New Orleans Public Library

Building on a Legacy

Black History Month 2000

An Annual Observance Co-sponsored by the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library

Our goal is to highlight the achievements of African Americans from the past while addressing the needs and issues prevalent in today's black community.

With this goal in mind, our committee has planned programs that will empower adults and entertain youth through experiences and expressions stemming from African American culture.

We hope to see you, your family and friends often throughout the next month and a half at many of the programs highlighted here.

Thanks in advance for your attendance and support of the New Orleans Public Library and this annual endeavor.

New Orleans Public Library
Black History Month Committee 2000

"We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. . . . The case of the Negro is well taken care of when it is shown how he has far influenced the development of civilization."

Carter G. Woodson, 1927
Founder of Negro History Week

All Programs are Free and
Open to the Public

New Orleans Public Library will make every effort to provide interpretation of library programs for the hearing-impaired. Please contact the branch hosting the program to make this request.
  • Link here for photographs from NOPL's
    Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration,
    the kick-off for our Black History Month activities.

Griot Tales
10 a.m., Monday, January 24, Nora Navra Branch
Adella Adella the Storyteller presents stories from the African tradition.

Book Talk with Hans Massaquoi
7:30 p.m., Thursday, January 27, Latter Branch
The former editor and writer of Ebony magazine will discuss his bestselling autobiography, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany.

Big Chief Jolley Legacy Program
10 a.m., Thursday, February 3, King Branch
Mardi Gras Indians showcase the customs and traditions of the Indians in tribute to George Landry, the famous Indian Chief of the Wild Tchoupitoulas tribe.

Alex Haley Legacy Program
10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Saturday, February 5, Main Library
Presented by Baton Rouge Genealogist, Edna Jordan Smith, this workshop assists African Americans with tracing their family tree. The program will be held in two sessions: 10 a.m. to noon for beginners and 1 to 3 p.m. for the more seasoned genealogy researcher.

Griot Tales
10 a.m., Tuesday, February 8, Algiers Point Branch
Local actor, director and playwright, Chakula cha Jua, performs stories from the African tradition.

Maggie Lena Walker Legacy Program
7 p.m., Thursday, February 10, Latter Branch
In honor of the first African American woman to found a bank and teach African Americans how to invest their earnings and finance homes, local financial consultant, Lea Polk of Salomon Smith Barney, will discuss the ins and outs of financial investments.

Jaha and Jamil Went Down the Hill
10 a.m., Tuesday, February 15, Nix Branch
A storytelling program designed for first through third graders to familiarize them with countries on the continent of Africa.

Remembering the Tuskegee Airmen
11 a.m.,Wednesday, February 16, Alvar Branch
Local printer and Tuskegee Airman Calvin Moret shares remembrances and leads a discussion on the importance of the Tuskegee Airmen to World War II.

Becoming a Man
1 p.m., Wednesday, February 16, Gentilly Branch
Stories pertaining to the rites of passage of young men as told by Dr. Morris F.X. Jeff, Jr., the director of Human Services for the City of New Orleans.

Ron Brown Legacy Program
7 p.m., Thursday, February 17, East N.O. Regional Branch
Executive Assistant to the Mayor for Economic Development, Eugene Green, Jr., offers information about developing minority business in the City of New Orleans.

Griot Tales
1 p.m., Saturday, February 19, Children's Resource Center
Local actor, director and playwright, Chakula cha Jua, performs stories from the African tradition.

Lena Richards Legacy Program
1 p.m., Saturday, February 19, Keller Branch Local cookbook author and newspaper columnist, Lolis Eric Elie, discusses the origins of gumbo and the definition of creole food in tribute to the owner of The Gumbo Shop and one of the first African Americans in New Orleans to author a cookbook.

Link here for photographs.

Elijah McCoy Legacy Program
2 p.m., Saturday, February 19, Main Library Auditorium
Joseph Allain, Jr., M.D., inventor of the life monitor and co-inventor of the flood protection device for automobiles will tell you about how to patent your inventions in honor of the inventor of the "Real McCoy" self lubricating device used on engines.

Reclaiming African American Youth
7 p.m., Wednesday, February 23, Main Library
Many vices plague inner city youth. With discussion leader, Dr. Morris F.X. Jeff, Jr., this roundtable discussion focuses on the many positive programs to strengthen the perspective and mindset of today's African American youth and the need to build upon these working solutions. Panelists include: Olayeela Daste of Agenda for Children; Judge Ernestine Gray; Kojo Livingston with the Kuji Center and Jerome Smith, Director of the Tambourine and Fan Club.

Thurgood Marshall Legacy Program
7 p.m., Thursday, February 24, Smith Regional Branch
Local attorney, Mtimishi St. Julien, will provide the basics on finding a good attorney to meet your legal needs.

Otis Boykin Legacy Program
1 p.m.,Saturday, February 26, Main Library
Learn more about useful websites relating to African Americans including sites of special interest to African American teens.

Paul Robeson Acting Ccompetition
2 p.m., Saturday, March 11, Main Library Auditorium
Young adults, ages 13-18, will demonstrate their knowledge of a famous African American through their ability to portray themselves as that individual. Participants will present five minute performances of their chosen African American hero and will be judged by a panel of local actors and directors. Winners will receive prizes and the opportunity to participate in the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts's 2001 "DramaRama." For more information, contact Dennis McCann at 596-2580.

Link here for photographs.

Langston Hughes Poetry Contest
Deadline for Entries: Thursday, February 17
Winners Announced: Monday, March 13

Adults, ages 18-25, are encouraged to submit their own original poem for judging to be included in an anthology printed by the New Orleans Public Library. Winning poems will also be printed on the library's website ( and receive prizes.

Link here for the winning poems and all of the poems submitted.

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iw 1/12/2000