• Need help with your reading or writing skills?

    Literacy VolunteersThe Atlantic City Free Public Library and Literacy Volunteers Association Cape-Atlantic are offering a basic adult literacy class for individuals who need help with their reading and writing skills. The class is for adults on a fifth grade reading level or lower. Click here to read more.
  • Summer Reading Program to begin June 23 with party

    SRP logoThe Atlantic City Free Public Library is throwing a party to kick off its Summer Reading Program for children and teens. The party will be held Tuesday, June 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. The party will include stories, games, refreshments and special guests. Click here to read more.
  • Atlantic City Historical Museum
    hosts crew from NJTV show

    Talking Miss AmericaAn NJTV show scheduled to debut this fall visited the Atlantic City Historical Museum on June 20 to film an episode focused on the city’s history. “Drive By History” show co-hosts Ken Magos and Cindy Perman interviewed Atlantic City Library and Atlantic City Historical Museum archivist Heather Perez about some of the moments, people and places that have helped define Atlantic City. Click here to read more.
  • New Adult Summer Reading Program debuts June 13

    Detective and Mystery logoThe Atlantic City Free Public Library will for the first time offer for a Summer Reading Program for adults 18 years of age and older beginning in June. The program theme will be “Unconventional Heroes: Detectives, Private Eyes, Bad Guys and More!” This program complements the library’s popular Summer Reading Program for children and teens. Click here to read more.
  • Walk-in Job Skills Lab held at library

    job skillsThe Atlantic City Free Public Library offers free weekly Walk-in Job Skills Labs to library members who need help with job-related tasks. We’ll provide refresher tips for your job search. Click here to read more.
  • Museum program on July 11
    celebrates 100 years of jitneys in A.C.

    Museum exteriorThe Atlantic City Historical Museum — presented by the Atlantic City Free Public Library — will continue its Second Saturday Speaker Series this summer. The museum is located at South New Jersey Avenue and Boardwalk at Garden Pier. "Jitneys: On the Move for 100 Years" will be discussed 2 p.m. Saturday, July 11. Jitneys originated in Atlantic City in 1915. Click here for more information.
  • Library starts local Hispanic history project

    Hispanic Heritage Month photoOn Cinco de Mayo – Tuesday, May 5 – the Atlantic City Free Public Library launched a project to collect the history of the Hispanic community in Atlantic City. Through this project, the library is looking to develop a collection of materials which future generations of students, writers and genealogists can use to script a community history. Click here to read more.
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Joanna LaSane

lasane crop

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

 

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