Princeton recognizes Black History Month with community events

PRINCETON, NJ — To celebrate Black History Month, Princeton is hosting educational community events throughout the month of February.

We’ll start with the Princeton Public Library, which is hosting a host of events this month.

On Thursday, February 10, the Princeton Public Library will host a session of its “Black Voices Book Group” series. The group will discuss the novel “Open Water” by Caleb Azumah Nelson. The book is a love story and insight into race and masculinity that asks what it means to be a person in a world that only sees you as a black body. The event will take place virtually via Google Meet.Sign up here to join us.

The library will host a virtual discussion, “Black Activism, Then and Now,” on Tuesday, February 15. The discussion will focus on the topic of black activism from a historical and contemporary perspective. Speakers include Meena Jagannath, Reverend Lukata Mjumbe and researcher Shana L. Redmond in conversation with Derecka Purnell, lawyer, writer and organizer. This program is presented in partnership with the Pace Center for Civic Engagement at Princeton University and the Paul Robeson House of Princeton. Click here to Register.

There will be an in-person screening of the film “Just Mercy” on February 20. The film is the true story of attorney Bryan Stevenson as he defends a man on death row despite evidence proving his innocence. No registration is required. Learn more here.

On February 24, Eugene Smith will talk about his new book, “Back to the World: A Life after Jonestown”. He will be in conversation with Christopher Fisher of the College of New Jersey History Department. Smith lost his mother, wife and son in the mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978. Click here record.

An in-person screening of Aretha Franklin’s biographical film “Respect” will take place on February 25. No registration is required.

You can also watch documentaries and digital exhibits from home.

The short documentary “Princeton Plan: Fifty Years Later” tells the story of school integration in Princeton. You can click here to watch.

Completed in 2017, “Princeton and Slavery Project” includes dozens of essays, documents and multimedia visualizations that trace the university and city’s ties to slavery. You can access it here.

If you feel like wandering, explore the heritage plaques of the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society. There are 29 plaques in the neighborhood documenting the rich history. These plaques will allow people to take a self-guided walking tour of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood and learn about the history of the neighborhood and the African American residents who lived there. Click here for more information.

Did we miss any events commemorating Black History Month? Let us know by emailing [email protected]

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