Black History Live Museum Celebrates Changemakers Then and Now

Last modified: 
Saturday, February 20, 2021

During Black History Month, we celebrate the African American experience and the legacies of those who have shaped the history of our nation. But the stories and achievements we observe and admire aren’t relegated to the past. We recognize that, each day, there are people building on foundations laid by those who came before them, making a way for generations to come. 

For this year’s commemoration, the team at the Library’s Kansas City Digital Media Lab (KCDML) came up with a way to highlight Black figures past and present who have left indelible imprints in their own unique ways. In 2020, the Library’s Southeast Branch hosted a Black History Live Museum – an in-person experience honoring Black achievement through performances and exhibits. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the second edition of the “museum” is taking a different approach and moving online. 

Each week in February, KCDML will produce a set of videos highlighting notable African Americans and their achievements. Several Library staff and community members have selected and researched prominent Black figures they admire and recorded online “exhibit” testimonials about their respective honorees. Videos will be released weekly and, at the end of the month, segments of all the recorded contributions will be collected into a single Live Museum video presentation.

The project follows the theme “The Journey Continues,” underscoring the ever-changing impact of our collective past and today’s ongoing efforts to ensure equality, justice, opportunity, and freedom for all.

Videos will be posted and linked to below each week when they become available, or visit the KCDML’s YouTube channel.   

RELATED:   Celebrate Black History Month at the Library


Poem: “The Lesson pt 1” 

Presented by:  Marcus Brown, Lead Facilitator, Kansas City Digital Media Lab 



Hip-Hop artist

Presented by:  Jordan Brown, Library Assistant 



Kansas City Monarchs

Presented by: Kyriece DeVine, Facilitator, Kansas City Digital Media Lab



Bernard Powell
Civil Rights Activist

Presented by: Kiesha Collins, Youth Services Librarian, Kansas City Digital Media Lab



Josephine Silone Yates
First Black woman to head a college science department

Presented by: Monica Jedine, Manager, Southeast Branch



Jackie Ormes
First African American Woman Cartoonist

Presented by:  Samantha Edwards, Youth & Family Engagement Librarian




Claudette Colvin
Civil Rights Pioneer

Presented by:  Molly Doroba, Early Learning Librarian



Amanda Gorman
National Youth Poet Laureate

Presented by:  Jackie Brown, Facilities Services Specialist