Help us celebrate and honor the rich history and culture of Portsmouth by joining us in our special Black History events and activites. Make sure you also visit our special exhibits on display in the museum.


Uncle George & Me Author Reading and Book Signing

Saturday, February 9, 2019 1:00 p.m.
Admission is Free!
Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum, 904 Elm Ave., Portsmouth

In Uncle George & Me, author Bill Sizemore tells the story of his slave-owning Virginia ancestors, their slaves, and those slaves’ descendants โ€“ a story that lay buried by a century of denial and historical amnesia. The author is a retired journalist who grew up in segregated small-town Virginia. Meet Mr. Sizemore, who will read from and sign copies of his book (also available for sale), and chat with visitors about his family’s fascinating history. Presented by the African American Historical Society, Inc. of Portsmouth. Part of the 2019 Black History Now! Series presented by the Portsmouth Museums and Portsmouth Public Library for Black History Month.


Neighborhood Black History Tour & Costume Parade

Saturday, February 16 10:30 am, High & Green Streets

Wear your favorite costume representing an African American hero, past, present, local, city, state, national or international. Walk or ride a shuttle bus to see significant African-American historical sites in Portsmouth African American history, concluding at the Portsmouth Neighborhood Facility Recreation Center at 900 Elm Ave. Meet Mae Breckenridge-Haywood, author and resident of the African American Historical Society, who will have signed copies of the books Black America: Portsmouth, Virginia, and For You, Dear Norcom next door at the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum at 904 Elm Ave.

To register, contact Joyce White-Tasby at (202)812-2804. Registration fees are $10.00 for an individual and $50.00 for 10 or more. The line-up begins at 10:30 am at High & Green Streets.


Resistance & Resilience: Writing Jim Crow - Spring 2019 Writing Workshop

Lisa Hartz, Executive Director of the Seven Cities Writers Project. Participation is free!
10am โ€“ noon on 8 Fridays: 3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19/2019
Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum

Register for the class series by calling 757-393-8591; space is limited! You are signing up for the entire 8 week course; no drop-ins, please. Class meets from 10am โ€“ noon on 8 Fridays: 3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19/2019. Classes held at the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum, 904 Elm Ave., Portsmouth. How do you, your family, and your community cope with the daily pressures and challenges posed by institutionalized racism, both current and historical? In this inspiring, supportive creative writing workshop we will draw out and collect your stories. You will write in response to prompts and selected readings, and receive helpful advice to keep you going.

With your permission opportunities for publication online or in print will be explored. Sponsored by the Seven Cities Writers Project, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.



Portraits of Service: Portsmouth African Americans in the Military, 1946 - 1967

January 18 through February 28, 2019
Portsmouth City Hall Lobby, 801 Crawford St., Portsmouth

Portsmouth After World War II, the Colored Notes column of the Portsmouth Star newspaper described happenings in the African American community. The column included frequent photographs of local residents in military service. View this collection of military portraits and original captions in this temporary exhibit for Black History Month 2019.


Vintage Norcom: Historical Images from I.C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth, Virginia

January 18 through February 28, 2019

Main Library Branch, 601 Court St.

Portsmouth Celebrate Black History Month 2019 by viewing a collection of vintage images of students, teachers, and activities at Portsmouth’s I.C. Norcom High School.


Copyright 2016 City of Portsmouth, VA
website by Arengee

904 Elm Avenue, Portsmouth, VA 23704 ยท 757-393-8983, ext. 20
Mailing Address: 521 Middle Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
The Portsmouth Community Library served black patrons from 1945 until 1963, when the main library was integrated. The small, one-story brick building was originally located on South Street near Effingham Street. The land at this new location was purchased with donations made by Portsmouth citizens, black and white.