Tuesday, March 13, 2012
A year after Regina Andrews became the first African American to head a branch of the New York Public Library there was a sit-in at a public library in Alexandria, Virginia in 1939. African Americans were not allowed to use the public library so several men (William Evans, Otto L. Tucker, Edward Gaddis, Morris Murray and Clarence Strange) staged a sit-in to protest the policy and were arrested (see picture on the right). This was organized by a young African American lawyer Samuel Tucker (Otto's brother). Instead of integrating the library, the city created a Negro branch--separate and unequal. Samuel Tucker refused to use the new branch. Last weekend I was in Alexandria and took pictures of the original library and the former Negro branch which is now a museum. For more about the sit-in.