Help us celebrate and honor the rich history and culture of Portsmouth by visiting our special Black History exhibits. Make sure you also check out our list of special events happening throughout the month.

A Steady Cycle of Lively Events:
The African American Social Scene in Postwar Portsmouth

In the changing exhibit gallery of the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum
January 18, 2019 through October 2020

Learn about some of the African American community’s social and recreational activities in post-World War II Portsmouth. See vintage images of parades, talent shows, club meetings and more, from this era when segregation led to Portsmouth’s black residents establishing their own social scene with A Steady Cycle of Lively Events.



A Community Comes Together:
The Story of the Portsmouth Community Library

In the permanent exhibit gallery of the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum

Ongoing Discover the history of this small building with a large story to tell. Learn how Portsmouth’s African American community worked together to establish a library that served black residents in the era of segregation. See photos of the building in its original location, and learn about the people and events that led to the establishment of this vital resource that lasted until the integration of Portsmouth’s libraries in the early 1960s.



Copyright 2016 City of Portsmouth, VA
website by Arengee

904 Elm Avenue, Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 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.