Author Rosary Hartel O’Neill will discuss her new book, "New Orleans Voodoo, A Cultural History," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
According to the book, there is not a more compelling and spiritual city than New Orleans. The city's Roman Catholic roots and its blended French, Spanish, Creole and American Indian populations heavily influenced the rites and rituals that West Africans brought to Louisiana as enslaved laborers. The resulting unique voodoo tradition is now deeply rooted here.
Enslaved practitioners in the 19th century held voodoo dances in designated public areas like Congo Square but conducted their rituals in secret. By 1874, the book says, about 12,000 New Orleanians attended voodoo queen Marie Laveau's St. John's Eve rites on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain.
O'Neill lives in New Orleans and New York City. She has written 25 plays and three nonfiction books, and has received six Fulbright Awards. She is professor emeritus of drama and speech at Loyola University and a member of Louisiana Women in Film and Television. She founded the Southern Repertory Theatre.
PAN AM DOCUMENTARY: "Pan Am Flight 759," a documentary by filmmaker Royd Anderson, will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the East Bank Regional, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
The screening is part of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Jefferson Parish Historical Society. The filmmaker will be present.
Pan Am Flight 759 crashed less than one minute after it took off from New Orleans International Airport on July 9, 1982, killing all 146 people on board and eight people on the ground. The Boeing 727 jet plowed into south Kenner’s Morningside Park neighborhood. At the time, it was the nation’s second-deadliest crash.
CALLING ALL LORDS AND LADIES: A costuming workshop series focusing on knights, lords and ladies will begin from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at the Rosedale Library, 4036 Jefferson Highway.
The workshop will be led by Antoinette de Alteriis, costumer director for Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc and president of the Gulf Coast International Costumers Guild. Materials will be discussed and a supply list will be distributed. Patrons will be responsible for their own supplies. Participants should contact Antoinette de Alteriis to register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MASTER GARDENERS: Joe Willis, Ph.D., an LSU AgCenter Horticulture agent, will discuss Louisiana Super Plants at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
SCI FI AND FANTASY: The Old Metairie SciFi and Fantasy Discussion Group, which is meeting at the River Ridge Library during Old Metairie branch renovations, will discuss Piers Anthony’s "Blue Adept" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 28. The library is located at 8825 Jefferson Highway.
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Kenneth Jamison, building maintenance supervisor, has been selected as the Library Employee of the Year 2018-2019.
“Kenneth has assisted tremendously with the many renovations that the library has been involved in," said Library Director Marylyn Haddican. His expertise in roofing has helped the library save money, she said, and "he is the go-to person with his staff on Saturday, but it is his willingness to make the library facilities better and his support to others in that endeavor” that makes him stand out.
LAST CALL: The Jefferson Parish Library is participating in a local author contest that will accept submissions of adult and young adult fiction to be recognized as the top independently published eBooks in Louisiana. Submissions are accepted through May 31. Authors should submit their work at indieauthorproject.librariesshare.com/louisiana.