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Mon, 11.18.1946

The African American Museum and Library of Oakland Opens


*This date in 1946 celebrates the opening of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO).

Located on 14th Street in Downtown Oakland, this museum and the non-circulating library is dedicated to preserving African American history, experiences, and culture. It contains an extensive archival collection of such artifacts as diaries, correspondence, photos, and periodicals.  The AAMLO is located at the Carnegie library building, now called the Charles A. Greene building. The building served as the Oakland Main Library from 1902 to 1951. 

The AAMLO began as a private collection in 1946 and, in 1964, became the East Bay Negro Historical Society, Inc. It later changed its name to the Northern California Center for Afro-American History & Life before being incorporated into Oakland in 1994 under its current name, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland.  Among the more than 160 collections in the library are archives relating to Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Africa, and genealogy.

Materials include photographs, manuscripts, letters, diaries, newspapers, recorded oral histories, videos, and microfilms. AAMLO's two galleries host changing art, history, and culture exhibitions.  AAMLO began in a small shop on Grove Street (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Way); the collection grew quickly and, in 1960, moved into the Oakland Public Library's Golden Gate Branch. It officially became AAMLO, a public/private partnership, in 1994. AAMLO moved into its current location in 2002. 

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