The Blyden Branch opened July 19, 1921 in a single room of the original Booker T. Washington High School on Princess Anne Road.  It provided library service for the city’s approximately 43,000 African American residents, and was the first library for African Americans supported by a municipality in Virginia.  Blyden Branch moved to Johnson Avenue and Church Street in 1938 and to its current location at 879 E. Princess Anne Road in 1957.


     Click here to read more about the history
     of Blyden Branch, and its namesake,
     Edward Wilmont Blyden.


In Celebration of All That I Am

African-American History Month Event

"In Celebration of All That I Am" is a multimedia presentation of video, music, poetry, prose and theatrical presentations featuring master storyteller, Mendel Denise Service celebrating the long overdue acknowledgement and recognition of the contributions of black women in the civil rights movement. Mendel explores behind the scenes stories through characters based on real and fictional females representing various roles and achievements while skillfully showing how ordinary people often do simple, yet profound acts of courage that result in changing the social fabric of a country that was once so divided by racism and injustice and replacing limitations with possibilities.

The show demonstrates how, when women from all walks of life were willing to take risks for freedom (even when some risks came with dire consequences), a new era was shepherded in and hope replaced despair. In the end, the civil rights movement focused on the fact that we are all human, have dreams, seek to be free, want to be respected and deserve to live with dignity in a world free from oppression. This one person show is motivating, comforting and an important addition to the HERstory of females not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.


(757) 441-2852
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