1984 at the Loew's Jersey
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” So begins the story of an unlikely revolutionary: the doomed hero of George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984. On April 4, 2017, the Jersey City Free Public Library (JCFPL) and the Friends of the Loew’s (FOL) teamed up to present a screening of the film adaptation of Orwell’s novel at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre. When the film was released in its namesake year of 1984, the story of everyman Winston Smith – and his “thoughtcrimes” against the totalitarian state – had for a generation been a symbol of resistance against censorship, surveillance, and unquestioning submission to authority.
The JCFPL and FOL joint screening was part of a nationwide event on April 4, with over 200 independent and art house cinemas presenting the film in honor of the first date inscribed in Winston Smith’s diary: April 4, 1984. The goal of the national event was to raise awareness and advocate for freedom of expression, particularly in support of the National Endowment for the Arts and other federally funded programs, such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We were also very proud to distribute 100 free copies of the novel to the first guests who arrived, compliments of the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation.
Racial Disparity Picture Gallery
Nearly 50 community members came to Greenville Branch Library on the evening of Tuesday, March 7, 2017 to participate in a discussion on Racial Disparities in New Jersey’s Juvenile Justice System. After hearing from three distinguished panelists, the attendees engaged in a lively discussion about the issues. Andrea McChristian, associate counsel at New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and author of the report “Bring Our Children Home: Ain’t I a Child” presented findings from her report. She was joined by Retha Onitiri, also of NJISJ, who spoke about what community organizations are doing to address the disparities they have found, as well as local activist Amy Albert, a staff attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services and the founder and chair of Jersey City’s Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center, which is a program that helps young people at risk of entering the formal judicial and penal systems.
What Will Make a Person Strong
About 120 Jersey City fourth- and fifth-graders gathered in the Barack H. Obama Auditorium at the Greenville Branch Library on Friday, February 17, 2017 to attend a workshop entitled “What Will Make a Person Strong?”. The workshop, led by Barbara Allen and Robert Murphy of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, weaved together themes of community, interpersonal relationships, and civil rights with film, music, and interactive presentations. This is an annual workshop that is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Greenville Branch Library and the team of Allen and Murphy in honor of Black History Month.
Criolla Hosted Tim Murphy, author of CHRISTODORA, in Well-Attended Presentation on Dec. 5
On Monday, December 5, 2016, Biblioteca Criolla was the proud host for writer Tim Murphy, author of his new book CHRISTODORA. His debut novel follows a diverse set of characters whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan’s East Village, the Christodora. The book recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, illustrates the destructive power of hard drugs, and brings to life the ever-changing city itself.
Mr. Murphy read passages from his book and provided an insight to one of the main characters in the book, Mateo, and how this character battles his own demons and searches for his own identity. We heard Mr. Murphy read phrases in Spanish, which gave the audience an opportunity to ask questions and get involved in conversation. The author wanted to keep it simple and his easy-going approach to this book read was what the audience needed and wanted. Nineteen people were in attendance, including Library Board President Curt Harris; Mayor’s Alternate Board Member Sonia Araujo, former Assistant Library Director (retired); and a representative from Mr. Murphy’s publisher.
At the end of the presentation, the author signed copies of his books and took pictures. Refreshments were served. Special thanks go to Cecile Tropel and Mario Kaczmar, whose assistance was indispensable.
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