Black History Month 2016 at the Ohio Statehouse
Special programming throughout February
January 29, 2016

The Ohio Statehouse will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with a special display, free historical performance each Tuesday at noon and special tours of the George Washington Williams Room.

The 2016 Rosa Parks Children’s Art Exhibit, “The Power of One,” is a K-third grade student art exhibit sponsored by COTA. The exhibit is the students’ artistic expression of how they would change things for the better. Rosa Parks is honored because through her act of courage, she helped make America a better place for all people. Students were asked what would you do if you had a chance… To do a brave thing? A courageous thing? A kind thing? If nothing stood in your way, what would you do to change America and make it a better place for all people?

Living history programs will be presented each Tuesday at noon throughout February in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse. Visitors will meet first-person interpreters who portray prominent African Americans in U.S. history. Each 45-minute vignette will focus on African-American history as part of Black History Month at the Ohio Statehouse. Each performance is rich with history, drama and adventure. The programs are presented by “We’ve Known Rivers,” which is a partnership of dynamic storytellers with a passion for history and education. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information about We’ve Known Rivers, visit The programs will be streamed live at If you or your organization would like to schedule a group to attend a performance, please, contact Katie Clement at 614/728-3726 or

Scheduled living history performances include:

  • February 2- Anthony Gibbs as John Parker

  • February 9- Dr. Annette Jefferson as Mahalia Jackson

  • February 16- Sandra Quick presenting The Right to Vote

  • February 23- Dr. Carren Moham as Marion Anderson (this performance will be held in the Museum Gallery of the Ohio Statehouse.)

A special soul food menu will be offered in the Capitol Cafe each Tuesdays in February. The Capitol Cafe, operated by Milo’s Catering and Banquet Services, will offer a variety of reasonably priced soul food options each Tuesday.

Tours will visit the George Washington Williams Memorial Room throughout February. The George Washington Williams Memorial Room is a tribute to Ohio’s first African-American legislator. George Washington Williams was the first African American elected to the Ohio General Assembly. Williams was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican legislator from Hamilton County in 1879 at the age of 30. Williams was a Civil War soldier, pastor, journalist, lawyer, politician, freewill ambassador, author and historian. This room exhibits furnishings representing styles popular in the United States in the late 1800’s. The furniture includes period antiques, reproduction pieces and art work that help visitors experience history.

High resolution images are available at:

Watch a living history presentation at:

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