Gaynell Brady will lead a free genealogical presentation focusing on African-American heritage at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

Brady says there are many obstacles to overcome for African-Americans searching for their ancestors, and she will discuss how to overcome them. She says the vast majority of African-Americans are descendants of the 400,000 black Africans brought to North America to serve as slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since slaves had no legal rights, they are often not found in many of the traditional record sources available for that period.

Another obstacle to documenting African-American ancestry, says Brady, is that slave marriages were not legally recognized prior to emancipation, and therefore, were not recorded in official records. Tracing enslaved ancestors requires identifying the slave-owning family and tracking documents connected with that family.

Gaynell Brady is a local museum professional who performs contractual education and outreach work for the River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville. She served as an education program consultant and curator at the Louisiana State Museum for five years. Brady also is the owner and operator of Mammy’s, an educational resource that encourages children of all ages to research their family histories and use them as inspirational tools to combat obstacles.

MIND AND BODY: Karen Scott discusses and explains the basic principles of yoga. She says that anyone, regardless of age or condition, can practice yoga. It systematically conditions, strengthens and surrenders the body and mind from a place of tension and confusion into a deep state of relaxation and renewal. Free of charge and open to the public. 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 9, East Bank Regional Library, Metairie.

SOOTHING BABY: Infant massage workshop is a free parent enrichment program that provides loving touch from the start of a baby’s life. It incorporates “loving touch infant massage” techniques that help promote social and emotional development, brain development and touch, adaptations for children with special needs, and bonding and attachment with parents and caregivers. This once-a-month workshop is limited to 20 participants who must contact Rene Guilbeau at (504) 780-4363 or rene.guilbeau @HCAHealthcare.com. 10 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 9, East Bank Regional Library, Metairie

DREAMS IN FICTION: Author Greg Alexander will discuss dreams as a plot device. Dreams are frequently used as plot devices in fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy. The use of a dream world generally creates a situation in which a character is placed in an unpredictable environment and must overcome several personal problems to leave it. The dream world also commonly serves to teach a moral or religious lesson to the character experiencing it. Alexander is the author of a new book, “The Holy Mark.” 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 12, East Bank Regional Library, Metairie.

LOUISIANA CIVIL LAW: Ronald Morrison, a local lawyer, will discuss the Louisiana Civil Code and will answer questions from those who have legal questions. Morrison’s primary goal is to explain some basic premises of Louisiana law, including civil law. The primary difference between Louisiana and other states is that Louisiana is a civil law state, whereas all other states are common law states.

This distinction is a reflection of the French history that played a role in the development of Louisiana and its legislative and judicial processes. 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, East Bank Regional Library, Metairie.

All programs at the library are free of charge and are open to the public. For more information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to www.jp library.net or friend the library’s Facebook page for daily programming updates.