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Meet the Artist:

Art with Jamaal Durr

Thursday, February 2, 3 - 4pm

Northwest Branch Library
For Grades 1 - 4

Local artist Jamaal Durr will talk about how Black culture has influenced his own art and give a brief demonstration. This program will be limited to 10 kids. Registration is required.

Social Justice Speaker:

Dr. Gene Andrew Jarrett

Thursday, February 2, 6 - 7:30pm

Main Library, Eichelberger Forum
For Adults and Families

Dr. Gene Andrew Jarrett, author of The Life and Times of a Caged Bird, will tell the fascinating story of how Dunbar, born during Reconstruction to formerly enslaved parents, excelled against all odds to become an accomplished and versatile artist. Dr. Jarrett is Dean of the Faculty and William S. Tod Professor of English at Princeton University.

He has also authored Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature and Deans and Truants: Race and Realism in African American Literature. He is also the co-editor of The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar and The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Visit Dr. Jarrett's website or @GeneJarrett on Twitter for more information and updates. This program is in partnership with the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical park and is sponsored by Friends of the Dayton Metro Library.

Black Owned Business Workshop: EXP•IT

Thursday, February 9, 4:45 - 6pm

Main Library, Conference Room 3A
For grades 7 - 12

Learn tips and resources with the creator and founder of EXP•IT clothing line, Jemichael Blanton. EXP•IT provides a unique custom style of athletic clothing not for just athletes but everyone. The brand is centered on encouraging everyone to be themselves and to understand how/why your unique difference is needed in the world.

Redlining: Mapping Racism

Thursday, February 9, 7 - 8pm

Vandalia Branch Library
For Adutls

Mapping Equity in Dayton, a traveling exhibit developed by a team at Sinclair, uses maps along with current and historical data to show how communities today are still affected by redlining, a 1930s U.S. government practice that ranked neighborhoods and then used color-coded maps to decide who could receive subsidized housing loans and other resources.

Join Professor Myla Cardona-Jones of Sinclair College to find out how this government-sponsored policy was responsible for large scale disinvestment in black and brown communities and how redlining's legacy is still felt today.

About the presenter: Myla Cardona-Jones, J.D. is Assistant Professor and Project Coordinator in the Law and Public Safety Department at Sinclair College. She presents both locally and nationally on topics of race, bias, equity, ethics, and understanding your rights, and is currently teaching a free course open to the community entitled "Race and the Law."

Black Art:

The Harlem Renaissance to the Present

Saturday, February 18, 3 - 5pm

West Branch Library

Presenter Karen D. Brame of DML’s Special Collections invites guests on a visual journey of various periods, themes, and pieces of art created by Black artists in the United States, spanning from the early 20th century to contemporary times.


The Lyve.Lyrics Main Event

Saturday, February 23, 6 - 8pm

Main Library, Eichelberger Forum
For Families, Adults, and Teens

This program will celebrate and uplift the five pillars of hip hop: MC’ing, DJ’ing, Breakdancing, Graffiti, and Knowledge. It will feature live DJs mixing the jams and keeping vibes high, local talents showcasing their skills with musical performances, and more!

50 Years of Hip Hop:

A Visual Timeline of Hip Hop History

On Display: February 23 - March 31

Main Library, Opportunity Space @ Patterson
For Families, Adults, Teens, and Tweens

This program will celebrate and uplift the five pillars of hip hop: MC’ing, DJ’ing, Breakdancing, Graffiti, and Knowledge. It will feature live DJs mixing the jams and keeping vibes high, local talents showcasing their skills with musical performances, and more! This exhibit is sponsored by Friends of the Dayton Metro Library

50 Years of Hip Hop:

Graffiti Workshop

Thursday, February 23, 1 - 2:30pm

Main Library, Opportunity Space @ Patterson
For Families, Adults, Teens, and Tweens

Receive direct exposure to Graffiti, an aspect of art that is heavily utilized in the realm of Hip Hop.

Uplifting Our Roots Pop Up Shop

Saturday, February 28, 6 - 7pm

Main Library, Eichelberger Forum
For Families, Adults, Teens, and Tweens

Explore our community’s African American entrepreneurs: see what services they offer and learn how they began their businesses.

Muse Machine presents:

DCDC - The Skin I'm In...

Saturday, February 25, 1 - 4pm

West Branch Library
For Families

Using expressive dance accompanied by music, singing, spoken word, and student engagement, The Skin I'm In... explores the importance of self-awareness, respect for individualism, and the understanding that all voices matter. DCDC dancers will present an original program that considers how our individual identities affect change throughout culture and society.


Adult Fiction and Nonfiction Reading

Reading Recommendations for Teens

Reading Recommendations for Kids

African-American Databases

Researching Black Culture and History with Your Library Card

Dayton Metro Library is pleased to provide specialized research databases on many topics. The databases below focus on historical records devoted to Black Culture and History. You can find even more tools specividally for genealogical research here, these tools inlcude the resoruces below, plus, FOLD3, Dayton Daily News Archives, and local obiturary databases. You can explore them all here.

Need specialized attentention? We're here to help! You can reach out directly to our Local History Staff in the Dayton Room or attend a program or class.

A comprehensive mix of resources, records, and tools devoted to African American family history research. Includes a connection to expert research assistance.
Covers more than 500 years of African-American history and culture with images, videos, timelines, biographies, maps and more.
Uniquely put together for Dayton Metro Library, our patrons, and area communities, this database offers approximately 32 different collections that cover a variety of sub-topics relating to African American history.
Free and open source - no library card required! Find historical newspaper articles, pamphlets, diaries, correspondence and more from specific time periods in U.S. history marked by the opposition African Americans have faced on the road to freedom. This resource supports students from middle school through college, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the ongoing Black Freedom Struggle.
Trace the global history of slavery between the 17th and 19th centuries with over five million pages of material that document the history of slave trade.
Free to belong.
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