African American



See this exhibit in the African American Gallery through Labor Day Sept. 5. Visit Sundays 2-4 p.m. or other days by appointment.

Join us in the African American Gallery as we celebrate this journey through time and revisit some of the events and people who helped shape Booker Washington Community Center in Rockford, Illinois.

Dating back to 1916 Booker Washington Community Center originated as the "colored serviceman club." It was formed as a social and recreational haven for Black soldiers stationed at Camp Grant, IL. during WWI.

Today, Booker Washington Center has achieved its place in history as an important welfare unit for the city of Rockford. Over the years Booker Washington Center has provided supervised recreation, maintained a meeting place for clubs and organizations, and operated as an information bureau and resource center for the community and southwest Rockford.

This exhibit will examine how Booker Washington Community Center's presence helped shape the lives of the Rockford minority community. The exhibit will showcase the Center's former Executive Directors and will feature McKinley "Deacon" Davis and Oscar Blackwell. It will also spotlight some of the social clubs that have called Booker Washington Community Center home.

The Opening of the Exhibit takes place Sun. May 15 from 2-4 p.m. at the Ethnic Heritage Museum. The program will begin at 3 p.m.
Visitors may view this history in the African American Gallery Sundays from 2-4 p.m. through Labor Day when a new exhibit will open.
Admission is $3 students, $5 adult and $10 family or free to members. Call the museum at 815 962-7402 to schedule tours other days.
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