Findlay’s Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center is focusing on virtual education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the Black Heritage Library, at 817 Harmon St., Findlay, has not reopened to the public, Interim Director Jerome Gray said its message is getting across virtually and is open by appointment.
The next virtual event, “A Community Conversation – Diversity & Inclusion in our Schools,” takes place at 7pm on Thursday, August 6 via Facebook Live. Gray invites everyone to listen to the live Community Conversations broadcast, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month.
“This Thursday’s topic is diversity, inclusion and belonging in our schools,” Gray said. “We’ll discuss what inclusion means.”
The discussion will feature representatives from the Hancock County Educational Service Center, St. Michael’s Catholic School and Findlay City Schools. To watch, visit here. Programs are recorded for people who want to watch but miss the live version.
Gray said the Black Heritage Library also actively posts about current events on its Facebook page. “We make postings all week related to subjects,” Gray said. “Right now, Rep. John Lewis is the main topic. (Posts) document what he did as a young man.”
They are auto-timed for periodic release, he said, “so we always have something new” and focus on his activities such as the Freedom Ride, sit-ins at lunch counters and comic books.
On the Black Heritage Library’s website, Gray said the home page, www.blackheritagecenter.org, offers a video featuring a WBGU interview with founder Nina Parker in summer 2014. The 5-minute presentation provides an overall look at the Black Heritage Library’s purpose, mission and programming. He said the virtual tour on the website is undergoing an update to highlight photos of displays in place after it reopens.
Featured on tour currently are a variety of items found at the Black Heritage Library, such as a wide variety of books, children’s books about Black Americans and an array of artwork centered around Black history and other cultures such as Japan.
The overall focus of the Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center is to highlight Black history and a variety of other cultures and their connections to Findlay.
The Library has conducted many programs revolving around Black History Month in February, the Dr. Martin Luther King Program and Unity Walk, the Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom, Cinco de Mayo celebration, Native American pow-wow and a Kwanzaa celebration, according to its website. A multicultural summer camp and a Cultural Explosion event also are offered each year. Other past programs have included reenactments of Black Americans of achievement and the Underground Railroad.
The Black Heritage Library also boasts the Smithsonian’s Black Wings exhibit. It is the only library or museum in the world to be awarded the show, which features African American aviators ranging from early flight pioneers to the esteemed World War II Red Tails – Tuskegee Airmen and includes the world’s Space Shuttle program.
Other features showcase the works of local and widely known artists, changing exhibits, historical memorabilia and global art items and artifacts.
The Black Heritage Library and its founder are the recipients of more than 15 awards, including the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Arts Outreach and many local awards.
The Black Heritage Library offers a rental facility and educational multicultural treasure chests for schools and youth groups, church groups and other organizations. Personnel also reaches out to businesses, schools, colleges and the public to provide education. To make an appointment for a tour, call 419-788-6794.