Black History Month

Scotch Plains Celebrates Black History Month

Scotch Plains celebrates Black History Month, a nationwide celebration of the achievements and contributions African Americans have made throughout U.S. history. 


We're very proud and fortunate to have such a rich heritage in our local community.

History Channel to Air Special on Tuskegee Airmen on Wednesday, February 10th at 8 p.m.

In a one hour special on Wednesday, February 10th at 8 p.m., Robin Roberts explores the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the legendary group of African American pilots including her father that served in WWII.   


The special feature will reveal how these warriors helped end segregation in the military and pave the way for the civil rights movement. 


Lifelong Scotch Plains resident Malcolm Nettingham, who passed away last year, was a member of the World War II's famed Tuskegee Airmen.

Union County Celebrates Black History Month with Pioneering Aviator Bessie Coleman, February 23

Union County, NJ — The Union County Board of Commissioners is pleased to celebrate Black History Month with a free, live performance of An Interview with Bessie Coleman, an exploration of the life and times of the first African-American woman to become a licensed airplane pilot and the first American to hold an international pilot license. 


The performance will be streamed live on Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m., on Facebook and Zoom.


Bessie Coleman overcame multiple barriers to realize a lifelong dream and make her mark in the early years of aviation history.  


After applying to three American aviation schools that refused to teach her, this smart, naturally-gifted “double threat” prepared to study in France. Learning enough French to get by, she enrolled in a French school, the only black person in the class. Finishing the 10-month course in eight months, she achieved her goal. 


An Interview with Bessie Coleman is presented by the acclaimed historical interpreter, actress, educator and writer Dr. Daisy Coleman.  Dressed in an authentic bomber’s jacket, boots and scarf, Dr. Daisy Century as Bessie Coleman is an exciting portrayal of a beautiful, determined woman who knew what she wanted and made it happen. A trailblazing pilot, Coleman overcame adversity and discrimination to make history.


To view An Interview with Bessie Coleman on February 23 at 7 p.m. on Facebook, visit the Union County on Facebook, at


To view on Zoom, pre-registration is required. The registration link is available through Zoom at


On both platforms, viewers will be able to enjoy the live performance, and participate by using the chat functions. The performance is organized through the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs in the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, and is funded in part by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of Cultural Affairs in the Department of State. 


For more information on all programs of the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs call (908) 558-2550, email, or visit online at

SP-F Junior Girl Scout Troop 40347 Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Tribute Video

The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Junior Girl Scout Troop 40347, a 3rd grade troop from McGinn and Coles Elementary School compiled a video tribute last month honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each of the girl scouts wrote their own part and recorded the video.


February is Black History Month, a nationwide celebration of the achievements and contributions African Americans have made throughout U.S. history.

Scotch Plains to Celebrate Black History Month with Flag Raising on February 16 Before Council Meeting

Township Officials will host a flag raising of the red, black and green flag on Tuesday, February 16 before the Council Business Meeting in honor of Black History Month. 

The Story of Shady Rest and John Shippen | February 25th at 7 p.m.

Join us for a special Zoom presentation of 'The Story of Shady Rest & John Shippen,' the first African American golf professional on Thursday, February 25 at 7 p.m.


The panel discussion will feature: 

  • Sylvia Hicks, Scotch Plains resident part of the Preserve Shady Rest Committee
  • Thurman Simmons, Scotch Plains resident part of the Preserve Shady Rest Committee
  • Gary Jones, former caddie at the Shady Rest Golf Club
  • Sheenah Pegeron, of the Shady Rest Golf Club

Visit to watch the panel discussion.  The Preserve Shady Rest Committee is comprised of local residents and supporters who believe in the importance of preserving the history of the Shady Rest Golf and Country Club, the first African American owned and operated country club in the United States.

SJM's Kramer Manor Oral History Project

The Kramer Manor neighborhood of Scotch Plains and Fanwood was established in the first half of the 20th Century as a Black neighborhood. It grew and thrived despite obstacles presented by refusal of federal funding for mortgages, the deprivations of the Great Depression, a World War, and systemic racism to become the multicultural community we know today. 

With partial  funding from a Union County HEART grant to Social Justice Matters, and additional funding from SJM, community residents, past and present, have combined forces and expertise to conduct oral interviews of a dozen long-time residents and to provide historical context to their fascinating stories.  The Kramer Manor Community embraced the Roosevelt Avenue Block Parties, which was a vehicle for everyone that lived in the Kramer Manor area and surrounding Fanwood-Scotch Plains communities to network and remain connected, introduce new family members and celebrate!     


We hope you enjoy the reruns of these precious memories that makes the historical Legacy of Kramer Manor even more valuable and important to share with our current Scotch Plains-Fanwood Community. 

  • The Kramer Manor Project Committee 
  • Jill Jackson-Jones 
  • Pam Brooks 
  • Derek Garrett 
  • Kevin Eldridge 
  • Douglas Layne 
  • Pam Brownstein 

We welcome you to join us in our work to preserve the Legacy of Kramer Manor by contacting  Jill Jackson-Jones or Pam Brooks at:


Video Credits: Fanwood Television

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