On View: Telling the Story- Enslavement of African People in the United States

The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s downtown Central Library at 1 Lafayette Square will showcase various items from its History of Slavery collection in a new exhibit entitled Telling the Story: Enslavement of African People in the United States.  This free exhibit, housed in the Library’s main floor Rare Book Room and Ring of Knowledge, will be on view during all Library operating hours, as of Saturday, May 4, for approximately one year.

Included in the exhibit:

•An historical overview of enslavement in the United States from 1619 to Emancipation;

•Original documents including a bill of sale for an enslaved person, auction advertisements, a freed man’s certificate, anti-slavery sermons, debates and court cases;

•First-person narratives by Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northup, Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, and William Wells Brown, and

•Creative works on the subject of enslavement including poetry, music and the first edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Additional display material highlighting local stories of individuals and their efforts to assist freedom seekers via the Underground Railroad will be installed in the Library’s main floor Ring of Knowledge. Supplemental material regarding these displays and the Library’s collection will also be available through the Library website, www.BuffaloLib.org.

A committee of local historians, educators and community leaders provided the Library constructive input for the creation of this exhibit.  A series of programs with related content will take place at the Central Library during the display year.

Telling the Story: Enslavement of African People in the United States is made possible by generous support from the Raymond M. Melancon Annuity Fund, the Julian R. & Varue W. Oishei Foundation, Rand Capital Corporation, Mr. Patrick Martin, Esq., The Challenger, Buffalo Criterion, Greyline Outdoor Advertising, WBLK Radio and WUFO Radio.

For more information on this free public exhibit and related programs and tours, visit www.BuffaloLib.org or call 716-858-8900.