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February 18, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Nicholas A. Brown

(301) 699-3500, ext. 6241

nicholas.brown@pgcmls.info

Library Celebrates Black History and Culture with Two New Exhibits

Largo, Md. – This Black History Month, the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) opens two new exhibits that offer Prince Georgians an opportunity to engage with Black history and culture through the spring and summer. The Library celebrates and honors Black and intersectional cultural identities year-round with programs, curated collections, and educational resources. Expanding these efforts to include history and art exhibitions advances the implementation of the PGCMLS Strategic Framework 2021-2024, which focuses the Library’s work to support inclusion, literacy and learning, and creativity. The two exhibits opening this February are “In Freedom’s Name” and “Black and Proud+.”

“In Freedom’s Name”

“In Freedom’s Name” is a touring exhibit that celebrates the military service and sacrifice of Black Marylanders throughout U.S. history. The exhibit opens at the Laurel Branch Library on Tuesday, February 22 at 12 pm and will tour four other branch libraries through July. Developed by the Maryland Military Historical Society, in partnership with Stevenson’ University's Department of Public History & Humanities, the exhibition at PGCMLS is sponsored by Warren Builds and County Council Member-at-Large Mel Franklin. The exhibit features 38 panels that include 63 major stories and 245 photographs and images. It explores the stories of Marylanders and Prince Georgians whose courage and service are an inspiration for young people and adults alike. “In Freedom’s Name” was previously displayed at Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture, and public libraries in Anne Arundel, Frederick, and Howard counties. 

PGCMLS Tour Schedule for “In Freedom’s Name”

Laurel Branch Library February 22-March 22, 2022

New Carrollton Branch Library March 24-April 26, 2022

South Bowie Branch Library April 28-May 24, 2022

Spauldings Branch Library May 26-June 28, 2022

Oxon Hill Branch Library Thursday, June 30-Tuesday, July 26, 2022

“Black and Proud+”

“Black and Proud+” is a community art exhibit curated by the PGCMLS Black History and Culture Team and LGBTQ+ Team. Opening at the Oxon Hill Branch Library on Monday, February 28 at 10 am, it features work by Black and LGBTQ+ artists who call Prince George’s County and the metropolitan Washington, DC area home. Works range from poetry to portraits that celebrate the strength and courage of Black Americans. The exhibit will be on display at Oxon Hill through March 2022. Featured artists include: Ny’Lah Green (Student, Suitland High School), Live’N’Tune (Artist, Upper Marlboro), MotherPat (Artist, Cheverly), Shaymar Higgs (Artist, Upper Marlboro), Leigh Marget (Artist and Former PGCPS Educator, Laurel), Jasmine Lee (Student, Suitland High School), and Rae Akino (Artist, Prince George’s County Native).

Exhibit Hours

PGCMLS branch libraries are open Monday 10 am-6 pm, Tuesday-Wednesday 12-8 pm, Thursday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday (select branches) 1-5 pm. Hours and locations. Both exhibits are open and viewable during branch hours. No registration required. Contact Ask a Librarian at (240) 455-5451 or askalibrarian@pgcmls.info with questions.

“I am grateful to Council Member Mel Franklin, Warren Builds, and PGCMLS staff for sharing these two important exhibits with the community,” said PGCMLS CEO Roberta Phillips. “Visual expressions of history and creativity inspire discovery and curiosity that can be advanced using the Library’s collections.”

Visit the Sojourner Truth Room

The Library invites visitors to the “Black and Proud+” exhibit to also visit the Sojourner Truth Room at the Oxon Hill Branch Library. The branch was built on the site of the Sojourner Truth Elementary School in 1967, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. In response to the Civil Rights era's growing request for African American research materials, the Oxon Hill Branch Library's special collection located in the Sojourner Truth Room was created. Named for Sojourner Truth, the collection continues to honor one of this country's truly remarkable women and has become an outstanding regional resource. This comprehensive collection of reference materials on African American history and culture includes over 18,000 cataloged items (many are rare or out-of-print), periodicals, sheet music by African American composers, photographs, and posters. The pamphlet file contains pamphlets, clippings, and other reference sources. Explore the collection at pgcmls.info/sojourner-truth-room.

Graphics Package

About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 967,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve booklovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. PGCMLS is the recipient of the 2021 Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator Award for Workforce and Economic Development. Learn more at pgcmls.info/about-us.