Irene Smalls leading a music program for her book at the Main Library.
Irene Smalls (1950- ) is an award-winning children's author. Her book "Irene Jennie and the Christmas Masquerade" describes an old holiday custom celebrated along the Cape Fear. Slaves in Wilmington, NC and plantations would dress up in costumes around Christmas and New Year's to parade from house to house. Scholars believe this tradition came with the slaves from their West African roots. The "Jonkonnu" celebration continues in Bermuda, but died out in Wilmington after the Civil War. The tradition was picked up by white youngsters who dressed up for "Koonering" in Wilmington until around World War I.
African American women; African American Authors; Children's authors; Jonkonnu (Festival)
NCR Subject Files, "Authors A-Z"
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