Opening tomorrow: Center for Black Literature and Culture

On October 21 (that’s tomorrow!) from noon- 3pm, Indianapolis Public Library is celebrating the grand opening of the Center for Black Literature and Culture at Central Library, downtown. Created with a vision dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots, the CBLC features a special collection highlighting important figures in black history, especially those with Indiana ties.

We got a sneak peek into the space earlier this week and it is absolutely incredible! Large portraits of people like Julia M. Carson, Tamika Catchings, and Mari Evans line the walls along with classic images from Indiana Avenue featuring moments in Indiana history. Others like Maya Angelou and Amos Brown are prominently featured in bookshelves along with relevant subject matter.

Interactive displays include videos and audio cues providing a glimpse into the lives of black heroes from both the past and present who have and are transforming our world. A central kiosk designed to mimic the talking drum in West African culture will feature the newest materials as visitors enter the space. From there, they are guided with prompts to explore and navigate the collection at large.

The special collection featuring everything from biographies and urban fiction to civil rights and poetry, includes nearly 10,000 books and materials with the goal of reaching 40,000. The areas are arranged into categories based on their subject to encourage visitors to explore the following subject matters: African American Studies, Arts and Entertainment, What’s New, Home and Personal, and Children and Teens.

We are so excited to have this new space downtown and proud of the Indianapolis Public Library as they celebrate 100 years in the community! This space will also be used for programming and community events like talks, special exhibits, and more. The center will also include technology for presentations and private events.

People of all ages are invited to join in the celebration this Saturday and hear from nationally-recognized journalist and political commentator Roland Martin, who will provide keynote remarks at 12:30pm. More information can be found here.

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