Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center celebrates 65 years

The Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center celebrates its 65th anniversary with an ancestral dance performance.

Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center celebrates 65 years
November 21
06:54 2019

By Ashela Jones

The Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center, the oldest African American library in Forsyth County, celebrated its 65th Anniversary on Nov. 16. 

Formerly known as the East Winston Branch Library, the center’s mission is to preserve African American heritage, history, and culture. Named for three African American physicians and their wives, the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center library branch has been a part of the East Winston community since 1954. 

The anniversary celebration included libation, the pouring out of a drink as an offering to a deity; an ancestral dance; and remarks from community members and leaders. 

Forsyth County Commissioner Fleming El-Amin shared his childhood memories of the library, a place he calls a cultural icon.

“This place brings so many memories,” said El-Amin. I was so glad when it became the Malloy/Jordan Heritage Center, so we could preserve the rich history of this community.” 

El-Amin added that the library was the place for cultural expression, reading and connecting with the community before cultural events like the National Black Theater Festival existed. 

East Ward Council Member Annette Scippio shared El-Amin’s same sentiments as she recalled the important role the library played in her childhood.

“This place is so special if you grew up in East Winston in the 50s or 60s because this was the only library in Forsyth County that African Americans could go to,” said Scippio. “We could not go to the main library because those were the days of segregation. So this particular facility was instrumental in many things.

“For me and the kids in my neighborhood, it was the only place you could go to use the Encyclopedia,” she continued.  

Before concluding, Scippio read a proclamation by City of Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines proclaiming Nov. 16 as the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center Day. This proclamation was well received by the audience and the center employees. 

“I think it reinforces the Malloy/Jordan Heritage Center’s place in the community and how important and relative it still is,” said Wright Adams, the outreach and community engagement manager for the Forsyth County library and manager of the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center.

The Center offers a variety of collections to preserve the history of the East Winston Community. 

“We have a lot of African American books – fiction and nonfictions,” said Adams. “On the wall, we have the Atkins photos and the Columbian Heights photos. I think it helps preserve the history of not only the Malloy/Jordan East Winston branch, but the East Winston community.”

The Malloy/Jordan Center also offers groundbreaking STEM and STEAM programs that are exclusive to the East Winston location, Adams said. 

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