Welcome to the blog of the Henderson, Ky., Depot Community Room. The Community Room strives to promote a better understanding of Henderson, Ky., history and culture through special programs and exhibits. Our exhibit hall features the collections of the Henderson County Historical and Genealogical Society. The Community Room is funded by the City of Henderson, Ky., through the Henderson County Tourist Commission.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Depot teaming with JFK Community Center to Record Henderson Life Through the Eyes of its Youth

We are very excited to announce a new project with the John F. Kennedy Community Center to capture dailly African-American life through the eyes of its youth!!

The Community Room is providing cameras to 10 young people so that they can record their community through their eyes. The best of their photos will be displayed in the Community Room from late January through February, and we'll have a grand opening of the exhibit. The project is designed to celebrate the community, and see our own corner of the world through a new lens. It's also a great way to merge the past, present and future of Henderson in an overall exhibit focussing on local African-American history. Our "Past" exhibit will highlight African-Americans who were pioneers in their fields; our "Present" will focus on the community through the eyes of these youth, and our "Future" will be the preservation of their photos in digital form for future generations of researchers!

We are super-excited about this project and hope you will be, too!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Exhibit to Highlight local African-American Pioneers in Arts, Industry and Community Service

We have been knee-deep for months in research for a new black history exhibit we have planned for late January and February. Undoubtedly African-Americans have played a huge role in the history and growth of the city, and have served America as pioneers and champions in arts, industry, service and Civil Rights.

William J. Powell, aviator

Pioneers like William Powell, a Henderson native who moved to Chicago after his father died. Powell felt there was boundless opportunity for African-Americans in the burgeoning aviation industry. He eventually became a pilot and then owner of his own aviation company in Los Angeles, California. He was dedicated to helping African-Americans pursue careers in aviation and enlisted the help of notable African-Americans like Joe Louis to donate their name to the cause. He also organized the first all-black air show, which attracted more than 15,000 spectators, and published the trade publication "Craftsman Aero-News."
He also wrote a thinly fictionalized autobiography called "Black Wings" and is featured in an online exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

There are many more African-Americans associated with Henderson whose talents, wisdom and perseverence paved the way for others, either nationally or here in their own community. We plan to highlight a few of these pioneers in our newest exhibit, which we hope to have finished in late January. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook page and The Gleaner for further updates on our progress.