February is an important month for celebrating African American culture as part of Black History Month. Here at Best of NJ, we’re kicking things up a notch by offering extensive feature coverage of impactful and inspiring African Americans with strong ties to the Garden State. In addition to that, we’ll have regular editorial features about general Black History Month topics as well, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back daily.

Without further ado, let’s celebrate The Best of Black History Month in New Jersey!

This Article is Sponsored by Investors Bank. Banking in Your Best Interest.

Black History Month Features

Girls in the LibraryThe Best Black History Month Books for Young Readers

Looking to teach the kids in your life about Black History Month, but not sure how to do it? How about a book? If you need a recommendation, Wade and Cheryl Hudson can help. The Hudsons, authors and owners of Just Us Books in East Orange, founded the independent publishing company in the 1980s…

Black History NJBlack History NJ: The Complete Series

We’re celebrating Black History Month every day all throughout February. For 29 days straight, we’ll be profiling notable African Americans that have impacted the Garden State. These influential figures — both past and present — reflect a small sampling of the talent New Jersey natives have to offer…

NJ Black History: Innovative Chefs to Know

Black History Month is as much about celebrating today’s trailblazers as it is about honoring the leaders of the past. In few places can this be seen so radically as in the culinary world. Building on the rich traditions of the past, there are several African-American chefs right here in New Jersey who are forging exciting new pathways in fine cuisine. Let’s meet a few of them…

Don’t Miss These Other Best of NJ Black History Features

Martin Luther King, Jr.Essential Martin Luther King, Jr. Movies to Watch

This January 18 marks Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day set aside to pay homage to the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s life-affirming legacy of nonviolent activism. Whether you’re looking to brush up on your history, or explain his significance to America to your children, these films offer an insightful, powerful look…

MLK Trenton EventTrenton’s Martin Luther King Commemorative Event

Every year, on the third Monday of January, America celebrates the life of a monumental historical figure. This man gave his life fighting for equality among the segregated and violently mistreated African Americans across the nation; he preached peace and prosperity, and advocated nonviolent, civil disobedience…

Black History Month NJ Events


Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black

Wednesday, February 3, 2016: Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society - Celebrating Black History Month. James Brown African American Room. Info: 973–733–7779

Book with apple

Banned Book Club

Thursday, February 4, 2016: Banned Book Club: This month we will be reading and discussing "Native Son" by Richard Wright. Info: 973-266-5649

comedy show

African History Month Comedy Show

Thursday, February 4, 2016: DeRay Davis & Lil Duval at Wilkins Theatre! Call: 908-737-5326

Book with apple

Black History Month Book Bingo

Friday, February 5, 2016: Celebrate Black History Month with Book Cover Bingo! Contact Number: 973-266-5627

angie jackson musical

Angie Jackson The Musical

Friday, February 5, 2016: A live theatrical production performed by the Hudson County Spotlight Youth Theatre & Orchestra! Info: 201-798-6055

Black History rbg ball

The RBG Ball: Black History Edition

Friday, February 5, 2016: Event's theme is black history & African heritage. February is the month dedicated to black history. Info: 973-824-2556

NJ Events: Community Events

African American Genealogy

Saturday, February 6, 2016: Speaker Teresa Vegas will fulfill requests such as Ancestry Research, Lineage, Finding birth parents & Family search. Info: 973-266-5600

heroes are gang leaders

Getting Less & Less Safe Out Here

Saturday, February 6, 2016: Heroes are Gang Leaders: a group of poets and musicians formed by poet Thomas Sayers Ellis! Info: 973-353-5528

Beyond Ferguson

Beyond Ferguson

Monday, February 8, 2016: Three prominent writers will grapple with the position of various kinds of writing in movements for social change. Info: 973-655-4000

princeton university

Linda Hervieux Talk

Wednesday, February 10, 2016: The story of the only combat unit of African Americans to land in Normandy on June 6, 1944. Info: 609-258-3000  


Pre-Valentine's Day Party!

Saturday, February 13, 2016: Let's celebrate Black History Month in Style!  The 3rd Annual Pre - Valentine's Day Party!!! Info: 201-332-7454

noyes art

Film Screening: The Hammer of Hank Aaron

Friday, February 19, 2016: The Hammer of Hank Aaron enthusiastically & unapologetically presents the story of an American icon, who rose from obscurity and the depths of adversity to challenge a god. Victory came …

nj curlfriends

Hairitage Chat

Friday, February 19, 2016: History pertaining to Black hair and a discussion about 'natural' hair care. All are welcome! Info: 973-538-1229


Black Maria Film Festival

Friday, February 19, 2016: Hosted in the Library’s Chase Room. Info: 973-377-0722

Issues of policing and incarceration

Prisons & Policing in African-American History

Saturday, February 20, 2016: Issues of policing and incarceration – both locally and nationally - will be in sharp focus! Info: 973-353-5205


How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

Saturday, February 20, 2016 - Sunday, February 21, 2016: This book, suitable for ages 6-10 tells the story of integrating the Woolworth’s lunch counter in the 1960’s. Info: 609-292-6301


An Abominable Business

Sunday, February 21, 2016: The Van Wickle Slave ring was based in East Brunswick during the 19th century. This ring purchased slaves in NJ. Info: 732.390.6767

Black History Month

Black History Month Celebration

Sunday, February 21, 2016: A special celebration of live music, current gallery exhibits, food and drink. All are welcome! Info: 973-763-6011


Martin Luther King, Jr., “A Man of Conscience”

Sunday, February 21, 2016: Keith Henley in his stellar portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr., pastor, activist, and humanitarian. Info: 732-356-6602


The Fight for Freedom

Sunday, February 21, 2016: "Listen, Lord: The Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church’s 175 Years in the Fight for Freedom," will feature readings & music tracing the fight for freedom from the founding of the Witherspoon …

east orange public library logo

African American Experience

Monday, February 22, 2016: Learn how to navigate the African American Experience Database, a research tool for historical & cultural information. Info: 973-266-5600

middlesex county college

Lunch & Learn for Black History Month

Wednesday, February 24, 2016: This event is a Spring 2016 "Stay Connected" activity. Info: 732-745-8866

I Am Ali

I Am Ali

Thursday, February 25, 2016: Documentary film screening of the life story of Muhammad Ali, based on Ali's archive of "audio journals," interviews, and testimonials from his family and friends. James Brown African American Room. Call: 973-733-7784

AACC on set

African American Film Forum

Thursday, February 25, 2016: Nefertite’s uniquely stylized black-and-white romance "I Want You" followed by a Q&A and reception. Info: 973-746-5555


Nature Series - Black History Month

Thursday, February 25, 2016: Interested in nature and local history? The Rancocas Nature Center hosts a series of evening presentations that focus on a variety of topics related to the natural world and the …

rise of the queen

"Rise of the Queen"

Saturday, February 27, 2016: The focus is on women and their accomplishments to Black History both past and present. It will feature an original play titled Sistah, Sistah, Oh My Sistah, written and directed …

black lives matter


Saturday, February 27, 2016: A panel discussion on the #BlackLivesMatter movement from the perspective of community activists and social service practitioners, addressing such topics as violence as a health crisis, the role of the …

nj council for humanities

“Ain’t I a Woman?”

Monday, February 29, 2016: Somerset County residents are invited to a special presentation about Sojourner Truth: slave, abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Born into slavery circa 1797, Truth was sold from one brutal owner …

Essex County College

Past, Present & Future - Education in Newark

Monday, February 29, 2016: A panel discussion open to the public. We will examine the history of Education in Newark over the past 100 years. Info: 973-877-3000

Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Monkey Business / Dollar Photo Club

* * * * *

All editorial content on Best of NJ is governed by our Terms of Service. For details about sponsored content and other promotions, please see our Disclaimer.