Black History Month event to explore photographic history of Columbus’ Black population

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The King Arts Complex and the Columbus Metropolitan Library are teaming up to celebrate Black History Month with a unique virtual event happening Thursday from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

“It’s the photo archive from the old Call & Post newspaper, which was a black newspaper here in Columbus,” said Angela O’Neal, the manager of the Local History & Genealogy department at the Main Branch. A collection of photos discovered in the basement of the King Arts Complex.

“What’s super exciting about this is that for the years 1968-1972, we have no existing copies of the newspaper that we’ve been able to find,” O’Neal said.

So, library employees have been busy scanning and digitizing all of the photos from the rare collection.

“These photographs are the history of the African-American community here in Columbus for those years that we had long thought were gone,” O’Neal said.

They are asking for the community’s help.

“We have a lot of pictures, but there’s some that didn’t have anything on them to identify who these people are,” said Keisha Gibbs, CML African American Special Collection Supervisor. “And then we’re going to take a look at some of the pictures and see if we can identify some of the things going on in the pictures.”

“We don’t find those anywhere else; we don’t find that in the Dispatch, we don’t find it in other newspapers, but because the Call & Post was able to document that history, we now are able to share it,” O’Neal said.

“We’re noticing things that are happening right now, you’ll see people that are on strike, and they’re holding up signs,” Gibbs said.

Making the rare collection and educational tool.

“It’s just showing how important it is to record our history so that we can see how things can tend to repeat itself,” Gibbs added.

To take part in the virtual event, you’re asked to register here.

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