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Our Westfield:
The Black Experience

New Jersey resident asking a question during a panel discussion event.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Price: Free

Westfield Memorial Library

550 East Broad St
Westfield, NJ 07090

Westfield Memorial Library

Event Description

A panel of Westfield elders share insights and experiences that span almost a century in our town. 

Panelists include Mary Withers, Wallace Brown, Gladys Edwards and Joyce Pretlow. 

Library Director Allen McGinley will moderate the discussion.

About The Panelists:

Mary Withers, a longtime resident of Westfield, was one of the founders of the Westfield Neighborhood Council (WNC) in 1967 and is presently on its Board of Directors. She is the former owner of Blackberry's Catering in Plainfield and established in Westfield as a caterer specializing in Southern foods.

Wallace Brown, a Korean War veteran, was born in Westfield in 1931. He was the first African American Special Agent in the Criminal Investigation Division in New Jersey and served on the Secret Service Presidential Detail. He has also served as president and trustee of the Westfield Community Center.

Gladys Edwards has lived in Westfield for over 60 years. She served on the Board of Directors of the Westfield Community Center, was the Secretary of the Negro History Club, and has been a member of the MLK Association of Westfield for many decades.

Joyce Pretlow is a lifelong Westfield resident and has served with the Westfield Community Center for over 40 years as its former President of the Board of Directors and current trustee. She is a member of the Westfield Historical Society, and a longtime member of Bethel Baptist Church.

NJ Proudly Celebrates
Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual observance in February that celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans to American history, culture, and society. Established in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson; Black History Month reflects on the struggles, highlights the triumphs, and provides inspiration to future generations.

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