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‘Telling a People’s Story’ traveling exhibit comes to Highland’s Clarence Mitchell Library in observance of Black History Month

Highland Community College's campus is shown looking through the trees toward the Marvin Burt Liberal Arts Center

The Highland Community College Clarence Mitchell Library is hosting the traveling exhibition, “Telling a People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature” during the month of February for Black History Month. The library is located in the Marvin-Burt Liberal Arts Center, second floor, at Highland, 2998 W. Pearl City Rd., Freeport, Ill.

The exhibit opening reception will be from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The public is invited to the opening reception and to visit the exhibition during library hours in the month of February.

The traveling panel exhibition features 12 panels with 120 reproduced illustrations. The exhibit is organized by the Miami University Art Museum through a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.

The Exhibition will carry the full title of the Exhibition and the Credit Line: “Organized by the Miami University Art Museum through a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.”

African-American children’s illustrated literature is the focus of the exhibition, highlighting artwork produced for book designs. The presentation of this genre offers a lens into the cultural, historical, and social makeup of African-American cultural identity — while shedding light on the long-neglected world of African-American authors and illustrators in the pantheon of children’s literature.

Until the 1960s, and mostly the 1970s, African-American children rarely saw themselves depicted in children’s books from the perspective of African-American authors and illustrators. “Telling A People’s Story” celebrates the power of illustrated children’s books showcasing their history. Most of the books featured in the exhibit will be available for checkout to library cardholders.

The exhibit is free, and the library is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more from Reference Librarian Laura Watson at 815-599-3456 or