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Black History Month at the Ohio Statehouse Special Programming Throughout February

ohio statehouse columbusThe Ohio Statehouse will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with a special display, free historical performance each Thursday at noon and special tours of the George Washington Williams Room.

The 2013 Rosa Parks Children’s Art Exhibit will be on display in the Statehouse Map Room throughout February.  The exhibition will highlight colorful artwork created by elementary school students from Columbus.  The artwork represents each of the children’s answers to the simple question: “What would you do if you had a chance to do a brave thing … to do a kind thing?”  The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), The Ohio State University and the Ohio Historical Society.  The art display serves as a powerful form of expression based on this important event. The display is free and open to the public. 

Living history programs will be presented each Thursday at noon throughout February in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse. Visitors will meet first-person interpreters who portray prominent African Americans in U.S. history. Each 45-minute vignette will focus on African-American history as part of Black History Month at the Ohio Statehouse. Each performance is rich with history, drama and adventure.  The programs are presented by We’ve Known Rivers, which is a partnership of dynamic storytellers with a passion for history and education. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information about We’ve Known Rivers, visit www.facebook.com/weveknownrivers.

Scheduled living history performances include:

February 7:  “Beatrice Black:  Remembering Miss Rosa Parks,” presented by Annette Jefferson

Presented in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

February 14: “The Promised Land:  John Parker and the Underground Railroad,” presented by Anthony Gibbs

Presented in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

February 21:  “Bessie Stringfield:  Motorcycle Queen of Miami,” presented by Sandra Quick

Presented in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

February 28: “African American Women During the Civil War,” presented by Annette Jefferson

Presented in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

A special soul food menu will be offered in the Capitol Cafe each Thursday in February. The Capitol Cafe, operated by Milo’s Catering and Banquet Services, will offer a variety of reasonably priced soul food options each Thursday.

Tours will visit the George Washington Williams Memorial Room throughout February.  The George Washington Williams Memorial Room is a tribute to Ohio’s first African-American legislator.  George Washington Williams was the first African American elected to the Ohio General Assembly.  Williams was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican legislator from Hamilton County in 1879 at the age of 30.  Williams was a Civil War soldier, pastor, journalist, lawyer, politician, freewill ambassador, author and historian.  This room exhibits furnishings representing styles popular in the United States in the late 1800’s.  The furniture includes period antiques, reproduction pieces and art work that help visitors experience history.

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