Colored Carnegie Library, Houston, Texas (1913-1961)

The Colored Carnegie Library was a segregated branch of the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library (later the Houston Public Library). It opened in 1913 in Houston’s Fourth Ward and was one of the first public libraries for African-Americans west of the Mississippi River. It was … Read MoreColored Carnegie Library, Houston, Texas (1913-1961)

Cherry Street Library, Evansville, Indiana (1914-1955)

The Cherry Street Library was a segregated branch of the Evansville Public Library (now Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library) located at 515 Cherry Street in Evansville, Indiana. It was the first free public library built north of the Ohio River exclusively for African Americans and one … Read MoreCherry Street Library, Evansville, Indiana (1914-1955)

The Tougaloo Nine (1961)

The Tougaloo Nine were nine students who, in 1961 while undergraduates at Tougaloo College, staged sit-ins at the all-white Jackson Main Library in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to the sit-ins, African Americans were prohibited from using the city’s main library. The Nine—Meredith Coleman Anding Jr., James … Read MoreThe Tougaloo Nine (1961)

McKinley Langford Burnett (1897-1968)

McKinley Langford Burnett was a little-known but significant figure in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that theoretically desegregated public schools across the United States. Burnett was born in Oskaloosa, Kansas, a racially integrated small town, in 1897 to parents who … Read MoreMcKinley Langford Burnett (1897-1968)

Dorothy Cotton (1930-2018)

Dorothy Cotton was an American civil rights activist and leader, known for being the only woman in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s inner circle. She was also the highest-ranking woman in King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As the organization’s Educational Director, Cotton ran SCLC’s Citizenship … Read MoreDorothy Cotton (1930-2018)