Macon Library's African American Heritage Center contains material on African American history and culture as well as the "Preserving Footsteps" collection.
Bedford-Stuyvesant is rich with African American history. Landmarked buildings and historic sites remain an important part of the neighborhood. Staff, Local residents and community leaders of Bedford-Stuyvesant have always been interested in preserving African American history and culture and making it available to the public. This is where the idea of an African American Heritage Center sparked from. Constructed in 1907, Macon Library was an ideal location for the African American Heritage Center because of its own historical role as a resource hub for knowledge and information in its community.
There is a general reference collection consisting of books and periodicals, all with special emphasis on black culture. These specific works depict African American and Black diaspora. The Heritage Center also has two public computers dedicated to exploring history and conduct research with available databases. The African American Heritage circulating collection and research computers are available to all Brooklyn Public Library branches and their patrons. In addition to the collection, the African American Heritage Center hold robust culturally appropriate programs such as art exhibitions, author talks and genealogy.
The African American Heritage center houses two special collections. The Preserving Footsteps Collections and the Taneya Gethers-Muhammad children’s book collection. The Preserving Footsteps collection focuses on the history of Bedford-Stuyvesant. This collection was a collaboration between the Brooklyn Collection and the Society for the preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History. The Taneya Gethers-Muhammad children’s collection was purchased in honor of one of Brooklyn Public Library’s most dynamic and beloved children’s librarians, Taneya, who passed away late 2017. Taneya’s work, passion and professionalism radiated in everything she did. Taneya was an advocate for culturally empowering programs which brought deserved attention to her work. Despite lack of formal funding, Taneya’s hard work and innovative programs subsequently solidified her funding from the Charles H. Revison foundation, allowing her to continue her dynamic work. After her passing, the Charles H. Revison foundation donated funds to the Macon Branch in her memory, hence creating the Taneya Gethers-Muhammad children’s book collection.