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Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center

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Home of New York Citys largest Black Heritage collection

Place Details

Borough : Queens
Neighborhood : Corona
Institution, Education

Place Matters Profile

Located in the heart of the African American community of Corona-East Elmhurst, this library center grew out of grassroots community organizing in the early 1960s. Spearheaded by the Library Action Committee--a coalition of community organizations and churches-- organizers pushed to establish a library that spoke to the needs of the African American community. Today the center houses New York Citys largest circulating Black Heritage reading collection, and a special collection of works by Langston Hughes. Since opening day, the library has hosted such luminaries as historian John Henrik Clarke, poet Nikki Giovanni, educator Betty Shabazz, artist Tom Feelings, actor Paul Robeson and author Walter Mosely. The Library maintains the tradition of annual Kwanzaa celebrations, organizes a Black History Lecture series, and hosts an open mic night.

Housed in a former Woolworth Department Store, the center has maintained the buildings ground floor display windows. This remnant of the buildings former use...

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Cynthia Lopez (Libraries for the Future)

Nominator submitted place name to the Census of Places that Matter.

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