*If you live in southern California or plan to visit soon, run, don’t walk to the amazing new library in Glendale, California on any given day. But be sure to do so between now and November 5, when you can experience the incredible exhibit, Wake: The Afterlife of Slavery.
As a former longtime resident of the city, a lot of my writing took place at the Downtown Central Library. I would spend hours working there in the quiet rooms; sometimes on their computers, other times on my own laptop.
Although I had moved away and only visited on occasion, I was sad (and inconvenienced) when I would attempt to visit Glendale and learned the library was closed for remodeling.
But oh my god when they reopened, I could not believe my eyes. I had never seen such a beautiful and spacious library. It had new entrances, rooms designed for special activities for both adults and children such as ReflectSpace–where the ‘Wake’ Exhibit is currently taking place.
And even more surprising is the great representation of African Americans and Africans in the main library of this historically Armenian-favored community.
It took two visits to witness the totality of it all, and truthfully, there is still much more to see. But I think it was the huge image of a Toni Morrison quote on one of the library walls as I walked by that caused me to double back and say…
I couldn’t believe my eyes. It wasn’t tucked away somewhere, it was out loud, a huge blow up of her quote in the hallway of the general area. I hadn’t even realized there was an entire Exhibit on slavery, with original typewritten letters to and from W.E.B. Dubois and others, Western Union correspondence, slave Manifests, — all put together by former L.A. Times photojournalist Clarence Williams and L. A. artist Nicola Goode, in a room on the other side of the library. Continue reading