struggle nationally and in New Jersey over the past 50 years. Freeman also will cover the recognition of a new “ethnic majority” inclusive of minorities of all ethnic groups continuing the struggle for equality from a social, economic and political perspective, as well as embracing diversity to support the ethnic majority and how it is important to understand, respect, value and appreciate one another’s differences. The free event will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. The Sitnik Theater of the David and Carol Lackland Center at Centenary College is located at 400 Jefferson St., Hackettstown, NJ 07840.