2011 Black History Celebration Opening Reception - 2/10/2011
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A joyous reception on February 10 was the kick off for the Newark Public Library's 2011 Black History Celebration.

We Are a Dancing People: The History of Black Dance From Then Until Now, curated by Sandra L. West, associate in the Library’s James Brown African American Room, the exhibit is paired with a photographic display, The Art of Dance, by photographer/collagist Mansa K. Mussa. Both shows opened January 26 in the Main Library, 5 Washington Street, and will run through March 15.

“The cultural contributions of African Americans to this country, broad and deep as they are, are not always fully acknowledged,” said Library Director Wilma J. Grey. “This exhibit provides some welcome recognition -- and what a joyful theme to explore!”

The opening night celebration featured jazz by the Sherry Winston Trio and an African dance performance by the 7th Principle Dance & Drum Ensemble. Curator of the photographic display, Mansa Mussa, and East Orange author Cheryl Willis Hudson were guest speakers.

Funding for the Library’s Black History Month activities and exhibits has been provided
by a generous grant from the PNC Foundation.

“Each year we look forward to supporting the Newark Public Library in celebrating the
rich cultural history of the African-American community during Black History Month,”
said Linda Bowden, northern New Jersey regional president for PNC. “The focus of this
year’s exhibit on the history of black dance highlights the influence of global styles on
the art of dance. The Newark community and its international neighborhoods are the
perfect backdrop to showcase that history and the influence of black dance on our national and global communities today.”
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