Black History Month Program

In celebration of February as Black History Month, on Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm, the Olean Public Library will feature local historian Diane J. Peterson from Jamestown, New York performing two skits from the perspectives of Sister Jones, an elderly African-American woman and Sissy, a slave girl on a Virginia Plantation.

Diane J. Peterson will be performing two skits:

“Sister Jones Lost Her Joy”: Told from the perspective of Sister Jones, an elderly woman who holds the respected position of Mother in her African-American Church. Not only has Sister Jones lost her joy in her spiritual life but her personal life as well.

“Sissy: A Slave Girl”: This skit will feature Sissy’s life on a Virginia Plantation, how she obtained her Freedom papers, followed the North Star and the Underground Railroad to freedom and settled in Jamestown, New York.

Mrs. Peterson has performed her skits and readings at many Martin Luther King programs and Black History Month programs. She is a member of Jamestown’s Underground Railroad Tableau Steering Committee and the Chairperson of the Cultural and Education Committee for Jamestown’s Juneteeth which is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

Mrs. Peterson held the position of Artistic Director from 2002 -2006 at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown. Her duties have included being the Costume Mistress for 39 shows. She also performed on stage in South Pacific, Damn Yankees, Wizard of Oz and several other musical.

Mrs. Peterson has presented Jamestown’s history to 4th and 5th grade students through the After School Program and the Fenton Museum’s Local Lore Program.

Mrs. Peterson is a widow, mother of four children and has 8 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter. She is a Member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Jamestown, and President of their Usher Board.

This event is free and open to the public. The Olean Public Library is located at 134 North Second Street, Olean, New York. For more information please call the Reference Desk at (716) 372-0200 or visit the website at