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8th Annual Tales of Our Cities Book Festival

Internationally Known… Jersey City’s Own…

Kevin Powell

Wow’d the Crowd at the 8th Annual Tales of Our Cities Book Festival

on Sunday, September 25, 2016


It was a grand homecoming for native son Kevin Powell, who headlined the Jersey City library’s eighth annual book festival, Tales of Our Cities 2016, whose life reflects an intellectual and emotional triumph over abject poverty, and the ills inherent in such a life beginning.

With a perfect autumn day in the offing (blue skies, sunshine, cool breeze), Van Vorst Park provided the lush verdant backdrop for the hundreds of festival attendees on Sunday, September 25th. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., where authors from as far as Florida (M.C. Bechum, THE GLASS FORTRESS) and the greater Jersey City area (Kevin Powell, now a Brooklyn, N.Y. resident, THE EDUCATION OF KEVIN POWELL. A BOY’S JOURNEY INTO MANHOOD) spoke from their hearts the words they wrote. Tales of Our Cities 2016 was produced by the Jersey City Free Public Library, in conjunction with the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs, Mayor Steven Fulop and the Jersey City Municipal Council.

Read more: 8th Annual Tales of Our Cities Book Festival


Doubling Down on Double Dutch – What a way to fly!

The Greenville Branch Library, along with the Cunningham, Five Corners and Miller branches, gave an incredible opportunity to willing participants of the 2016 Summer Reading Program (SRP) to find out what it’s like to fly – by doing Double Dutch.

The Jersey City H.O.N.E.Y. Bees came flying in to the side area of the Greenville Branch on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, and captured the imagination of library employees and SRP-ers alike, when demonstrating their outstanding Double Dutch jump rope skills.

H.O.N.E.Y. (Helping Others Now by Empowering Yourself) is a mentorship organization established in Jersey City that uses the sport of Double Dutch to positively influence at-risk youth ages 5 – 17 to develop confidence and life skills to deal with the day-to-day stress of urban living. They have reintroduced the traditional urban sport of Double Dutch to city youth to encourage fitness, teamwork and conflict resolution.

These 80 photographs are a representation of what it’s like to move at double-time (and there were so many more!). When viewing the photos, the H.O.N.E.Y. Bees are wearing yellow t-shirts, where you’ll see such jump roping skill. But most of all… Look at the facial expressions of the jumpers, whether or not they are Jersey City H.O.N.E.Y. Bees. You’ll see ecstatic joy in flying through fast-twisting two strands of rope…and immense satisfaction for having done so!

Read more: Doubling Down on Double Dutch – What a way to fly!


Books Tell You-The World & You Are a Surprising Team

Professional educators, Barbara Allen and Robert Murphy, team up to present informative and intellectually probing presentations at the Greenville Branch Library to children and young adults. The construct used to convey this inquiry is Aesthetic Realism – a philosophy founded in 1941 by Eli Siegel, an American poet, critic, and educator. Aesthetic Realism is based on the following principles: 1. The deepest desire of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis. 2. The greatest danger for a person is to have contempt for the world and what is in it. Contempt can be defined as the lessening of what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it. 3. All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.

Read more: Books Tell You-The World & You Are a Surprising Team


Aesthetic Realism

“What will make a person strong?” is the presentation’s point of view, an annual presentation for children ages five and up that is offered by the Greenville Branch Library and presented by Barbara Allen and Robert Murphy, who are master educators and Aesthetic Realism consultants. Their adherence to the principles of Aesthetic Realism helps Jersey City youth remain emotionally and morally strong in the face of life’s challenges.

Read more: Aesthetic Realism


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