April 25, 2024



Celebrating Black Culture and History: The Black Library and Its Founders

3 min read

In the heart of Sullivan County, New York, a remarkable project is underway, one that seeks to celebrate Black culture and history while fostering a sense of community and education. The Black Library, a visionary initiative, stands as a testament to the power of culture, creativity, and education to bridge divides and promote understanding. This article sheds light on the mission and founders of The Black Library and the profound impact they are making in Sullivan County.

The Mission of The Black Library

The Black Library is not merely a place for books; it is a haven for the celebration of Black culture and history. Founded on the principles of inclusivity, collaboration, and education, The Black Library aims to accomplish several critical objectives:

1. Diverse Collection of Black-authored Books: At its core, The Black Library is a repository of knowledge, housing a rich collection of books authored by Black writers. This diverse literary selection provides visitors with an opportunity to explore the vast spectrum of Black voices and experiences.

2. Exhibition of Black Artistry: The library is not limited to written works alone. It also serves as a canvas for Black artists to showcase their talents. The visual art on display at The Black Library is a testament to the creativity and expression within the Black community.

3. Educational Workshops: The library’s commitment to education extends to workshops aimed at both children and adults. These workshops provide invaluable learning experiences that delve into various aspects of Black culture, history, and contemporary issues.

4. Community Talks and Discussions: In fostering open dialogue, The Black Library hosts talks and community discussions that encourage conversations about Black history, culture, and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.

5. Promoting Local Artists: The Black Library is not just about celebrating established artists but also acts as an incubator for the next generation of local Black artists, ensuring that their voices are heard and their talents nurtured.

Now, let’s meet the visionary founders who have brought this inspiring initiative to life:

Douglas Shindler: Capturing Stories Through Art

Douglas Shindler, a gifted painter and photographer hailing from Sullivan County, is one of the driving forces behind The Black Library. His work is a poignant reflection of the community he calls home. Shindler’s art speaks to the underrepresented and the often-overlooked facets of life, particularly in the realm of violence, street culture, sports, and community. His paintings, characterized by expressive tones and gestural impasto techniques, are deeply narrative-driven, drawing inspiration from hip hop lyrics and sayings from Black culture.

Shindler’s large-format photographic prints serve as a tribute to underrepresented individuals in rural settings. His work extends a welcoming hand to those who have been marginalized, transforming the visual field into a home for those who have been left out. Douglas Shindler’s artistic journey, which began in 2013, is marked by a commitment to storytelling and capturing the essence of the community he cherishes.

Michael Davis: Capturing the Essence of Heroism

Another integral part of The Black Library’s founding team is Michael Davis, a Guyanese American photographer based in Monticello, New York. Davis’ photographic work is a testament to his dedication to preserving the culture and community he holds dear. His photographs capture moments of aggression, honesty, vulnerability, and strength, imbuing his subjects with a sense of heroism and power.

Inspired by both vintage family photographs and contemporary fashion trends, Davis creates vibrant compositions that transport viewers to future yesteryears. His goal is to create imagery that not only energizes the viewer but also immortalizes his culture and community for generations to come. Michael Davis has been a practicing artist since 2009, and his work continues to resonate deeply with those who encounter it.

The Black Library 2022
418 Broadway, Suite 1
Monticello, New York 12701
Hours of operation:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Saturday: 11AM – 7PM
Sunday: 11AM – 4PM

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