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February, 14, 2013

Cleveland Public Library hosts MLK event

Cleveland Press Collection/Cleveland Memory Project collaborates with CPL by donating archive photos.

By Daniel Herda

On Saturday, Feb. 9, The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Cleveland Public Library hosted an event honoring Black History Month by displaying photographs and portraits of African-American leaders, history and culture.

The library collaborated with the Cleveland Memory Project/Cleveland Press Collection at Cleveland State in organizing the event and donating the archive photos.
The black and white photographs ranged from Dr. King speaking to a crowd of lively followers, former Cleveland Mayor Stokes sitting behind his desk and other leaders and activists who helped pave the way for equality during the Civil Rights Movement.
Blue King

Artistic paintings of African-American culture were mixed with the archive photos, with patrons able to purchase the paintings.

An acrylic painting of Dr. King titled “Blue King” by artist Ricardo Jackson attracted a lot of attention from the patrons browsing the exhibit.

Dr. Regennia Williams, associate professor of History and Cleveland State Alumni, was the key speaker of the event. Williams spoke to a crowded room about her life experiences, published works and historical research in relation to black history.

“Any man or woman can be their own historian,” Williams said.

The centerpiece of her presentation revolved around her late father Nathaniel Williams, and how he helped desegregate the U.S. Military in 1951.

Prester Pickett, coordinator of the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center, set up the event and spoke about the intentions of the AACC.

“One of our goals is to connect, correspond and communicate with other groups and to walk with our alumnus by having a conversation in engaged learning,” Pickett said.

Patrons stayed after the presentation and discussed the photos, reacted to the artworks and conversed with each other on the importance of Black History Month.