Online Learning

Portsmouth Virginia Series

Black History Book List

In honor of Black History month, Portsmouth Public Library created a book list. From famous men and women, STEM leaders, trail blazers and activists, this comprehensive list covers some of the best fiction and non-fictional stories.

PetersPACC Early Aviators Charles Wesley Peters

Prior to World War II, opportunities in aviation and the dream of flight evolved separately for Blacks than it did for Whites.

Charles Peete

Charles “Mule” Peete
And Portsmouth’s Charles Peete Little League

By all accounts, Franklin-born, Portsmouth-raised Charles Peete had everything it took to be a standout major-league ballplayer.

Highlights from the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum

Take a tour of the highlights, artifacts and history of the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum.

First Baseman Buck Leonard

The “Classiest First Baseman in Organized Baseball” passed through Portsmouth twice on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

If Walls Could Talk

Hear about the history of the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum through the recollections of some of the Community Library’s patrons in this 13-minute video, produced by Portsmouth Schools Educational Television, in association with the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth.

Portraits of Service

Portsmouth African Americans in the Military, 1946 – 1967
Select Photographs from the Lee Rodgers Collection of the Portsmouth Public Library

Remarkable Portsmouth

Learn about Bertha Edwards, the librarian at Portsmouth’s African American Library from 1945 – 1963 (when the library was integrated).

Norfolk Ball Club

Our Eyes Were Opened 

Learn about the1954 Boycott Integration of Baseball Stadium Gates written by Diane L. Cripps, Curator of History, Portsmouth Museums.

Finding a Path to Freedom

Click on this interactive story to see if you can successfully conduct an escaping slave to freedom via the Underground Railroad in Portsmouth in 1850.