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Mullica Hill library honors Black History Month with display

Objects featured include Tuskegee Airman bomber jacket

A feature of the Black History Month display at Mullica Hill library is the Tuskegee Airman bomber jacket, provided by the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Advisory (IDEA) board of Harrison Township. Photo by Danielle DeAngelis / The Sun

The Gloucester County Library System (GCLS) Mullica Hill branch is honoring Black History Month – just as you enter the front doors.

Created by the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Advisory (IDEA) board of Harrison Township, the library’s display showcases important figures of American history, including Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and former President Barack Obama.

“During the January [IDEA board] meeting, a board member inquired about providing a library display in celebration of Black History Month,” GCLS Assistant Director Judith Pissano said. “The glass display case at the Mullica Hill library was suggested, and the IDEA board took it from there, providing the books, baseball, small statues and the Tuskegee Airman bomber jacket now on display through the end of February.”

That jacket stands tall at the top of the display, with sporting patches that celebrate the highly skilled African American combat pilots who served during World War II. Congress pushed the Army Air Corps to develop an all-Black combat unit in 1941, moving the military toward integration.

In the library, there’s also a Black History Month book display that features titles from by James Baldwin and Maya Angelou, with more available for checkout.

“I think it is very important to highlight Black History Month and Black authors at the library,” Pissano noted. “It provides an opportunity to understand Black histories, stories and to celebrate Black achievement.”

Alongside the display, the GCLS has been and will continue to host events for the remainder of the month. At the Greenwich branch, a presentation entitled “Evolution of the Blues” will be held on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m., led by historian Joe Becton.

On Saturday, Feb. 26, the Glassboro branch will offering a talk on African American women of South Jersey and the Civil War at 2 p.m. The presentation will be hosted by Dr. James E. Johnson of SUNY Binghamton University.

The Mullica branch’s Black History Month display will be showcased at the building’s entrance for the remainder of the month. The library is located at 389 Wolfert Station Road in Mullica Hill. An upcoming feature there will include the Labor and Literacy Lab, expected to be completed by March.

“The lab will provide instruction in various computer programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint,’’ Pissano said. “Instruction will also be given in job search and resume-building.”

Pissano also highlighted the GCLS’ partnership with Longwood Gardens to provide a community read for residents starting March 26.

“The six-week program will serve to engage the community in important conversations surrounding nature, trees, plants and gardens with programming and book discussions,” she said.

For hours and more information, visit gcls.org/locations/mullica-hill-branch.

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