Built in 1930, the Theodore Roosevelt High School of Gary, Indiana (now Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy) was established to educate the city's African American students. Some of the early librarians employed at the school:
1931-1934 -- Wilhemina Turner was hired as a librarian at the Theodore Roosevelt High
School where she worked until 1934. After receiving her library science degree in 1935, Turner became an
assistant librarian at the Du Sable High School in Chicago, Illinois.
1935-1936 -- Hortense Houston Young,
was hired in 1935. A 1934 graduate of the University of Illinois Library
School, Young remained at Roosevelt High School until 1936 when she became an
assistant librarian at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes (now
Simmons College of Kentucky; Eliza Atkins Gleason and her sister, Ollie Atkins
Carpenter once worked at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes; Eliza
became the first African American to earn a PhD in library science).
1935-1937? -- Marjorie Adelle Blackistone Bradfield began working at Roosevelt High School (at that time she was Marjorie Blackistone). A
native of Washington, D.C., Ms. Bradfield was the daughter of John Roger and
Lucy Comfort Winston Blackistone. Bradfield was a 1935 graduate of the Columbia
University School of Library Service (the school closed in 1992) and also
attended the University of Michigan.
1937, she became the first African American librarian hired by the Detroit Public Library in Detroit, Michigan. On June 29, 1938, she married Horace F.
Bradfield. Ms. Bradfield remained at the
Detroit Public Library until 1968, when she left to accept a position as a
school librarian for the Detroit Public Schools.
In 1970, Ms. Bradfield was
instrumental in the appointment of Clara Stanton Jones as the Detroit Public
Library’s first African American female director (Ms. Jones would later serve
as the first African American president of the American Library Association,
1976-1977). Also, in July 1970, Ms. Bradfield participated in a panel
discussion, “Black History in Libraries”, given by the History Section of the
American Library Association (now the Library History Round Table) at the 89th American Library Association Annual Conference held in Detroit.
Ms. Bradfield remained at the Detroit Public Schools until 1980. She passed away on November 19, 1999 at the age of 88.
Sources: A Directory of Negro Graduates of Accredited Library Schools, 1900-1936. Washington: Columbia Civic Library
Association, 1937. 7, 22, 25. Print. ; Jones, Reinette F. Library Service to African American in Kentucky: From the
Reconstruction Era to the 1960s. Jefferson: McFarland, 2002. 91, 103, 126,
163. Print. ; Spradling, Mary Mace. “Black Librarians in Kentucky.” The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities,
Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library
Science, 1980. 50. Print. ; Audi, Tamara. "Marjorie Bradfield: Put Black History into Library." Detroit Free Press 20 Nov. 1999: 123. Print. ; "Marjorie A. Blackistone and Horace Ferguson Bradfield Papers: 1931-1978." Bentley Historical Library. University of Michigan. May 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2019. ; Taliaferro, Trudy Bradfield. "Special Guest Column: Benjamin Brown, Buffalo Soldier, Family Hero." AAGSNC.org. African American Genealogical Society of Northern California. 2000. Web. 23 Feb. 2019.