“The differentness of races, moreover is no evidence of superiority or of inferiority. This merely indicates that each race has certain gifts which the others do not possess.” Carter G. Woodson
In 1926 Carter G. Woodson founded what was to become the ASALH, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the progenitor of Black History Month. Only more recently has this celebration gained more prominence, and yet there is more recognition still needed.
To this end, a number of social justice and racial justice focused organizations and people got together to discuss how to best put a focus on this month-long celebration. It was quickly understood that many organizations and institutions offer varied programming and separate promotion.
The group decided that in addition to self-promotion, a master Mercer County Black History Month Events and Happenings calendar would be created. And so this newly created collaborative calendar now resides on the YWCA Princeton website. Events may be submitted by going to ywcaprinceton.org/event-entry. The calendar may be viewed by going ywcaprinceton.org/homepage/signature-events/calendar.
The calendar has lots of good resources including talks, events, videos (sometimes as short as 1 minute), resources such as reading suggestions, and more.
It is hoped and expected that this calendar can be used throughout the year and that more and more organizations will post their racial justice events and happenings to it. In this way, all residents of Princeton and beyond can see in one location the important work being done locally to further racial justice.
Thank you to the many who provided input including but certainly not limited to YWCA Princeton, Witherspoon Jackson Cultural and Historical Commission, Not in Our Town, the Library, the Princeton Family Y, the Arts Council, Princeton Human Services and more.
Edgerstoune Road, Princeton
Editor’s Note: The following is a sampling of the Princeton-area events planned for Black History Month. Check the complete calendar online for details.
Daily: The Witherspoon Jackson Historical and Cultural Society has created a virtual heritage tour of the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood available online at www. princetonwjhcs.org/heritage-tour.
Fridays, February 12 and 19, 1 p.m.: Princeton Senior Resource Center offers two free programs on “Perspectives on Church and Race.” The February 12 session features Sushama Austin-Connor, the founding director of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary.
The February 19 session features a discussion with Kermit Moss, interim director of the Center for Black Church Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Tuesday, February 16, noon: Morven Museum & Garden offers a virtual program in which scholar John Burkhalter and pianist Sheldon Eldridge explore the link between Robert Field Stockton, the “Commodore,” and the free black composer Francis “Frank” Johnson, who was the first African American to publish sheet music and to perform an integrated concert, among other firsts.
Tuesday, February 23, 2 and 7 p.m.: Friends of the Monroe Township Library present a Zoom-based concert titled “Let the Whole World Sing” featuring the Glory Gospel Singers.