The YMCA of Montclair is hosting a series of events in celebration of Black History Month. All events are free and open to the community. All 2018 events are held at the Y’s Park Street Branch at 25 Park Street or the Geyer Family Branch at 159 Glenridge Ave, both in Montclair. More events will be added as available so please check back again.
African Caribbean Dance, Friday, February 2 at 10:15am and Sunday, February 25 at 3:15pm, YMCA of Montclair Park Street Branch.
This class incorporates traditional African Caribbean dance moves with modern day music. Connect your mind and body to the rhythms of the beat.
Poetic Expressions of the Black Experience – A community read-in led by Dr. Shirley A. R. Lewis, Wednesday, February 7 at 10:15am, YMCA of Montclair Park Street Branch.
From Phyllis Wheatley to Modern Hip Hop, experience black history as seen through the eyes of our most revered African American poets.
Montclair Art Museum Hands-on Art for Children, Sunday, February 11 at 2:30pm (ages 4 to 12), YMCA of Montclair Geyer Family Branch.
The Montclair Art Museum will lead children through several art projects inspired by the African American works currently on display at the museum. Children will be separated into age appropriate groups. Space is limited so RSVP is required; please stop by the Geyer Family Branch Welcome Desk or call 973-783-7640.
Author reading with children’s book author Denise Lewis Patrick, Sunday, February 11 at 4pm, YMCA of Montclair Geyer Family Branch.
Denise Lewis Patrick is a Montclair resident and the author of Meet Cécile, an American Girl series about a free girl of color in 1850’s New Orleans. She also has an American Girl book coming out at the end of January about Rosa Parks. Patrick is the author of thirty-five other children’s books, as well as educational materials, and poetry. Denise will be signing books and Watchung Booksellers will have copies of her book for sale at the reading.
Montclair Art Museum discussion on the lives, inspirations, and works of African American artists on display at the museum, Tuesday, February 13 at 11:15am, YMCA of Montclair Park Street Branch.
Cassandra Martin, MAM docent will conduct a conversation on the works of artists Faith Ringgold, Gladys Grauer, Janet Taylor Pickett, Mickalene Thomas, Nicholas Cave and Romare Bearden, followed by a Q&A.
Movie Ali, Monday, February 19 at 11:15am, YMCA of Montclair Park Street Branch.
The film Ali focuses on ten years in the life of the boxer Muhammad Ali from 1964 to 1974, his capture of the heavyweight title, banishment from boxing and his return to the sport and reclaiming of the title in the “Rumble in the Jungle” fight. It also touches on the great social and political upheaval in the U.S. following the assassinations of Malcom X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Conversation about important issues in education of students of African ancestry in New Jersey with James Harris, Monday, February 19 at 6:30pm, YMCA of Montclair Park Street Branch.
James E. Harris, President of New Jersey Association of Black Educators will speak about New Jersey Amistad Law,education and the democratic process, how to advocate for change in educational institutions and the role of parents, YMCA and other community based organizations as well as elected and appointed officials.
Author Reading with Benilde Little, Wednesday, February 21 at 7pm, YMCA of Montclair Geyer Family Branch.
Benilde is the bestselling author of the novels Welcome to my Breakdown, Good Hair, The Itch, Acting Out, and Who Does She Think She Is? A former reporter for People and senior editor at Essence, she lives in Montclair with her husband and son. Benilde will be signing books and Watchung Booksellers will have copies of her book for sale at the reading.
The Black Athlete in Unconventional Sports with Bob Cottingham Jr., Thursday, February 22 at 10:15am, YMCA of Montclair Park Street Branch.
Bob Cottingham Jr was a member of the 1988 and 1992 United States Olympic fencing teams. He was also the 1990 United States National Sabre Champion and the 1988 NCAA individual sabre champion. Cottingham Jr. will speak on barriers to entry into unconventional sports for black athletes and the difficult actual and emotional journey for black athletes when pursuing successful careers in those sports both from within and outside of their race.
An Evening with Jim Johnson, Monday, February 26 at 7pm, YMCA of Montclair Geyer Family Branch.
Join Jim Johnson in a discussion of the great migration from South to North with a focus on New Jersey. Featuring Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns and Gary Hunter’s Neighborhoods of Color: African American Communities in Southern NJ 1638-2000. Jim Johnson is a lawyer and community leader. In 2017 he finished second in a crowded field in the Democratic primary for governor. Tasty treats from Soul Food Catering will be served.