Upcoming Black Family Expo: Save the Date! 2/17/24

Attendees at the 2023 Black Family Expo visit with the Arkansas chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and Project 365.

In the fall of 2022, CALS community liaison Jessica McDaniel and community outreach archivist Danielle Afsordeh met to discuss McDaniel’s vision for a Black Family Expo. The idea for the expo came from McDaniel’s own family history. Her grandmother’s butter churn was proudly displayed in her mother’s home, as a reminder of her family’s history in the South and the legacy of her ancestors.  

To give community members a place to share things like their grandmother’s butter churn, McDaniel and Afsordeh organized the Black Family Expo to take place during Black History Month of 2023. They offered the opportunity for up to ten families, as well as organizations with ties to the Black community, to register for a table where they could display their photographs, set out historical memorabilia, and share their stories.  

CALS Roberts Library staff member Heather Register Zbinden demonstrates digitization equipment for attendee at the 2023 Black Family Expo.

Additionally, the CALS Roberts Library brought a mobile version of our Memory Lab and offered attendees the opportunity to have photographs and documents scanned to share with loved ones. So many of us have just that one copy of a photograph of a family member. Imagine if we could have a digital copy to share infinitely with our loved ones?

And if all of that wasn’t enticing enough, the CALS community outreach team offered giveaways throughout the day with books, journals, t-shirts, and other items celebrating Black History Month. 

With over 150 attendees, the event was a great success. So we’re hosting the Expo again this year at the Pankey Community Center from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 17, 2024. In addition to everything we had last year, we will also be offering souvenir family photographs for attendees from 12:00 – 2:00 PM and paint a frame for your photograph.  

To reserve a table to display your family memorabilia and share your family history, please call community outreach archivist, Danielle Afsordeh, at 501.320.5726. There will be 10 tables available. Organizations are also welcome to display.

CALS Roberts Library staff will assist attendees with digitizing up to five items (family documents, photographs, and slides) at the Mobile Memory Lab station. One flash drive will be provided to each family.

No registration required to attend, and we’ll be doing giveaways throughout the entire event. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Attendees pose with their giveaway prizes at the 2023 Black Family Expo.





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