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East Brunswick Public Library will be closed on Wednesday, June 19 in observance of Juneteenth.

Black History Month


February is Black History Month. Join East Brunswick Arts Commission, East Brunswick Department of Aging, East Brunswick Department of Recreation, East Brunswick Human Relations Council, East Brunswick Public Library, East Brunswick Youth Council, EBTV and the Lost Souls Public Memorial Project for a celebration featuring online programs and events. Check back often as this page is updated frequently.

2022 Events

Film Screening, "Josiah"

On February 6, 2022 at 1:30pm, in collaboration with the New Brunswick Area Branch NAACP, an exclusive public screening of JOSIAH, a documentary that traces Josiah Henson’s harrowing journey from slavery in Maryland and Kentucky to freedom in Canada, will be shown in the library’s community room.


Book Discussion Group: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

This month we are reading Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson. Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.

The Lost Souls Memorial Project at the Department on Aging

  • Friday, February 11 @ 1:00 PM at the Department on Aging

Please join special speakers Peter Kahn, Ph.D., and Elayne Risley on a presentation on how did the 137 people from Middlesex County lose their right to freedom?


Stories of Slavery in New Jersey

Tuesday, February 22 @ 7 PM on Zoom

Celebrate Black History Month with author Rick Geffken as he virtually guides us through his new book Stories of Slavery in New Jersey. Readers will be fascinated and probably surprised at the revelation that New Jersey, in 1866, was the last northern state to abolish slavery. Geffken will analyze this fact and much more as he leads us through this fascinating look at New Jersey's relationship with slavery.
Rick Geffken has written numerous articles on various aspects of New Jersey history for local newspapers, magazines, historical societies, and newsletters.  Rick’s books include The Story of Shrewsbury Revisited, 1965-2015; Lost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore; Highland Beach, Gateway to the Jersey Shore, 1888-1962; Hidden History of Monmouth County; and To Preserve & Protect, profiles of people who recorded the history and heritage of Monmouth County, New Jersey.  He is currently heading up a project called the New Jersey Slavery Records Index under the auspices of Monmouth University of West Long Branch, NJ.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library


Lost Souls Public Memorial Project Exhibit

Monthlong at the East Brunswick Public Library

Vist the library to view an important exhibit created by the Lost Souls Public Memorial Project


2021 Events

Enslavement to Emancipation - presented by the East Brunswick Department on Aging

February 3, 1:00 pm

This program explores the history of the Compensated Emancipation Act. Presented on Zoom or by telephone call-in, the program is only open to registered members of the East Brunswick Senior Center. To participate call the Senior Center on the morning of February 3 between 8:00 am and 9:00 am to be included.

Black History Month Celebration - presented by East Brunswick Human Relations Council

February 9, 7:30 pm

Celebrates Black History Month with a showcase of Black history presented through music, fine arts, food, poetry, dance and more. A virtual event on the EBHRC Facebook page, this celebratory program is being hosted in association with the New Brunswick-Area NAACP and the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance (RAAA). Click here to watch. 

Virtual Book Discussion Group - presented by East Brunswick Public Library

February 11, 7:00 pm

Join us on Zoom for a book discussion of The Sellout by Paul Beatty. A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, and the father-son relationship.  Beatty's novel is decidedly funny in a way that will make you consider the role of race in American society. For more information or to join, click here. 

The Art and Politics of the Harlem Renaissance - Presented by East Brunswick Public Library

February 24, 7:00 pm

This presentation, led by Professor Randall Westbrook, will explore the origins and meanings of the famed Harlem Renaissance. More than a nostalgic look at the works of people like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and others, the talk will also explore the social and political significance of the period, what we can learn from it, and how it relates to modern-day developments.

Westbrook is a faculty member at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is an expert on the lives of Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois. In 1999, he was featured on the award-winning PBS documentary American Masters: ‘Paul Robeson Here I Stand.’ ” In 2008, Westbrook was the keynote speaker for the 140th birth anniversary of the life of W.E.B. DuBois. His book Education and Empowerment: The Essential Writings of W.E.B. DuBois was named “One of 30 Books Every African American Should Read” by Jet Magazine Online. For more information or to join, click here.

Watch Black History Month - presented by EBTV 

All month long on EBTV

Look for special Black History Month programming on EBTV all month at the following times:

  • Sundays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Tuesdays 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Wednesdays 6pm – 7:00 pm
  • Saturdays 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

For programming updates and On Demand visit EBTV's website.

African American Icons - presented by East Brunswick Youth Council and EBTV 

All month long on EBTV

Learn about past and present influential African American figures presented by the East Brunswick Youth Council all month long. You can watch on EBTV.

How To Make A Cardboard Mask Inspired By Kimmy Cantrell - presented by East Brunswick Recreation Department

All month long on YouTube

How to make a cardboard mask in an abstract style inspired by the art of Kimmy Cantrell. For this project, you will need paper, a pencil, cardboard, scissors, glue, and paint or markers. Click here for part 1 and part 2

From Jazz to Soul - presented by East Brunswick Arts Commission and East Brunswick Public Library

All month long on EBTV & online

This 45-minute concert features a collection of jazz standards and soul classics that spans five decades. You’ll enjoy hits from a time when the "First Lady Of Song," Ella Fitzgerald graced the stage to when the "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin ruled the airways. Homage will be paid not only to Ella and Aretha, but also to jazz stylists Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and Nancy Wilson as well as soul divas Etta James, Martha Reeves, Mary Wells, and Gladys Knight. Through the music, the magic, and the message, there is bound to be something for everyone! Performed by singer, Rhonda Denet.

Check out these previously recorded programs

Human Relations Council 2020 Virtual Unity Walk Presentation - Click here to view

Embracing Our Diversity: Coming Together Against Bias with East Brunswick Human Relations Council, East Brunswick Public Library and East Brunswick Hadassah - Click here to view

East Brunswick Human Relations Council Town Hall with Mayor Brad Cohen and Chief Frank LoSacco: A discussion on policing and race relations in East Brunswick - Click here to view part one and click here to view part two

Lost Souls Public Memorial Project 3rd Annual Recitation of Names (Recorded on May 3, 2020) - Click here to view

EBTV Segment: Motown Concert at East Brunswick Public Library in conjunction with the East Brunswick Arts Commission - Click here to view

Speaking The Truth: Presented by East Brunswick Youth Council and East Brunswick Police Department - Click here to view

Lost Souls Public Memorial Project: Mayor Brad Cohen discusses the program during his swearing-in speech. Click here to view

Lost Souls Public Memorial Project: Recitations Montage - Click here to view

Middlesex County Black History Month Programs

Screening & Panel Discussion: “The Moral Responsibility of the Artist” by James Baldwin (Tuesday, February 2, 7:00 pm)  This listening session will be followed by a panel of brief personal reflections from Mason Gross School of the Arts faculty members about the intersections of their art and social practice, as well as a live Q&A. Featured speakers include: Frederick Curry, Marc Handelman, Heather Hart, Marshall Jones, and Jo-El Lopez. Presented by the Zimmerli, Windows of Understanding, and Rutgers Global. Register here.

Black Heritage Commemorative Stamp Virtual Unveiling (Tuesday, February 2, 7:00 pm Join us for a virtual unveiling of the USPS' newest stamp from the Black Heritage series honoring the late playwright August Wilson. Akia Thrope of the NAACP Metuchen Edison Piscataway Area Branch will be leading an interactive conversation with civil and human rights activist Kevin Powell. Learn more.

Black History Month Art & Story Time (Monday, February 3, 4:00 pm) Join the Civic League of Greater New Brunswick as we explore the artwork and life of Romare Bearden, a 20th-century American artist of African, Cherokee, and Italian descent. Enjoy a reading of “My Hands Sing The Blues” written by Jeanne Walker Harvey and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. After the story, we will hunt for found paper scraps and create a collage from whatever you have on hand just like Bearden. Register here. 

Harriet Tubman and Ona Judge: Two Women Who Resisted (Wednesday, February 10, 7:00 pm) Dr. Linda Caldwell-Epps shares the histories of Ona Judge and Harriet Tubman, two enslaved women who fought their way to freedom in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Participants will learn how these two women shared a desire for freedom at all costs, and the drive to determine their futures. Their story of resistance serves as a model for people today who are resisting and protesting for what they believe. Register here.

Beatmakers & Barrier Breakers: Creating Communities Through Music (Thursday, February 11, 3:30 pm) In celebration of Black History Month, join local DJs, producers, and emcees as they talk about the importance of creating music, whether they are doing it in front of a live audience or for a virtual crowd. Learn how the art form has adapted to the pandemic to continue bringing people together despite the changes in social gatherings. RSVP by e-mail here.

NAACP New Brunswick Area Branch Discussion (Tuesday, February 16, 6:30 pm) Sarah Collins Rudolph, the sole survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, will discuss her spiritual journey of healing. The discussion will be moderated by an NAACP youth leader. Learn more.

Hubert Harrison: The Father of Harlem Radicalism (Thursday, February 25, 7:00 pm) The Edison Public Library and the NAACP Metuchen Piscataway Area Branch welcomes Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry, archivist, bibliophile, and historian, for a Zoom presentation based on his two-volume Columbia University press biography “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1993-1918” and the recently published “Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927.”
Funded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Discover Jersey Arts, and Middlesex County. Learn more.