This February the Newburgh Free Library has several featured programs planned in observance of Black History Month. One hundred fifty years ago in 1870 Frederick Douglass visited Newburgh and spoke at Moore’s Opera House, on the site of the present day library. Fittingly the library has two programs celebrating the life of Frederick Douglass.
On Wed., Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. the Diverse Voices Book Club will meet for a discussion of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave led by SUNY New Paltz professor Crystal Donkor. Additionally, on Wed., Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. independent historian Charlie Ford will give a presentation on Frederick Douglass’ life and legacy.
On Mon., Feb. 24 at 6:15 p.m. the library will screen The Last Black Man in San Francisco, a 2019 Sundance Film Festival award winner that deals with themes of race and gentrification.
In addition the Newburgh Free Library will also be hosting a free concert with E’lissa Jones for Black History Month on Sun., Feb. 23, from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Singer, songwriter, violinist, pianist and guitarist, E’lissa Jones, who performed at the library in 2018, will return to perform a selection of folk, rock, and classical style original songs. No registration is required for “E’lissa Jones in Concert.” Seating is limited to 150 people. Refreshments will be served courtesy of the Friends of the Newburgh Free Library.
E’lissa Jones is a prolific singer, songwriter, violinist, pianist, and guitarist. She is a talented artist with a wide range of songs that embrace audiences with powerful melodies and expressive lyrics. Influential styling ranges from folk to rock in her catalogue of over 250 original songs.
Born into a musically gifted family, E’lissa began singing and playing piano around the age of five. Jones wrote her first song at the age of seven and began studying violin at the age of ten. By eleven, she was writing love songs and short classical works for violin and piano. While classically trained as a violinist, E’lissa is largely self-taught as a vocalist and a plethora of other instruments she performs with.
Throughout her career she has performed and toured with many legends and has recorded and released six albums, Shadows from her teenage years (1997), This Melodie (2003), Anymore (2008), Sweet as the Sun (2010), Like Water (2011), CD Fire & Sun (2015), & her latest single Forever Girl (2017) . E’lissa’s music has been used in the soundtrack of the film Strings Attached and the film When the Dust Settles.
Currently, E’lissa continues to perform her original material in the New York Tri-State Area and is working on a new release and US tour.
Both Frederick Douglass programs and the concert will take place at the Newburgh Free Library at 124 Grand St., Newburgh. The Newburgh Free Library hours are 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Mon. -Thurs.; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Fri. and Sat.; and 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Sun.
For information about library programs, call 563-3625 or visit newburghlibrary.org.