Friday, September 23, 2011

Rev. B. C. Duke and the Tennessee Town Library (Topeka, Kansas)

Rev. B.C. Duke was the earliest known African American librarian in Topeka, Kansas. He was the librarian for the Tennessee Town Library which was housed in a tavern owned by Andrew Jordan. Rev. Duke came to Kansas from Tennessee in 1887. Tennessee Town is a neighborhood in Topeka that was settled by freed slaves from Tennessee who were part of the Exodusters Movement.

Sources: Cox, Thomas C. Blacks in Topeka, Kansas, 1865-1915: A Social History. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State U P, 1982. 146-147. Print. ; Tennessee Town, Topeka, Kansas Neighborhood Plan: An Element of the Comprehensive Metropolitan Plan 2025, City of Topeka-Shawnee County, Kansas. Topeka: Tennessee Town Neighborhood Improvement Assoc. & Topeka-Shawnee County Metropolitan Planning Dept., 2001. 32-33. Print.

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