Mayor Baraka in conversation with Guy Sterling at the Newark Public Library

NEWARK, NJ — On Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Newark Public Library will host local author and historian Guy Sterling in conversation with Mayor Ras J. Baraka, as the final program in the 2016 series “Newark Lifetimes: Recollections and Reflections.”

Baraka, the 40th mayor of the city of Newark, is a native Newarker who was educated in the Newark public schools. He received his bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a master’s degree in education supervision from St. Peter’s University. Baraka taught in the Newark public schools and was a principal of Central High School. He also worked as a community organizer. He served on the Municipal Council, representing the South Ward, before being elected mayor in 2014. A poet and published author, Baraka’s most recent book is “Black Girls Learn Love Hard.”

Sterling is a longtime Newark resident and former Star-Ledger reporter. The author of “The Famous, the Familiar and the Forgotten: 350 Notable Newarkers,” Sterling has organized and moderated the monthly Newark Lifetimes series for the Newark Public Library as part of the city’s 350th anniversary celebration. Art, journalism, music, sports and politics were some of the areas explored during the series. Guests included Andy Baglivo, Rick Cerone, Willie Cole, Mildred Crump, Joe DiVincenzo, Li’za Donnell, Armando Fontoura, Ken Gibson, Larry Hazzard, Sharpe James, Don Karp, Sandy King, Albert Lewis, Jose Linares, Benilde Little, Stefanie Minatee, Sheila Oliver, Nell Irvin Painter, Teresa Ruiz, Richard Wesley and Joan Whitlow. Each of the programs was recorded and added to the library’s archives and can be viewed on the library’s YouTube channel.

The program will be in Centennial Hall on the second floor of the Main Library at 5 Washington St. in Newark.

Also on view before and after the program, on the library’s third-floor gallery, is the exhibit “Newark at 350: Settlement, Growth, Renewal,” which takes viewers on a journey through Newark’s rich history, from its founding by the Puritans in 1666 to the present day, and chronicles events that have not only shaped the city and the state, but the nation as well. Curated by librarian Thomas Ankner, the exhibit cases are filled with unique images from the Library’s Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center and the Special Collections Division. A dual arrangement of the cases provides both chronological and thematic approaches to the city’s people, places, architecture, politics, institutions and education.

The program and exhibit are free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, call 973-733-7793 or email In case of inclement weather, call 973-733-7784.

The exhibit, which is supported by the New Jersey Historical Commission, runs through Saturday, Dec. 31, and is on view during regular library hours.