Clayton Library's goal: preserving African American history





Up the street from the old MGM lot, a tale of miracles is playing out at what was once the Culver City courthouse.

Decommissioned in 2005, the low-slung, single-story building is the home of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, a monument to one woman's quest to preserve African American history — from slavery to modern times.

Clayton once said: "If we're not careful, the record of our history in this country can be permanently lost. Right now it's just misplaced."

She spent years tracking it down.

The first miracle is its 2 million items — second only to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. Those items include 25,000 magazines, 20,000 books, 17,000 photographs, 1,000 pieces of sheet music, 700 films and 300 movie posters....



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