The Atlantic City Free Public Library has developed a new photo exhibit and related programs to celebrate Black History Month and the city’s rich history.
The library’s exhibit – "The Atlantic City Experience: Breaking Barriers" – showcases the talents of three groundbreaking Atlantic City residents in the sports world: John Henry “Pop” Lloyd, Art Dorrington and Sarah Spencer Washington. The exhibit will be displayed at the Main Library beginning Feb. 5.
A Negro League baseball star, Lloyd was considered one of sport’s greatest players; Dorrington was the first black hockey player to sign an NHL contract; and Washington was a businesswoman who opened the Apex Golf Club (now Pomona Golf and Country Club), where people of all races were welcome.
The library has planned two programs to complement the Breaking Barriers exhibit:
- Pop Lloyd and the Negro Leagues Discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Union County College professor Dr. Lawrence Hogan will lead this discussion of the history of black professional baseball in Atlantic City and the social/communal/civic legacy of one of its greatest players, Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop John Henry “Pop” Lloyd. The presentation also covers the restoration of Atlantic City’s historic Pop Lloyd Stadium. Hogan will be accompanied by Pedro Sierra, who played for the Indianapolis Clowns and Detroit Stars of the Negro Leagues in the 1950s. Hogan is an expert on the Negro Leagues and author of several books, including “The Forgotten History of African American Baseball.” This program is funded in part by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
- Flashback Fridays Archives Series: Behind the Scenes of Breaking Barriers on Friday, Feb. 7, from 1 to 2 p.m. – This program will give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at the work performed by library staff to develop the Breaking Barriers exhibit – from initial idea to research to display.
Also, the library will also offer the following program in celebration of Black History Month:
- Researching Your Roots: Exploring African-American Family History on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Researching genealogy, or family history, is a passion for many people. Researching African-American family history can be daunting due to a lack of resources. Join us for a free workshop in which guest speakers Wilbur Fields, Dr. Jacqueline McBride with Dottie Jones, and Dr. Richlyn Goddard will share their personal experiences and research tips to help genealogists at any level advance with their family history.
Please call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3062, for more information.