The Black History Committee of Friends of the Thomas Balch Library will hold its first open house this Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Thomas Balch Library, 208 W. Market Street in Leesburg. The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Essence of a People” event will explore the range of the African-American experience in Loudoun County.
Committee members will speak on those who made a difference in the black community; there will be a screening of the documentary, “Looking Back at Leesburg with Wilson Townsend Jr.;” a tour of African-American history resources at the Balch Library, and light refreshments.
Activities will open with viewings of various displays as well as conversations with committee members. At 11 a.m. there will be a presentation on African-American resources at the library, followed by a tour of the library. At 12:30 p.m., guest speaker Gertrude Evans will give a presentation on “Segregation & Civil rights in Leesburg – a Personal Story.” At 2:30 p.m., the documentary will be screened.
The committee was established in 2000, to preserve, collect and share the history of African-Americans who have contributed to the emergence and development of Loudoun County. Over the past 16 years, the committee has recorded oral histories and produced numerous publications, including: “A Glimpse into Loudoun County’s African American Histories,” a Virginia Standards of Learning teaching aide, and “African–American Historic Communities: A Tour Map and Guide,” that is used for the committee’s bus tour of prominent communities.
In conjunction with the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the BHC will continue to keep the community informed about the substantial history of Loudoun’s African-American residents and of resources on that history at Balch Library.
Reservations are requested to the BHC@BalchFriends.org as soon as possible.