A Brief History

The History of this the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) dates back to 1950 when Reverend Ivory Mizell, a socio-civic activist and manager of the Dixie Court Housing Project was made aware that the city’s only library did not provide services for Blacks. He made space in his office for a small lending library, solicited books, and with the help of the city, the small library with a staff of one was opened in 1951 to serve the Black community.


In 1952, the city provided space for the library and its staff of one in a small one-room building at Sunland Park (now the Joseph C. Carter Park). From this modest beginning, the Northwest Branch of the Fort Lauderdale library system was opened in the old Zeno Building at 1107 Northwest Sistrunk Boulevard. 

The services expanded and the staff increased to seven. In 1974 the library was renamed the Von D. Mizell Library. During this same time, the Broward County Library system was established, including the Von D. Mizell Library.

In 1980, the Von D. Mizell Library was relocated to the Von D.The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center Mizell All Purpose Building, bringing a vastly expanded book collection and a staff of twelve. The unique feature of this library was the large collection of books written by and for the African Diaspora, which was housed in a separate space in the Von D. Mizell Library.


In 1995, Samuel Morrison, the Director of Broward County’s Library Division, presented plans to the county commission for a new Africa-American Research Library and Cultural Center to be located in the heart of the African-American community. The plan was approved and partially funded. Morrison was charged with raising the additional funds.

In October 2002, the 14 million dollars, 60,000 square foot facility was opened as the third of its kind in the nation to have extensive collections related to the unique blend of cultures in Broward County.

Why we're Friends

We are advocates...

of life, history, and culture of African American History. We serve as liaisons between AARLCC and the community!

We are supporters...

and raise funds for programs, events, exhibits and the archive at AARLCC to Increase the awareness of the work at AARLCC.

Our mission...

is to bring together community "friends" to advocate for libraries.   The Friends of AARLCC is a support group of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center. This includes, but is not limited to presenting library needs to elected officials in order to obtain crucial financial support.


Our advocacy activities include visiting with the County Administrator, the County Mayor and each County commissioner to convey factual information regarding the importance of maintaining funding for library programs and services, providing information on how these services benefit the community.  We encourage community members to have a presence at each budget workshop, to speak at public hearings, to appear before the  Broward Legislative Delegation, to attend Library Days in Tallahassee to advocate for state aid to libraries, and to encourage public participation in our advocacy campaigns.


We encourage you to join us and become active in our advocacy efforts.

Ways you can help

Fundraising   Social Media  Member Recruitment  Photography  Event  Help  Social Media 

How you Rolle with AARLCC 100!

Experience  AARLCC

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 Cultural Conversations     South Florida Book Festival  National Guests    Youth Events  AARLCC'S Special Collections Creative LABB

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Join us and Become a Friend

We invite you to become a Friend of AARLCC because our community deserves the best programs, events, technology, and library services. Join us at any time & a membership card will be mailed to you! Members' dues are payable in January. Thank you in advance for your support.

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