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Celebrating Black History Month

An array of events, including a lecture on baseball, cooking demonstrations, and an exhibit of photos of jazz icons, will be featured during February as Middlesex County College celebrates Black History Month. Other than the cooking program and the trip to Harlem, all are free and open to the public.

 “Join us as we celebrate Black History Month at MCC,” said Marla Brinson, dean of enrollment and student support services. “This is a monumental year because it is the anniversary of so many events in the history of Civil Rights and milestone birthdays of important people in the movement.”

This year is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks, and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have Dream” speech.

“The program showcases the tremendous influence African-Americans have had on the culture and history of the United States,” Dean Brinson said.

February 1-28, College Center Gallery
“Juneteenth” is photo exhibit of jazz performers. Photographer Bill May captured images of jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Connick Jr., Chuck Mangione and Sarah Vaughan. There will be a reception on February 26 from 5-7 p.m.

Monday, February 4, 11 a.m., College Center Gallery
David Tarver, a businessman, philanthropist and author, will provide the month’s keynote speech. An engineer, Mr. Tarver left AT&T Bell Laboratories to start his own company that became wildly successful. After selling that company, he dedicated his life to community service. “He is a man who knows how to give back to the community,” Dean Brinson said. “He talks the talk and walks the walk. He is both warm and inspirational.”

Saturday, February 16
MCC students are invited to take a trip to Harlem, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Apollo Theater.

Tuesday, February 19, 11 a.m., College Center Lobby
A showing of the movie “Lincoln” with a post-film discussion.

Thursday, February 21, 5-7 p.m., College Center Gallery
Larry Hogan, senior professor of history at Union County College, is an expert on African-American baseball before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Dr. Hogan will speak on “The House that Ruth Built and Pop Opened! Negro League Baseball and Yankee Stadium.” It will include a discussion, accompanied by video and exhibit material of the history of Negro League baseball from 1930 through 1948 at America’s most historic ballpark, Yankee Stadium. It will focus on the historic opening of the Stadium to Negro League play on July 5, 1930, for a doubleheader that is arguably the most significant game ever played at the fabled Yankee Stadium.

Monday, February 25, 11 a.m., College Center
History Game Show. A game show in which participants can win prizes by answering questions based on the month’s activities.

In addition, the College’s Professional and Community Programs division will dedicate four of its cooking classes to African-American food. “Today’s Table: Classes for Contemporary Cooks” is a series of cooking classes held in the demonstration kitchen in Crabiel Hall. The chef makes the food, describing all the steps, while the audience watches and learns. They also receive copies of the recipes as well as a sample of the food. Three of the four classes will include commentary by Fannie Gordon, director of the College’s Educational Opportunity Fund. She will talk about the origin of African-American cooking as it relates to the evening’s menu. Visit www.middlesexcc.edu/profcom for details.