Maplewood celebrates Black History Month

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — In honor of Black History Month, the township of Maplewood has joined with local nonprofit, community and business partners to sponsor more than 30 artistic, cultural and educational events and activities throughout February.

Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee, who will lead two different book discussions during the month, said, “Our goal is to raise awareness of the contributions made by African-Americans in the fields of business, education, politics, athletics, science, nutrition, medicine and the arts. We also want to address the continuing challenges facing black people in America today.”

A full, detailed list of the Black History Month events planned to date can be found at The township will be sending out emails during the month to highlight upcoming events.

“The township is pleased to lead this communitywide initiative for the third consecutive year. We thank the many local organizations that are partnering with the township’s Division of Cultural Affairs,” said Committeeman Vic DeLuca, who is leading events coordination.

Among the groups sponsoring events are the Maplewood Memorial Library, SOMA Justice, Maplewood Village Alliance, Springfield Avenue Partnership, Hilton Neighborhood Association, South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, The Strollers, Classic Maplewood, Progressive Theater, Columbia High School, The Hand Arts & Edutainment, American Theater Group and the 1978 Maplewood Arts Center. Promotional materials for Black History Month were made possible by a contribution from the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce.

For the entire month, the MVA will have a “Walk of Heroes,” featuring educational posters of black historical figures in Maplewood Village storefronts on Maplewood Avenue; Springfield Avenue Partnership businesses will have activities and sales at various times; and Maplewood Middle School will hold various events for its students.