7 experiences to learn more about black history in the region

Looking for a way to celebrate the region’s history during Black History Month? 

Whether you have an entire day or only a few hours, here are some events and sites to explore:
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1. The Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site, Dayton 

A portrait of Paul Laurence Dunbar painted in 1904 hangs over a mantle in the Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton.

Dunbar, one of the first nationally known African-American writers, purchased the two-story brick house at 219 N. Summit St. in Dayton in 1904 for his mother, Matilda. He spent the last years of life in the house under her care. 

» RELATED: Just as he left it, Dunbar house a frozen view of poet’s treasures

In 1936, the home became the first state memorial to honor an African-American. Visitors can tour the house, much of it exactly the way it was left after the poet died. 

Location: 219 Paul Laurence Dunbar St. in Dayton 

Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

2. Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Wilberforce 

Col. Charles Young and his family moved into this home in Wilberforce. Col. Charles Young was the third African American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Photo: Lisa Powell

Visit Youngsholm, the home of Charles Young who was the third African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He went on to achieve the rank of colonel and serve as a military attache despite being born into slavery in 1864. 

» RELATED: Col. Charles Young, military luminary

Location: 1120 U.S. Route 42 East, Wilberforce 

Hours: Currently tours are available by appointment only. 

Call (937) 352-6757 for visitor information.

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3. The Gammon House, Springfield 

The Gammon House, in Springfield, is part of the network of secret routes that made up the underground railroad.
Photo: Bill Lackey

Visit the Gammon House, part of the network of secret routes that made up the underground railroad. The site was built in the 1850s and originally owned by a black abolitionist. It is one of only three existing “stops” in Ohio owned by a free person of color. 

» RELATED: Hidden history resides in Springfield’s Gammon House

The home is known for secret passages and a basement tunnel. 

Location: 620 Piqua Place, Springfield 

Tours are by appointment or can be made by calling (937) 244-2754.

While in Springfield, visit the statue of Davey Moore, a Springfield featherweight world champion boxer who died after a match at Dodger Stadium in 1963. The statue is located on Limestone Street south of downtown.

4. National Afro American Museum & Cultural Center, Wilberforce 

The National Afro American Museum & Cultural Center, is located in Wilberforce.

Share African-American history, art and culture at the museum which features regularly changing exhibits and special programs. 

The museum is the permanent home of one of the nation’s largest collections of Afro-American materials, with over 9,000 artifacts and artwork, 350 manuscript collections, and thousands of photographs.

Location: 1350 Brush Row Rd., Wilberforce 

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Admission: Adults, $6; Seniors, $5; Youth, $3 and children 5 and younger are free  

RELATED: Treasures from the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center

5. Visual Voices 2018: The Preacher, The Poet, The Vision

"The Father," a piece created by contemporary doll maker Frances Turner, was one of the art pieces on display in the 2016 Visual Voices Art Exhibit at the Schuster Center in Dayton.
Photo: Lisa Powell

Stroll through the Schuster Center for the 11th year of an art exhibit by local African-American artists. This year’s exhibit celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King through the literary voice of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. 

EbonNia Gallery curator Willis “Bing” Davis, the Victoria Theatre Association and the Shango Center for African-American Art and Culture combine for this display.

Location: Schuster Center, 1 W. Second Street, Dayton

Hours:  The exhibit will be on view beginning Feb. 2 and run through March 31.  An artist reception will be held Feb. 11 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Admission: Free 

6. Clark State celebrates Black History Month, Springfield 

The Central State Choir will perform at Clark State Community College during Black History Month.
Photo: Lisa Powell

Clark State Community College will commemorate the month with numerous events for students and the community. 

Amonth them, the Central State University choir will perform Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. at the performing arts center. 

Tickets are free but must be reserved in person or by phone at the Clark State Performing Arts Center Box Office.

» RELATED: Central State University Chorus returning for Black History Month

The second annual Black History Month celebration dinner with Mercy Health-Springfield will be held at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts & Conference Center on Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance by contacting Tracy Yates at (937) 328-7975 or yatest@clarkstate.edu.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati 

A slave pen has been reconstructed at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

The museum, which opened in 2004, is dedicated to sharing the history of the Underground Railroad and exploring the continuing struggle for freedom around the world. 

A two-story log slave pen in among the important artifacts on display. The slave pen, built in the early 1800s, was moved from Kentucky and reconstructed inside the museum. 

Location: 50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Admission: Adults, $15; Seniors 60+, $13; Children ages 3-12, $10.50 and children under 3 are free. Tickets are sold until 4 p.m.

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