Ethnic Heritage Museum celebrates Booker Washington Center anniversary

Staff Report

Booker T. Washington Community Center, formerly Kent School – Barbara Chapman’s book, That Men Know So Little of Men

On Sunday, May 15, the Ethnic Heritage Museum will showcase its newest exhibit, Celebrating the 100 Years of Booker T. Washington Community Center in the African American Gallery. This exhibit will visit on some of the events and people who helped shape the Booker Washington Community Center.

The center originated in 1916 as a social and recreation spot for black soldiers stationed at Camp Grand during World War I. Throughout the more recent years it has provided education programming, job placement services, team sports, supervised recreation, a meeting place for clubs and organizations, an information bureau and resource center for the community.

This exhibit will show how the Booker Washington Community Center’s presence has helped shape the community. The exhibit will showcase the center’s former executive directors and will feature McKinley “Deacon” Davis and Oscar Blackwell. It will also feature information on some of the social clubs that have called the center home.

The African-American Gallery of the Ethnic Heritage Museum will host a special theatrical program on Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m. to celebrate the accomplishments of Booker T. Washington Community Center.

The Ethnic Heritage Museum is located at 1129 South Main Street is unique in its blend of ethnic groups: African-American, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian and Polish.

This exhibit will be on display every Sunday from 2-4 p.m. from May 15 until September.

Admission to the Ethnic Heritage Museum is $5 for individuals, $3 for students, $10 for families and free to members. Tours of the museum can be arranged by calling 815-962-7402.

For more information visit or email

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