Honoring Black History at the Dayton Metro Library

From a little-known story of African Americans who helped with Dayton flood relief in 1913, to vibrant performances by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the Dayton Metro Library is celebrating Black History Month in February and beyond. All programs and performances are free. 



Black History at the Dayton Metro Library:


Forgotten Heroes of the Flood

In March 1913, Dayton’s flood would forever change its landscape and its people. Did you know that African Americans played a major role in the cleanup and rescue efforts? Johnnie Freeman, author of The Forgotten: Hidden Heroes, shares the story of 500 African Americans who came to Dayton from Chicago in the relief effort. Adults

Friday, January, 24, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Huber Heights

Friday, February 7, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Trotwood

Saturday, February 29, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Vandalia

Wednesday, March 4, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Northwest

Sunday Movies @ Main: I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

Raoul Peck’s radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America uses James Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich, archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. Ultimately, it challenges the very definition of what America stands for. Adults

Sunday, February 2, 1:30 p.m. – Main Library, Eichelberger Forum

Early African Ohioans: Gist Settlers and Randolph Freedmen

Before the Great Migration North, before the Emancipation Proclamation, and before the Civil War, there were already established communities of African-Americans in Ohio.  Discover these vibrant communities from which some local residents are descended.

Monday, February 24, 6-8 p.m. – Main Library, Conference Rm 1B


DCDC’s Women Behind King

Many historical narratives minimize the contributions of women in the Civil Rights movement. In the spirit of inclusiveness, the acclaimed Dayton Contemporary Dance Company interprets the role of women in supporting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s enduring legacy.

Tuesday, February 4, 4:30-5:30 p.m. (This performance is for Teens, with a talkback session afterwards)

Tuesday, February 4, 7-7:45 p.m. (For adults and all ages)

Both performances in the Main Library, Bassani Theater

Dianne Coble and The Gospel Sounds

Celebrating Black History Month with the melodic voices of the Gospel Sounds.

Saturday, February 8, 1-2 p.m. – Madden Hills

The Way Home Through Textile Art And Design

Yetunde Rodriguez’s Nigerian heritage inspires her joyful fabrics and accessories. Her celebration of culture through pattern and color will inspire you! Adults

Saturday, February 8, 3-4 p.m. – Southeast

Tuesday, February 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Northwest

Monday, March 30, 7-8 p.m. – Trotwood

Harriet Tubman: Straight Up Outta The Underground

This one-woman interactive storytelling experience is presented by the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati for families and all ages. Harriet Tubman, the most recognized conductor of the Underground Railroad, gained her own freedom, then travelled back and forth from North to South over 19 times to free many more. Hear her story.

Saturday, February 29, 2-3 p.m. – Main Library, Eichelberger Forum


Dunbar High School Winter Art Show

Students showcase their creativity in Drawing & Painting, Art I, and Textiles, Fibers & Fashion, in an exhibit that celebrates the school’s namesake, Paul Laurence Dunbar, during Black History Month.(February in the Southeast Branch Opportunity Space)

Atlas of Dayton: A City In Progress

A travelling exhibit about equity, opportunity, and resource access throughout Dayton. Digital interactive maps provide transparency and explore issues around income inequality, racial segregation and access to resources. Presented in partnership with MVRPC and sponsored by the University of Dayton, College of Arts & Sciences. (February in the Main Library, Opportunity Space @Patterson)

Note: This exhibit will also be on display at the Southeast Branch Library in March, the Vandalia Branch in April, the Wilmington-Stroop Branch in May and the Northwest Branch in June.

For more information, visit DaytonMetroLibrary.org or call (937) 463-2665.

*FEATURED IMAGE: Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Harriet Tubman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *