Download PDF by Patterson Toby Graham: A Right to Read: Segregation and Civil Rights in Alabama's
By Patterson Toby Graham
A dramatic bankruptcy in American cultural heritage. * Winner of the Alabama Library Association’s Alabama writer Award for Nonfiction Patterson Toby Graham is Director of the electronic Library of Georgia on the collage of Georgia in Athens.
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Extra info for A Right to Read: Segregation and Civil Rights in Alabama's Public Libraries, 1900-1965
In 1929, L. F. Morse, principal of Emerson High School was researching Mobile’s history. He visited attorney Frederick G. Bromberg seeking information for his study. Bromberg referred him to the public library. The lawyer was apparently unaware of the library’s strict policy excluding Negroes. When Morse advised him of the fact, Bromberg became so concerned that he contacted the library board on behalf of his friend and the other educated African Americans in Mobile. His suggestion was almost identical to Belsaw’s reading room plan; Bromberg advised the board to build an annex for blacks.
The branch scarcely had time to make a beginning, however, before the commissioners voted to end appropriations for both of Mobile’s libraries. 45 The Davis Avenue Library survived the Depression by relying on gifts and user fees. Elizabeth Jordan turned to the black community for help, and it responded through fund-raising entertainments and personal donations. The library also charged patrons a dollar each year. Though these measures allowed the city to keep the doors of the library open, there was little money left to replenish the supply of books.
It was a signi¤cant accomplishment for rural blacks to acquire library service when it was not available to the preponderance of whites in rural Alabama. It was remarkable, considering their educational disadvantages, that the African Americans who inhabited the mining villages of Walker County proved, at times, more active library patrons than their white counterparts. The Works Progress Administration and Black Libraries The library program of the Works Progress Administration ( WPA) was not comprehensively biracial, as the Rosenwald Fund’s had been.
A Right to Read: Segregation and Civil Rights in Alabama's Public Libraries, 1900-1965 by Patterson Toby Graham