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Telling A People's Story: African-American Children's Illustrated Literature Exhibit

Galesburg Public Library will host the traveling panel exhibit Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature. The installation is the first major museum exhibition of its kind, featuring more than 130 pieces of art produced for book illustrations by over 30 artists.

The 12-panel exhibition takes visitors through a chronological journey of Black history, displaying illustrations from over 90 children’s books that are centered on everything from slavery to the Civil Rights era to modern life. Featured artists include Caldecott medalists and honorees like John Steptoe, Leo and Diane Dillon, Javaka Steptoe, Jerry Pinkney and Kadir Nelson.

The Miami University Art Museum curated the original exhibit in 2018. Thanks to a generous grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation in Cleveland, OH, the Miami University Art Museum offers this traveling version to share with schools, public libraries and other educational institutions.

Telling A People’s Story is on display in the library’s Eila Hiler Room from September 1 through 30, and is open to the public Monday-Thursday from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Visitors of all ages are invited to explore the exhibit. Copies of many of the books featured in the exhibit will be available for checkout and onsite reading, and visitors will have the opportunity to participate in interactive activities related to the exhibit’s content. For more information, please contact Melinda Jones-Rhoades at (309) 343-6118 or email

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