Several of the February events @Princeton Public Library focus on issues of bias in race, religion, and ethnicity. Not in Our Town/Princeton is directly involved in the events on February 1 and 7.

Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege
Conference Room
Feb 1, 7:30 p.m.
The dialogue on race and white privilege begun at Not In Our Town’s series “Engaging Together to Explore White Privilege” continues. There is no need to have attended any of the series’ sessions to participate. This will be a drop-in format, facilitated by members of the Princeton-based interracial and interfaith social action group. Topics will include feelings about the term “white privilege” and issues relevant to our community and nation. The topic for this month will be Jennifer Baszile’s “The Black Girl Next Door,” to be featured at the library on Sunday, February 7, at 2 p.m. (see below).

Witherspoon-Jackson Genealogy Group
Princeton Room
Feb 4, 3 p.m.
The new Witherspoon-Jackson Genealogy Group will meet monthly in the Princeton Room to share ideas, listen to speakers, get beginners started with researching their roots and help each other with problems.
The group concentrates on the history of families who lived in the historic Witherspoon-Jackson community. On the steering committee are Carl E. Brown, Jr., Penney Edwards-Carter, Lucy Hall, Robert Harmon, Wallace Holland, Henry F. Pannell, Shirley Satterfield and Joseph Tadlock. Those interested in Princeton history or genealogy are invited to attend.

African American Read-In: Jennifer Baszile
Community Room
Sunday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m.
The author of “The Black Girl Next Door” will be the speaker at this event. Baszile’s memoir is about her childhood in an affluent Southern California suburb as a post-segregation child in a not-quite-integrated world. In trips to her parents’ childhood homes in Louisiana and Detroit, she sees their very different American pasts. Baszile followed the path her parents set out to become the first black female professor at Yale University, in its history department. This is the 21st year of the African American Read-In, celebrated in communities across the nation. Initiated by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Read-in focuses on literacy and black literary culture.

Contemporary Fiction Group: “What Is the What” by Dave Eggers
Conference Room
Thursday, Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m.
Moving, suspenseful and unexpectedly funny, this epic novel is based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the “Lost Boys” forced to leave his village in Sudan at age 7 and trek hundreds of miles by foot to find freedom. When he finally settles in the United States, his life is one of promise as well as heartache and new challenges.

Purim Stories
Community Room
Feb 28, 3:30 p.m.
Rabbi Donna Kirshbaum, who serves Congregation String of Pearls in Princeton, will tell the classic story of the holiday Purim. The heroine is Queen Esther of Persia, whose bravery in the face of irrational hatred is still a model of many virtues worth emulating by both children and adults.