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Center for Black Literature & Culture

The Indianapolis Public Library's Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots. If you have visited the CBLC or attended a CBLC program, please take our survey!

Center for Black Literature & Culture
Center for Black Literature & Culture Logo

Located in the R.B. Annis West Reading Room at Central Library, the Center for Black Literature & Culture is home to a 10,000+ item collection of books, CDs, magazines, movies and research tools, all of which showcase black history and culture. This space is for ALL who are interested in exploring the rich heritage that has influenced nations across the globe. Visit us to browse our collections, join us for one of our signature programs, or explore our digital collections and website online. Tours are available by request.

The creation of the Center for Black Literature & Culture is made possible thanks to a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.


Programs

The CBLC regularly hosts authors, poets, and other programs throughout the year, and we hope you can join us! Recent favorites include workshops with poet and friend of the CBLC Adrian Matejka, African American Genealogy, Reparations 101, Readings of Frederick Douglass, and more. Check back here for updates or contact us if you have an idea for a CBLC program or partnership.


Featured Annual Events

Book Fest & Juneteenth Celebration
Book Fest is an annual event sponsored by the Library's African American History Committee in support of the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. In 2021, the event featured local author and anti-gun violence advocate Brandon Warren, poet and first Center for Black Literature & Culture Poet Laureate Januarie York, and local genealogist and author, Andrew Bowman. Learn about our 2022 event.

Center for Black Literature & Culture Annual Anniversary Celebration

Since its grand opening in 2017, the CBLC has hosted an annual anniversary celebration. In 2021, the Center's 4th anniversary, the CBLC unveiled an interactive website and digital kiosks available in the CBLC at Central Library. The event featured keynote speaker A'Lelia Bundles, CBLC poet laureate Januarie York, and other special guests. Join us in October, 2022 for our 5th Anniversary Celebration!


Resources

Center for Black Literature & Culture: The Power of Black Voices Website
This online collection includes artifacts, photographs, and articles in the categories: Black Literature, Indianapolis Black Heritage, Black Culture, Black Librarianship, and The African Diaspora. Browse the collection here.

The Center for Black Literature & Culture: The Power of Black Voices

Center for Black Literature & Culture e-Book & Audiobook Collection
You can download and stream e-books and audiobooks from the CBLC digital collection in OverDrive or in the Libby app with your Library card. Browse the collection here. If you have never borrowed from OverDrive before both app directions and browser directions are available as well as a video tutorial and Overdrive Support.

Murals for Justice Collection
In June 2020, local artists of color were commissioned to create murals from artwork originally created on the wood that was used to cover downtown Indianapolis windows amid that year's May protests of the police-involved killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Dreasjon Reed. The purpose of this commissioned work is to ensure this art was archived as a part of Indianapolis history. The Murals for Justice Collection is housed in the Center for Black Literature & Culture. Each mural is also available for checkout. Learn more here.

Need help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian.

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Nichelle Headshot With Border 250

Manager, Center for Black Literature & Culture

Hi, I'm Nichelle Hayes, Manger and Founding Leader of the Center for Black Literature & Culture. For questions or comments, please feel free to contact me!

Contact Nichelle