• Donate Food for Fines during National Library Week

    Eddie MorganThe Atlantic City Free Public Library is celebrating National Library Week (April 13-19) in a big way this year.
    The library is inviting the public to attend the grand opening for its new teen Makerspace – “Make AC: Dream It, Design It, Do It” – at 2 p.m. Monday, April 14. Click here to read more.
  • Dr. Pitney markerGuide to Atlantic City Historical Markers available online

    The City of Atlantic City and Atlantic City Free Public Library are pleased to announce the availability of a new digital historical resource featuring the commemorative markers located throughout Atlantic City. These markers share the history of Atlantic City and the stories of many Atlantic City residents. Click here to view this great resource.
  • Smithsonian, A.C. sports exhibits on display through May 4

    Hometown  Teams Title cmyk LargeThe Atlantic City Free Public Library is helping to bring an exciting exhibit created by the Smithsonian Institution to the city for a six-week stay. The library is one of six organizations in New Jersey selected to host “Hometown Teams” – a traveling exhibition that celebrates American sports and sportsmanship. Hometown Teams and "The Atlantic City Experience: Devotion and Determination" will be on display at the Noyes Art Garage Stockton College from March 22 to May 4. Click here to read more.

  • Library awarded funds to develop teen Makerspace

    MAKE AC logo resized smallTeenagers who love to make things – whether it’s their own clothes, music, movies, video games or inventions – will have the opportunity to do so at the Atlantic City Free Public Library beginning this spring. Atlantic City teens will be invited to “Make AC: Dream It, Design It, Do It” in the library’s Makerspace, which is slated to open in April 2014. Click here to continue reading.
  • Early closing at 3PM on April 17th

    Both branches of the Atlantic City Free Public Library will be closing early at 3PM on April 17 due to scheduled library maintenance. As part of this maintenance many our online services may be unavailable for a period of several hours beginning at 3PM including our: online catalog, databases, and ebooks lending websites. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause the public. We will reopen at our regular scheduled time the following Saturday after Good Friday at 9:30AM.

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Joanna LaSane

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Marker is located on the southwest corner of Hummock Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Marker text:

1935-
An Atlantic City native, LaSane devoted her life to the Arts and was the first African-American Woman appointed to the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. She served as Director of the Atlantic City Children's Theatre and Drama Consultant for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Complex, the Center for Early Childhood Education and the Atlantic City Board of Education. Beginning a career as a high fashion model, Joanna was the first Atlantic County female to model internationally. She appeared in Vogue, Redbook, Look, Life, Ebony and Glamour, and was the first black model to do a prime time commercial seen coast to coast. Mrs. LaSane served on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Atlantic City Arts Commission. She received numerous awards such as being listed in the Who's Who Among Black Americans, the N.J. State Senate Cultural Arts Award and was inducted into the Atlantic County Women's Hall of Fame in 1996.

 

Additional information:

Joanna LaSane's performing and modeling career has brought her international acclaim, but not always without resistance. LaSane's mother was a graduate of Madame Sarah Spencer Washington's Apex Beauty School, an institution which promoted an increasingly-dated concept of African-American beauty which included many products to straighten and take out the natural crimping of black hair. Joanna, conversely, preferred to keep her hair looking natural. Her mother asserted that this would be a detriment to her career, but, as advertising agencies began to portray African-Americans in a truer and less stereotypical sense, Joanna's look was exactly what they wanted. Joanna's appearance in a Pepsi advertisement launched her modeling career, but the original passion which she later returned to as a theatre director was dance. LaSane attended the American School of Ballet in New York, and the International School of Dance at Carnegie Hall. She also received training from Lloyd Richards, the Dean of Yale University's School of Drama. LaSane has called dancing "The ultimate in physical fitness," and has stated that "the most important part of education is to tie everything in with the arts." Joanna is married to Karlos LaSane, the first black man to be elected to a public office in Atlantic City.

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
Johnson, Nelson: The Northside
Atlantic City Press, article from May 9, 1989
"Black History Month 2008: A Title of Respect" Heston Coll. 305.874985

 

experience logo no background Click above to visit the Atlantic City Experience site. Visit the Atlantic City Historical Museum and see the best historical and cultural resources of Atlantic City.

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