Randolph Freedpeople exhibit in Piqua

PIQUA — The Piqua Public Library, 116 W. High St., Piqua, is displaying a traveling exhibition by Ohio History Connection and National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center.

“Freed Will: The Randolph Freedpeople from Slavery to Settlement” will be on view until Nov. 1.

The Randolph Freedpeople exhibit explores one of the largest emancipations in American history, in which nearly 400 former slaves journeyed from Charlotte County, Virginia, to the Miami Valley of Ohio. The 19 panels allow visitors to follow their history from freedom, their grueling pilgrimage, legal battles and community building in the present day.

The exhibit includes original artwork by Piqua artist, Linda Hamilton, who painted a scene from the Freedpeople’s journey north and the black public school in Rossville. Also included is the Mills Brothers’ guitar, donated to Helen Gilmore and the Rossville Museum and Cultural Center. Gilmore, a Randolph descendant, and her husband bequeathed the museum’s contents to the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center.

The display is open to the public during regular library hours. Admission is free.