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Hampton Roads Community News

Norfolk Public Library Recognizes African-American History Month


Norfolk Public Library (NPL) will kick off a month-long recognition of African-American history on Saturday, February 4 with a series of events including a special keynote address by Norfolk Mayor Kenneth C. Alexander during the Opening Celebration at 3 p.m. at Slover Library. This inaugural event will also acknowledge the recipients of the Young African-American Leaders of Tomorrow Award presented by The New Journal and Guide and NPL.

This year’s national theme addresses “The Crisis in Black Education” and, with over 30 programs system-wide, NPL will delve into this topic on a local level.

NPL’s opening weekend will also include the 3rd Annual African-American Trailblazers Honors Program on Sunday, February 5 at 3 p.m., also at Slover Library. The event honors distinguished African Americans in Hampton Roads and, this year, recognizes educators who have worked to break down barriers and stereotypes while also preserving the rich history of African Americans in our community.

This year’s honorees are David Gilbert Jacox, Barbara Johnson Alexander and Dr. E. Curtis Alexander, Dr. Cassandra Newby- Alexander, Aline Black, Becky Livas, Celestine Diggs Porter and Willie Mae Watson. (Family)

“It is NPL’s goal to highlight the accomplishments of the African-American community and engage in positive dialogue on such important topics,” said Sonal Rastogi, Director of Libraries.


opening weekend programs include:

Equity and Opportunity in Education:

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A Regional Perspective

Saturday, Feb. 4 | 12:30 p.m.

Slover Library, Room 650

Local educators will discuss issues that affect students in some of Hampton Roads’ urban and suburban school districts. Programs which are successful will be discussed, too. (Family)

Book Talk: Author Sule Alexander

“The African American Contributions to Western Classical Music and the Effects of Racism
as Part of Their Artistic Development”

Saturday, Feb. 4 | 1 p.m.

Blyden Branch Library

Alexander features local classical composers and educators such as Michael Raphael, Geraldine Boone, and others in his presentation. (Family)

African American Cinematic Collection Series

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Something for REEL People: The Black Perspective

Saturday, Feb. 4 | 6:30 p.m.

Slover Library, Room 650

The African-American Cinematic Collection Series (AACCS) includes a series of films written, directed and produced by local African-American filmmakers. (Adults)

More information on African-American History Month events at NPL locations is available at All NPL programs are free and open to the public.

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