Telling A People's Story:
African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature

At Your Delaware Library January 3 – February 28

Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature panel exhibition showcases 130 pieces of art from 33 artists and 95 books, and spans 50 years of creativity. The featured artists include Caldecott medalists and honorees like John Steptoe, Ashley Bryan, E.B. Lewis, Leo and Diane Dillon, R. Gregory Christie, and Jerry Pinkney.

The panel exhibition is free to enjoy from January 3-31 in the Delaware Main Library, and from February 1-28 at our Orange Branch Library.

Telling A People's Story Panel

Organized by the Miami University Art Museum through a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, for the first time, African-American children’s illustrated literature is the focus of a museum exhibition. This presentation of this genre offers a lens into the cultural, historical, and social makeup of African-American cultural identity, while also shedding light on the long-neglected world of African-American authors and illustrators in the pantheon of children’s literature.

Telling A People’s Story addresses:

  • The presentation of African-American identity and history in a creative, educational and respectful manner.
  • The raising of greater awareness for the role African-American illustrators and authors play in the development and growth of the field of children’s literature.
  • The topic of social justice throughout African-American history.
  • The need for awareness of the challenges African-American children’s book authors and illustrators face in a field lacking sufficient representation of minorities.
  • The importance of appreciating the culture and history of a people who are deeply rooted in the American story.

Through the panels of the exhibition, you’ll follow the history of a people from African origins to slavery and segregation through the Harlem Renaissance, Great Migration, Civil Rights Era and to modern times.

Telling A People’s Story uses paintings, pastels, drawings and mixed-media illustrations to celebrate the complex and diverse African-American experience through a lens intended for children and younger readers.

Special thanks to our Community Partners:

Friends of the Delaware County District Library logoDelaware African American Heritage Council The Arts Castle: Delaware County Cultural Arts Center

Celebrate Diversity!

Delaware Library

Meet Dr. King

Monday, January 17 @ 2 or 6:30 PM

Performed by Bright Star Touring Theater, this performance is an introduction to an American hero and will inspire young audiences to use peace, leadership, and conflict resolution in their own schools and communities.

Meet Dr. King is perfect for audiences Pre-K and higher, serving to introduce students to major concepts of Black History like freedom, integration, and equality. Meet Dr. King helps young people begin to understand the importance of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Follow along as the play takes us from Dr. King’s life as just a young boy experiencing racism for the first time, to meeting his wife, Coretta, to becoming a pastor and finally a national inspiration.

Masks will be required for all patrons who participate in an indoor library program.

Meet Dr. King will be performed at Orange Branch Library on Monday, January 17 at 2 pm, and again at the Delaware Library on Monday, January 17 at 6:30 pm.

Delaware Library

Virtual Book Club

Wednesday, February 9, or Thursday, February 10

In recognition of Black History Month, “The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead is February’s featured book selection.

Awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, this novel chronicles a little-acknowledged strand of American history. “The Nickel Boys” is based on the true story of The Dozier School for Boys, a now-closed juvenile reform school that operated in Florida for 111 years; its secret-filled history was exposed by a university’s investigation. “The Nickel Boys” follows Elwood Curtis, a young African-American, whose dreams of attending college are dashed when he’s sentenced to do time at the Nickel Academy during the 1960s.

Join us for Virtual Book Club on Wednesday, February 9 at 1 pm or Thursday, February 10 at 6 pm. Copies of the book – including large print and audio formats – are available. Please register online in advance; prior to the virtual meeting, you’ll receive an email with details explaining how-to join the Zoom discussion.

Delaware Library

Featured Illustrator - R. Gregory Christie

Friday, February 11 and Saturday, February 12

Friday: Paint with acclaimed children’s book illustrator R. Gregory Christie in this special after-hours event at the Orange Branch Library. Pre-registration is required for all attendees; registration will open soon!

Saturday: Families will draw together to create a storybook and learn bookbinding techniques with artist R. Gregory Christie. Pre-registration is required for all attendees; watch this page for updates on times.

Saturday: Throughout the day, featured illustrator R. Gregory Christie will provide guided tours of the Telling A People’s Story exhibit panels.

Delaware Library

African Folktales

Monday, February 21 @ 11 AM

This performance by Bright Star Touring Theatre celebrates world cultures, literature, and the art of interactive African storytelling. It’s great for grades Pre-K through 5th!

Join Akili as she shares these exciting tales that were traditionally passed down by word of mouth. With imaginative costumes and lots of audience participation, this production also includes valuable character-education themes.

Masks will be required for all patrons who participate in an indoor library program.

Delaware Library

Around the World in Books & Bites

Monday, February 28 @ 1 PM

Explore the world through stories set in various parts of the world while also sampling the ethnic cuisine of the book’s setting. Enjoy a diversity of cultures and cuisines as we read our way around the world. In February we will be reading Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson.

In observance of Black History Month, we will read this multigenerational story that explores the themes of family, relationships, motherhood, feminism, and race. “Good things come in small packages,” and RED AT THE BONE proves it. Author Jacqueline Woodson packs a lot in this multi-generational family drama. Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson’s taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.

Women’s Prize for Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2020), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2019), Reading Women Award Nominee for Fiction (2019).

Copies will be available on display at the Orange Branch Library.

The Delaware County District Library serves as the public information provider for our community, using traditional and innovative technology to encourage curiosity, free inquiry, and lifelong learning in a friendly environment.