Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center817 Harmon St
Findlay, OH 45840-5523
419-423-4954 | www.blackheritagecenter.org
Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center
The Black History Library & Multicultural Center is a museum, lending library, and cultural center than promotes education and appreciation between people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
The Black History Library & Multicultural Center in Findlay, Ohio houses several collections of books, photos, and material culture narrating the history of ethnic minorities. Visitors can explore artwork from a broad sampling of locations and time periods in the main auditorium and browse or borrow from the library’s special collections.
The Black History Library & Multicultural Center was founded in 1982 to build intercultural awareness and appreciation. As the only organization in the area with a primary educational focus on diversity and inclusion, the BHL & MC works with businesses, schools, religious groups, and nonprofits to provide diversity and cultural competency training. The BHL & MC offers fun community-building events for adults, teens, and children, from movie nights and craft events to Indigenous dances and Kwanza celebrations, which are all open to the public.
The BHL & MC captures important moments in the Black history of Northwest Ohio. Leading up to the Civil War, Findlay was a stop on the Underground Railroad for escaped enslaved people with numerous safe houses where African Americans could shelter while they fled north to Canada. The BHL & MC periodically hosts historical interpreters re-enacting the treacherous flight through Ohio, and visitors can view art work related to the Underground Railroad.
Visitors to the BHL & MC can explore the history and traditions of various ethnic communities through the collections housed there. A notable collection at the BHL & MC is the Black Wings Exhibit, which documents the history of American Black aviators. Visitors can follow the journey of Black airmen as they won multiple awards for bravery in the 1930s and 40s, while facing discrimination at home and abroad. In 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which ended the official government policy of segregation in the military. This policy change was prompted in part by the extraordinary courage and skill demonstrated by escort bombers and the advocacy work of several African American pilots, like Bessie Coleman, William Powell, General Benjamin O. Davis Jr., and others. Photos and interpretive displays catalogue the bravery and persistence of these pilots.
Notes for Travelers
The Black History Library & Multicultural Center is located a 10-minute drive from downtown Findlay. Visitors can view the curated collections interspersed throughout the library at their own pace, and guided tours are available upon request. A dedicated children’s area features books, educational toys, and activities geared toward preschool through elementary-aged children. Patrons may sign up for a free account to borrow library materials concerning. The center frequently hosts special events for adults, children, and teens including an annual Juneteenth Celebration, a Multicultural Summer Camp, and the All-American Girl Celebration
Additional ResourcesGriffler, Keith P. Front Line of Freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio River Valley. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 2004.
Lee, Jonathan H. X. History of Asian-Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2015.
Hardesty, Von. Black Wings: Courageous Stories of African Americans in Aviation and Space History. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institute, 2008.