The Vision

The vision of Frank Gilyard, Sr., a local historian is the impetus behind the Central Pennsylvania African
American Museum.  For over 30 years, Frank has collected and catalogued the art, documents, court records and books which focuses on local African American history in the Reading and Berks County area.  It has long been a dream of Mr. Gilyard to establish an African American Museum in the city of Reading.  His collection is a journey through the last 177 years and a critical, but undiscovered chapter in our community’s development.

Reading’s 250th Anniversary organizers, Mr. Gilyard, Leadership Berks representatives and various Community
members have been working since the end of 1997 to establish a home and an organization to house and manage the museum.  The Central Pennsylvania African American Museum is a valuable cultural asset to the community, a wonderful birthday gift to the City of Reading during the 250th Anniversary Celebration.