Black History Month, first proposed by black educators at Kent State University in 1969, is observed annually in the United States.

We are pleased to present a fascinating exhibit of portraits of historical figures in tribute to the important accomplishments and contributions by generations of African Americans.

Local artist Robert Vanitvelt has created these works of art using house paint on drop cloth. Well-known figures from the archives of black history are depicted in the striking paintings on display. Some of those included are Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Muhammad Ali, Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday, Prince, Emmett Till, Mamie Till, Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama.

The paintings may be viewed on our main level during regular library hours throughout the month of February.