Nina Mitchell Wells
Secretary of State


February 10, 2009

Contact: Susan Evans
Press Office 609.777.0830

Black History Month Activities In the Garden State

Trenton, NJ— The contributions of African Americans played a pivotal role in the shaping of the country. In commemoration of Black History month, various venues in New Jersey will commemorate this cultural heritage with celebrations in song, dance, theatre and prose.
“The month of February is full of activities, exhibitions, and performances that celebrate the ancestry of the African American culture,” said Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells. “Visitors and residents will be captivated by the attractions and talent that dominate the Garden State.”
Second Saturday Performance at the NJ State Museum – “Shadow Ball”
Saturday, February 14, 2009, Showtimes are 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm
New Jersey State Museum Auditorium, 205 West State Street, Trenton, NJ
FREE Admission - "Shadow Ball," a one-man tribute to Negro baseball league players during the Great Depression, features Rochel Garner Coleman as James "Cool Papa" Bell.
“Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: Lincoln, The NAACP, and The World They Created”
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University, Newark Campus, 350 Martin Luther King, Blvd., Newark, NJ, FREE Admission and open to the public.
The 2009 conference, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Lincoln, the NAACP, and the World They Created, will acknowledge the significance of the bicentennial anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth and the centennial anniversary of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The keynote Marion Thompson Wright Lectures will be given by Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Professor of History, Rutgers University and Bob Herbert, Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. Afternoon speakers include Professor James Oakes, The City University of New York and Professor Kenneth Mack, Harvard Law School. The afternoon presentations will be followed by a reception in the Paul Robeson Gallery, featuring entertainment by the Bradford Hayes jazz trio.
For information, visit or call the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience at (973) 353-3891.
“Celebration of History,”
Thursday, February 26, 2009, New Jersey Historical Society, 52 Park Place, Newark, NJ
Exhibits Open: 5:30 pm, Reception: 6:00 pm. For information regarding the cost and other details, please contact: Gloria Bryant (973) 824-4414, Ethel Washington (908) 436 -2912 or Teneshia Malcolm (973) 596-8500, ext. 243 at the NJ Historical Society.
Presented by the New Jersey Black Cultural & Heritage Initiative Foundation (NJBCHI), this timely Black History Month Program celebrates the legacy and heritage of New Jersey's African Americans.
Speakers and performers include:

  • Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells and Stedman Graham, Board Co-Chairs
  • Lawana P. Dykes, Executive Director, NJBCHI Foundation
  • Keynote Speaker - Marc Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
  • Tribute to Giles Wright - Linda C. Epps, President/CEO, NJHS, Board Trustee
  • Guest Artist - Wendel White, Professor/ Photographer, Richard Stockton College of NJ
  • Sojourner Truth Performance - Alicia Washington, Actress/Storyteller.

"Celebrating a New Legacy, Building Upon the Dream"
Thursday, February 26, 2009, 6:00 pm
Trenton Marriott at Lafayette Yard, 1 West Lafayette Street, Trenton, NJ
For ticket information, call (609) 393-5933.
Presented by the Metropolitan Trenton African-American Chamber of Commerce, this timely program acknowledges those who have demonstrated leadership, courage and professionalism in the public, private and community sectors.
Keynote Speaker: Professor Charles Ogletree, Harvard University
Honorees include:

  • Laticia Bailey, Community Events Coordinator, Horizon New Jersey Health
  • Jaime R. Escarpeta, President & CEO, Escarpeta Photo/Graphics, Inc.
  • Major Wendy Galloway, Commanding Officer for Community Affairs, NJ State Police
  • Bishop E. Earl Jenkins, Pastor, True Servant Worship & Praise Center
  • Special Guest Honoree Tony Franklin, Manager, Trenton Thunder

Historic District of the City of Burlington Walking Tour
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Burlington Historical Society, 451 High Street, Burlington, NJ
To make a reservation, please call (609) 386-4773.
One of the three tours offered in Burlington focuses on Severn Martin, a victim of the fugitive slave law in the 19th century. The story of Severn Martin is important not only for the drama and history of this one individual's experiences, but also because his case actually forced NJ to change its laws for dealing with the fugitive slave act, which made the state progressive in its treatment of African American citizens. The walking tour is a mix of storytelling, live drama and features the people and places in the town that are relevant to the story.
NJN Film: A Black Family Portrait
Wednesday, February 11 & 25, 2009, 1:00 pm (30 minutes)
FREE Admission, New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton, NJ
In “A Black Family Portrait,” the myth of the failing black family is challenged and replaced with a contemporary look at how the black families are surviving in less traditional ways.

Release Date Formated: 
Tue, 2009-02-10