Dayton To Celebrate Dunbar Birthday

Jun 24, 2015

The birth of famed poet and Dayton native, Paul Laurence Dunbar, will be celebrated this month. Both, Wright Dunbar, Inc. and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park are hosting several events to commemorate and honor the poet.

WYSO spoke with Mary Mathews at Wright Dunbar about the planned events and the legacy Dunbar left for his hometown.  See full event details in the official press release below the interview (WYSO is not responsible for the written content below).

This free, family-friendly event will take place Saturday, June 27 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Dayton’s historic Wright Dunbar neighborhood.

From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. watch the Dayton region’s Walk of Fame come alive with Walk the Walk, a showcase featuring Walk of Fame inductees and historians hosting the memorial stones on West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar Historic Business District. This opportunity will allow visitors to interact with and learn from some of the outstanding individuals and groups who have contributed to the greatness of our region.

Poetry readings will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the first-floor theater of the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, 16 S. Williams St. Speakers will include Dr. Herbart Martin, Professor Emeritus, University of Dayton; Mitch Capel, Storyteller and Poet; and Dr. Joy Kinard, Superintendent of the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument.

The masonry outside the Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center depicts Dunbar sitting next to his friends, Orville and Wilbur Wright.
Credit Jerry Kenney

In the Interpretive Center, the National Park Service will also be showing short videos of Walk of Fame inductees from Wright Dunbar, Inc.’s library.

An attempt will be made to enter the Guinness Book of World Records with the largest group reading of a poem, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Compensation.” The reading will take place at 2 p.m. in the plaza outside of the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center. All are encouraged to participate. Birthday cake will be shared immediately following.

Paul Laurence Dunbar House, located at 219 N. Paul Laurence Dunbar St., will be free and open to the public for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As part of the celebration, West Third Street will be closed between Broadway and Shannon from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is available in the lot behind the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, in the lots between Edison and Second Street just east of the Paul Laurence Dunbar House, and on the street in the neighborhood surrounding the Wright- Dunbar Business District.

For more information, call Mary Mathews at 937-443-0249