The Dayton Metro Library will commemorate Black History Month with a series of history and arts productions geared to all ages.
The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the Children’s Theater of Cincinnati and a performance by the Gospel Sounds are among the celebrations taking place in February and extending into March.
All events are free.
Forgotten Heroes of the Flood
Friday, Feb. 7 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Trotwood branch, 651 E. Main St.
Friday, Feb. 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Vandalia branch, 330 S. Dixie Dr.
Friday, March 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Northwest branch, 333 W. National Rd.
In March 1913, Dayton faced a flood that would forever change its landscape and its people. Many may not know that African Americans played a major role in the cleanup and rescue efforts after the flood. Johnnie Freeman, author of "The Forgotten: Hidden Heroes" will share the story of the 500 African Americans from Chicago who came to Dayton as a relief effort and later made it home. This book will also discuss the atmosphere of Dayton in the early 1900s, and how the flood unified Dayton citizens.
Early African Ohioans: Gist Settlers and Randolph Freedman
Monday, Feb. 24 from 6 pm. – 8 p.m. at the Main Library, 215 E. Third St.
Before the Great Migration North, before the Emancipation Proclamation, and before the Civil War there were already established populations of African Ohioans. Find out more about these communities from which some local residents descend.
Harriet Tubman: Straight Up Outta’ the Underground
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. at Main Library, 215 E. Third St.
Bring the past to the present and change the future with this one-woman interactive storytelling experience presented by the Children's Theatre of Cincinnati. Uncover the truth about America’s 200-year-old struggle with slavery when you play a part in this historic retelling.
On this journey, you’ll follow Harriet Tubman, the most recognized conductor of the Underground Railroad. Nicknamed “Moses,” Harriet Tubman lived up to her name by gaining her own freedom, as well as traveling back and forth from North to South over 19 times and freeing over 300 slaves.
DCDC’s Women Behind King
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. at the Main Library, 215 E. Third St.
Many historical narratives minimize the contributions of women in the Civil Rights movement. In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.’s inclusiveness, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company interprets the role of women in support of Dr. King’s enduring legacy.
This performance is for audiences of all ages.
Diane Coble and the Gospel Sounds
Saturday, Feb. 8, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. at Madden Hills branch, 2542 Germantown St.
Celebrate Black History Month through music with Diane Coble and the Gospel Sounds.
The Way Home Through Textile Art and Design
Saturday, Feb. 8, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Southeast branch, 21 Watervliet Ave.
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. at the Northwest branch, 2410 Philadelphia Dr.
Monday, March 30, 7p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Trotwood branch, 651 E. Main St.
Yetunde Rodriguez’s Nigerian heritage inspires her joyful fabrics and accessories. Her work celebrates culture through pattern and color.
Dunbar High School Winter Art Show
February in the Southeast branch Opportunity Space, 21 Watervliet Ave.
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.
Atlas of Dayton: A City In Progress
February in the Main Library, Opportunity Space @Patterson, 215 E. Third St.
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.
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.