The New York State Library's seventh floor exhibit for February celebrated Black History Month with an exhibit focusing on some notable New Yorkers, featuring information by and/or about Kenneth B. Clark, Duke Ellington, and Sojourner Truth.
Dr. Kenneth B. Clark was elected to the Board of Regents by the NYS Legislature to serve a five-year term in 1966. In 1971, he was re-elected to serve a 15-year term. One of Regent Clark's responsibilities included the chairmanship of the Regents Committee on Cultural Education. In 1986, the auditorium in this building (the Cultural Education Center), was named "The Kenneth B. Clark Regents Auditorium." On October 21, 1987, the auditorium was dedicated "to honor all who have served on the Board of Regents – whose vision and leadership form the cornerstone of educational policy in New York State."
Items on display include:
Duke Ellington was born in Washington D.C. in 1899 and relocated to New York City in the early 1920s. It was in Harlem where he would become a legendary Jazz composer, pianist, jazz orchestra leader, and contributor to the Harlem Renaissance. The contents of this exhibit case are a celebration of his illustrious and immeasurable contributions to American music and culture.
Items in this case include book covers, quotations, and photographs contained within the following books:
Also included is a musical score for piano and voice with diagrams for ukulele titled Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time), and a reproduction of the original theatre program and concert ticket from a concert performed at the Lincoln Auditorium in Syracuse, N.Y. on November 30, 1946 by Duke Ellington and his orchestra, with Django Reinhardt.
Sojourner Truth was born in 1797 to enslaved people in Ulster County, NY. She was an evangelist and advocate for the abolitionist and women's rights movements. She lived in New York for much of her life, and since 1843, she presented lectures around the United States to support abolitionism. In the 1850s, she settled in Battle Creek, Michigan and continued her lifelong activism in the women's rights and suffrage movements.
The following items about Sojourner Truth are on display:
You can learn more about Kenneth B. Clark, Duke Ellington, and Sojourner Truth from the NYS Library's NOVELny resources such as Britannica.
Exhibit curated by Amy Peker, Matthew Laudicina and Cara Janowsky.