Al Kennedy, author of "Chief of Chiefs, Robert Nathaniel Lee and the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans, 1915-2001," will discuss the book at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
Robert Nathanial Lee, known as Chief Robbe, was the only person to be named “chief of chiefs” by the Mardi Gras Indian Council. From his birth in 1915, Chief Robbe faced hardship and discrimination, but he always found a way to do what he believed in. By the time he died in 2001, he had been the Big Chief of four tribes, lectured at Yale University and become a role model for generations of New Orleans black youth.
Kennedy says that when Robbe saw the Mardi Gras Indians for the first time, he knew he was going to be one. Joining the Mardi Gras Indian community at age 10, he quickly became known for his stunning sewing and singing abilities.
Kennedy draws on his personal relationship with the chief and numerous interviews conducted over Big Chief Robbe’s last three years of life.
GRAIN ELEVATOR DOCUMENTARY: Royd Anderson, a local documentarian who focuses on Louisiana history, will screen "The Continental Grain Elevator Explosion" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.
The 30-minute documentary tells the story of the 1977 Westwego Continental Grain elevator explosion, which killed 36 people and remains the deadliest grain dust explosion of the modern era. The cause of the explosion remains a mystery, though federal and state investigators at the time thought the blast was caused by a buildup of grain that had not been moved because of a national dockworkers strike that year.
CHOOSING A COLLEGE: Carol Langston, Ph.D., retired director of college guidance at Metairie Park Country Day School, will discuss finding the best college fit and how to access scholarship sites at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. During the presentation, Langston will discuss: ideal colleges; college fit for academics; college fit for your finances; what makes colleges different; what makes a college famous; and college size.
NUTRITION CLASS: Karen Marie Walker Jones, nutrition agent with the Jefferson Parish office of the LSU AgCenter, presents the second of five nutrition classes at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the North Kenner Library, 630 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner.
The class consists of a short presentation titled “Make Half Your Grains Whole Grains,” followed by a food demonstration on making quinoa and vegetable stir-fry.
WWII DISCUSSION: Jack Henkels, a park ranger with the Southeast Region of the National Park Service, will discuss Pearl Harbor at the monthly meeting of the World War II Discussion Group, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Henkels formerly worked at the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii.
WEIGHT LOSS: The third and final session of “Beneath the Weight – End Emotional Eating,” a weight-loss program conducted by the nonprofit organization SelfCare Health Initiatives, will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey. In the program, participants help each other learn how to stop eating high-carbohydrate, high-calorie foods in response to stress and emotions.
All programs at the library are free and open to the public. For more information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to www.jplibrary.net or follow the library’s Facebook page for daily programming updates.