khalil_gibran_muhammad_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the dynamic and charismatic director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, N.Y., will headline a local celebration of Harlem’s heyday.

Muhammad is the great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad who helped found the Nation of Islam, and son of Ozier Muhammad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for The New York Times.

He will speak on “The Harlem Renaissance,” a subject that ties into the year-long theme of a gallery exhibit being hosted by the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) in Fort Lauderdale later this month.

The Schomburg Center helped inspire the creation of the AARLCC, which is part of the Broward County Libraries Division.

The Chicago native was named director of the Schomberg Center in fall 2010, an appointment that paid tribute to his high level of scholarship, passion for African-American history and culture and his energy and charisma.

As an author and a scholar, he is committed to being a voice of African Americans, especially regarding their role in history. His research interests include the racial politics of criminal law, policing, juvenile delinquency and punishment.

Muhammad majored in economics at the University of Pennsylvania and earned a doctorate in American history from Rutgers.

His visit is one of the highlights of a yearlong celebration for AARLCC’s upcoming 10th year anniversary.

The local center is paying a historic tribute to Fort Lauderdale by re-creating inside the museum gallery an iconic stretch of road that was the commerce hub of the community – Northwest Fifth Avenue – in the late 1940’s.

In other news from the AARLCC, Meredith McCleary, a travel consultant and educator with a focus on Africa, will host a seminar titled “African Heritage: Travels to Africa in 2012.”

An AARLCC announcement said the seminar will take attendees on “a picturesque journey through African lands,” including a discussion on traveling through them.

Meredith McCleary on traveling through Africa

at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 23

WHAT: Lecture by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

When: 6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 25

Where: African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

CONTACT: For more information, call 954-357-2810.

Photo: Khalil Gibran Muhammad