Black History Month at YDL

Monday, February 1, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     
January 5, 2016                                                                                       

Gillian Ream Gainsley


Celebrate Black History Month in Ypsilanti

The Ypsilanti District Library is a year-round resource for our area's history--much of which is African American history--but this month YDL will host several special events in honor of  Black History Month. These events will educate patrons of all ages about our region’s past and celebrate the contributions of African Americans to our culture and history.

Freedom, Slavery & Roots American Music (Adult/Teen)

YDL-Michigan, 229 W. Michigan Ave.
Monday, Feb. 1, 6:30pm

Musician Ray Kamalay puts African American and American music in the perspective of world history. With both story and song, Ray traces the development of slavery from ancient Rome to its links with American society.


Pioneers in Transportation (Youth/Teen)

YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2pm

Learn about important innovations by black inventors Granville T. Woods and Elijah McCoy that paved the way for mass transportation systems in the United States. Dressed as a 19th century inventor, David Head will charm you into the world of Granville T. Woods, who overcame obstacles of racism and lack of formal education to pursue multiple patents and start his own business. Mr. Head's exhibit and presentation is regularly featured at the Charles H. Wright Museum.


Urban Renewal on Ypsilanti's South Side (Adult)

YDL-Michigan, 229 W. Michigan Ave.
Monday, Feb. 29, 6:30pm

Historian Lee Azus shows images and retraces the controversial history of the Urban Renewal program in Ypsilanti’s Southside. Harriet Street once a center of African American life in Ypsilanti, bustling with grocery stores, a taxi stand, dress shops, barbers and beauty salons, restaurants, bars and pool halls. In 1961 the City undertook a controversial redevelopment plan that displaced 190 families and destroying 173 structures in the area, forever changing the face of the city. Join us as we discuss the meaning of “blight” and how urban policies continue to shape our lives.

For a full schedule of events at the Ypsilanti District Library, visit

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As a community resource, the Ypsilanti District Library's mission is to enrich life, stimulate intellectual curiosity, foster literacy, and encourage an informed citizenry.

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